Right-Wing Media's Misplaced Outrage Over Obama Campaign Poster

Right-wing media expressed outrage over the Obama campaign's use of flag imagery in a campaign poster. But this is not unique to the Obama campaign: a modified American flag was used as a banner for Abraham Lincoln's 1860 presidential campaign.

Right-Wing Media Attack Obama Campaign Over Flag Poster

Fox's Kilmeade: “So Long Stars And Stripes.” Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed Obama “is redesigning the American flag with an 'O', I guess to get re-elected.” From Fox & Friends:

KILMEADE: So long stars and stripes. The president is redesigning the American flag with an “O,” I guess to get re-elected.

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Oh boy. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/20/12]

Malkin: Obama Campaign Poster Shows “Narcissism.” Right-wing columnist Michelle Malkin wrote of the Obama campaign posters: “The narcissism, it burns. Welcome to the post-American world.” [MichelleMalkin.com, 9/20/12]

National Review Online: “This Is Another Expression Of The Creepy Cult Of O.” National Review senior editor Jay Nordlinger wrote that the Obama campaign poster “is another expression of the creepy Cult of O.” [National Review Online, The Corner, 9/20/12]

Gateway Pundit: “New Obama Flag Looks Eerily Like Blood-Stained Walls At Benghazi Consulate.” Right-wing blogger Jim Hoft claimed that the Obama campaign “desecrated the flag” and that “they're pushing a product that reminds Americans of the slaughter in Benghazi.” [Gateway Pundit, 9/20/12]

RedState: Obama Campaign Poster Is “Creepy Propaganda.” A post on the right-wing RedState blog stated that the design is a “creepy propaganda campaign aimed at a portion of the 47% who believe that they belong to government.” [RedState, 9/20/12]

Breitbart.com: “These Posters Are Beyond Creepy.” A post on Breitbart.com bashed the Obama campaign for the poster:

President Barack Obama took the Cult of Obama and narcissism to perhaps an unprecedented level on Wednesday when his campaign began selling posters that desecrated the image of the American flag by replacing the stars on the flag with the “O” symbol that serves as the Obama campaign's logo. 


These posters are beyond creepy. And they are also stunning displays of egotism and disrespect even from a president not known for his humility and reverence for America's traditions. [Breitbart.com, 9/20/12]

The Blaze: “Obama Campaign Actually Replaces 50 Stars On American Flag With Campaign 'O' Logo.” A September 19 blog post on Glenn Beck's The Blaze suggested that the Obama campaign poster violated the U.S. Flag Code:

If you go to barackobama.com right now, you can buy your very own limited edition American flag print. But this isn't any ordinary American flag; this is an American flag that replaces the 50 stars representing the 50 states with President Obama's campaign logo.


Just for the record, an American flag should never bear “any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature,” according to U.S. flag code.

Additionally, U.S. Flag Code-Title 4, Ch. 1, Sec. 3 prohibits the “Use of flag for advertising purposes.” [The Blaze, 9/19/12]

Human Events: Obama Campaign Poster An “Arrogant Offense To American Patriotism.” A September 20 Human Events post called the Obama campaign poster an “arrogant offense to American patriotism” and suggested that Obama was pushing “a cult of personality.” [Human Events, 9/20/12]

But Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Campaign Used A Modified American Flag

Lincoln Campaign Poster Changes The American Flag. On its website, the Library of Congress featured a banner from Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Presidential Campaign. The banner included a portrait of Lincoln's face in the field of blue usually featuring just stars, and writing in some of the white stripes.

[Library of Congress, accessed 9/20/12]