Back in October 2007, one of the hottest
While this controversy was all the rage on the Internet, political columnist John Semmens included a bit at the end of one of his satirical “Semi-News” columns (found on the web site of The Arizona Conservative) offering a mock explanation from Senator Obama about his non-hand-over-heart stance, poking fun at the candidate by having him voice the opinion that “the American flag is a symbol of oppression” and that the
Hot on the heels of his explanation for why he no longer wears a flag pin, presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama was forced to explain why he doesn’t follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.
According to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171, During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.
“As I’ve said about the flag pin, I don’t want to be perceived as taking sides,” Obama said. “There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.’ If that were our anthem, then I might salute it.”
This bit of satire evidently came off as too believable to some readers, as it was excerpted from Semmens’ column and forwarded via
In September 2008, this same piece began arriving in our inbox with extra text supposedly quoting Barack Obama on his plans to “disarm America” and “end hostilities” with Islamic nations, headed by the claim that it was derived from the
Yes, he told us in advance what he planned to do. Few were listening. The following is a narrative taken from a 2008 Sunday morning televised “Meet The Press’.
From Sunday’s 07 Sept. 2008 11:48:04 EST, Televised “Meet the Press” the THEN Senator Obama was asked about his stance on the American Flag. General Bill Gann’ USAF (ret.) asked Obama to explain WHY he doesn’t follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.
The General stated to Obama that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171…
During rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present (except those in uniform) are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Or, at the very least, “Stand and Face It”.
‘Senator Obama replied:
“As I’ve said about the flag pin, I don’t want to be perceived as taking sides”. “There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression.” “The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing.” Obama continued: “The National Anthem should be ‘swapped’ for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song ‘I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing’. If that were our anthem, then, I might salute it. In my opinion, we should consider reinventing our National Anthem as well as ‘redesign’ our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. It’s my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we, as a Nation of warring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails — perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments …”
When I become President, I will seek a pact of agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts. We as a Nation, have placed upon the nations of Islam, an unfair injustice which is WHY my wife disrespects the Flag and she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past”.
“Of course now, I have found myself about to become the President of the United States and I have put my hatred aside. I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path. My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country’s First black Family. Indeed, CHANGE is about to overwhelm the United States of America ”
It goes without saying that Senator Obama wasn’t among the guests on that day’s Meet the Press program (which featured Senator Joe Biden and author Tom Friedman), nor did he make the comments attributed to him on that show or in any other forum. (Later versions of the message also falsely attributed its authorship to Dale Lindsborg of the Washington Post.)
The following (also fabricated) statement about flag burning purportedly made by Barack Obama was appended to later versions of the
We should consider to reinvent our National Anthem as well as to redesign our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. My wife disrespects the Flag for many personal reasons. Together she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past, many years ago. She has her views and I
Semmens, John. “Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News.”
The Arizona Conservative. 27 October 2007.