Edmonds Military Wire: Team Obama redesigns American flag

By Michael Schindler

I’m all for creativity, but has the Obama team gone too far with their desire to “fundamentally transform America” by rebranding the face of our flag?

“A poster to say there are no red states or blue states, only the United States.” This tweet, according to the Obama campaign, offers an explanation as to why they got rid of the red, white and blue stripes as well as the stars representing the 50 states on the American flag and replaced the aforementioned with just red stripes and the Obama logo in place of the stars.

“Our Stripes: Flag Print” is being promoted on the Obama campaign website. The screen print is designed by Ross Bruggink and Dan Olson and is available for sale, as a way to raise funds for the campaign.

According to an article published by Todd Starnes, an overwhelming number of Facebook and Twitter users are not fans.

One user wrote, “A good number of my family, including me and my twin sons, have served under the flag. This is so far beyond insulting. I can’t imagine anyone who considers themselves a patriot voting for Obama. Who does he think he is?”

I’m sure some would say that free expression is all part of the American way and brand – that the flag isn’t sacred and creative expression is permitted.

I’d expect such in art class…not from our current, sitting President.

We all know that the 13 stripes represent the original thirteen colonies. However, the President’s new flag only displays nine stripes. Hmmm. Which one of you states is the president choosing not to acknowledge? Must be a few of the swing states.

In 1916 it was resolved that the official flag of the Executive Department and the Armed Forces would have seven red stripes and six white, creating a uniform standard that remains to this day.

Someone please let the president know.

The question then becomes, “is there significance behind the colors of those stripes?”

There is folklore that surrounds what the colors of the stripes on our flag actually mean – according to eHow facts (which must be correct), “The only recorded official mention of the color red in the stripes comes from Charles Thompson, the Secretary of the Continental Congress. He stated, “White signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue, vigilance, perseverance and justice.”

Bottom line: I’m all for change, but this recent one doesn’t give me much hope. And yes, I know, it is only a campaign gimmick and no one is suggesting this replace our existing flag – but when you have a sitting president’s team, regardless of party, tamper with the look of our flag, it raises questions.

Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include  “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.”  He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. And, it is this that put me over the top as to who I will vote for!
    I had already pretty well decided and this just confirmed my decision.

  2. LOL. This is beyond biased…he’s not, by any means, the first candidate to use the flag as a campaign gimmick. A well written article would have noted the flag poster was sold for four days. Is that current? “Who does he think he is” indeed. He’s our president. And just who do you think you are? This isn’t art class- this isn’t vapid debate class either!

  3. If you think that’s outrageous, I’d like to tell you about another politician who was disturbed by the deep divisions in our country. Like President Obama, he was reviled by many for his desire to expand the power of the Federal Government. Like President Obama, he used a modified American Flag on a campaign poster. In fact, he had the audacity to put his own face on the field of stars.

    Not that it matters, but he was a Republican. Here’s his campaign poster:


    I’ve generally enjoyed and respected Mr. Schindler’s writings here. But this inflammatory political drivel should never have been published, certainly not here. Now that Mr. Schindler has had his fun, can we keep national politics off of My Edmonds News? If I want to read somebody’s outrage at a national political candidate, there are a hundred thousand other places I can go.

    Contrary to the headline and much of this article, our flag is unchanged. It still deserves our respect, as it always has. It doesn’t deserve to be used to criticize political candidates.

  4. @Jen and @ Joe – true. I did have fun with this one – I love to mix it up at times and get people thinking.

    I tend to stick with “just the news” when it comes to our veterans’ issues – this issue is one that certainly got a ton of chatter through our circles and so I addressed it. As you’ll note, for me it really had nothing to do with party – I would have wrote the same “review” had it been Romney. Having worn the flag, I am not a fan of ANY candidate using it as a gimmick – and yes, I am aware of the long history of politicians doing such…still not a fan.

    At the end of the day, I still think we live in the best republic (not democracy) and that debate is what shaped this country and will continue to shape it and improve it.

  5. Check this issue out at snopes.com and/or urbanlegends.com
    It never fails to amaze me how distortion of facts can become so widespread.

  6. Mike – I should have let this alone – my knee jerk reaction came after already receiving a “forwarded” email from someone stating “factually” President Obama was going to order that flag flown on all government buildings. You did not allude to that widespread rumor. Being a devil’s advocate elicits interesting commentary and I enjoy reading different opinions and thinking through others viewpoints when based on fact (such as yours).

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