Inverted optics: DNCC wraps Obama in upside-down flag; A familiar look?

posted at 7:55 am on August 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Maybe the DNCC has kept track of the polling this summer and figures the Democratic nominee is officially in distress.  That’s the only explanation for a silly gaffe by the convention committee for the graphics on their credentials for those allowed to see Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at Invesco Field.  The holographic image uses an American flag motif with the blue field at the bottom, with Obama’s head emerging from it in one of the two alternating images (via the Weasel Zippers):

The viewers say with the stars and blue field in the lower left corner, it looks like an upside down American flag. Published flag etiquette states the stars should always be displayed in the upper left corner. An upside down flag represents an international symbol of extreme distress.

Matt Chandler with the Obama campaign says the flag is not upside down. He says it is a stylized flag designed to blend the stars on Senator Obama’s shirt with the flag blowing in the wind.

Yes — a flag blowing upside-down.  The DNCC would not even admit they used a flag:

“The DNCC community credentials incorporate patriotic design elements. They do not depict an actual American flag. The DNCC has full and complete respect for the flag and all rules of display.”

Take a look at the picture and see for yourself whether this depicts an American flag.  Blue field …. check. Stars …. check.  Alternating white and red stripes …. check.  Looks like the flag to me.  Maybe the DNCC isn’t familiar with Old Glory.

Flying a flag upside down is a distress signal.  Creating a graphic for a presidential campaign that includes an upside-down flag is a signal of a different kind — that the DNCC needs better management.

Update: Maybe the DNCC got the motif from their last nominee:


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Comments

What a bunch of haters…

eanax on August 19, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Making the assumption that the DNCC graphic artists knew that flying the flag upside down is a sign of maritime distress is giving them waaaay too much credit. These are the same people who created and released the presidential seal logo, seemingly unaware of any impropriety.

TexasDan on August 19, 2008 at 1:19 PM

PresidenToor on August 19, 2008 at 12:53 PM

I am not sure if you are being funny, being liberal.. or just going off the deep end.

upinak on August 19, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Making the assumption that the DNCC graphic artists knew that flying the flag upside down is a sign of maritime distress is giving them waaaay too much credit. These are the same people who created and released the presidential seal logo, seemingly unaware of any impropriety.

TexasDan on August 19, 2008 at 1:19 PM

Probably so, but you see The Chosen One is appearing out of the “Blue” portion of the flag. Get it! Blue States!

/sarc

eanax on August 19, 2008 at 1:22 PM

If you flip the image, the waves in the FLAG become apparent.

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/f140a0ce0f.jpg

You can see where the wave goes from the strips to the stars, it was a picture of a flag.

WoosterOh on August 19, 2008 at 1:22 PM

This sort of thing points up why the Dims are so much more comfortable waving white flags… There is no up or down.

trigon on August 19, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Ed, that update isn’t very nice. I love it. John Kerry jokes just never get old.

funky chicken on August 19, 2008 at 1:24 PM

TexasDan on August 19, 2008 at 1:19 PM

The upside down flag is a well-known political symbol, not something reserved to maritime distress – like spelling America “Amerika.” The anarchists I used to know, for instance, thought it was cute to stick their American flag stamps upside down on mailing envelopes.

I always thoroughly enjoy your comments, btw.

Gilda on August 19, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Likewise very much! Your insight into the theoretical inner workings of the design team are well-taken, but we’d need to know a lot more about the particular sub-contractor to make much of a guess. I tend to envision the artists I’ve known – even the apolitical ones tended to err on the side kneejerk rebelliousness – then add to it the sense that Obama is such a “creative class” hero. So my guess is that there’d be lots of graphic artists who would volunteer for the “honor” of participating. Maybe the actual worker was just trying to solve aesthetic or formal problems, but even then an unconscious intention may have proved determinative.

So really I’m supporting your main point: Somewhere in the great chain of creativity, someone with a brain, consciously or unconsciously, got a little thrill from turning the flag upside down and having Barackstar! appear “out of the blue” to save the day. There are symbolic problems with the narrative (since “the blue” is in the position of the ground), but that’s part of what makes the inverted flag and the distress it refers to wrong or unnatural.

CK MacLeod on August 19, 2008 at 1:35 PM

You can see where the wave goes from the strips to the stars, it was a picture of a flag.

WoosterOh on August 19, 2008 at 1:22 PM

If anyone can point me to a larger/higher resolution/higher quality version of this image I might be able to give an idea of exactly how it was constructed.

Is it possible that they just took a picture of a flag, flipped it, and photoshopped the Upward-Gazing Obama Head emerging from the blue star field? The comedy potential is enormous, if so… would they really do something that cheesy? Hard to tell from the image here.

Gilda on August 19, 2008 at 1:38 PM

would they really do something that cheesy?

erhh…have you seen the two-handed “O”?

Nanu Nanu

BobMbx on August 19, 2008 at 2:11 PM

If you flip the image, the waves in the FLAG become apparent.
You can see where the wave goes from the strips to the stars, it was a picture of a flag.
WoosterOh on August 19, 2008 at 1:22 PM

Sure looks like a flag to me. The stars even line up.

wise_man on August 19, 2008 at 2:14 PM

BTW – I suspect one reason they used a holographic design is to deter amateur fakers. Much harder and more expensive to counterfeit a hologram.

I’m wondering how many of these were printed – is it in effect the ticket to Invesco for the big speech, or something much more selective (VIP credentials, delegate credentials). If the former, then there’d be presumably ca. 75,000 printed, and you’d think they’d already be on eBay. If the latter, getting one, or a good image of one, might require a little bit of virtual cloak & dagger, and people might even be suspicious about requests for high res images.

CK MacLeod on August 19, 2008 at 2:18 PM

this just goes to prove in bizaro obamamessiah world , up is down , black is white , good is evil.

Mojack420 on August 19, 2008 at 2:35 PM

You’ve got to wonder about the graphic designers the Obama campaign is using. In an effort to be all hope-n-changey, they’ve attempted to produce new-looking images, yet they consistently end up with images that have un-American or anti-American connotations. Think about the posters that look like Nazi or Soviet propaganda art, or the fake presidential seal. If that’s deliberate, it’s pretty scary, but if it’s subconscious, it’s even more scary.

doppelganglander on August 19, 2008 at 2:39 PM

If anyone can point me to a larger/higher resolution/higher quality version of this image I might be able to give an idea of exactly how it was constructed.

Gilda on August 19, 2008 at 1:38 PM

HERE IS THE IMAGE THEY USED

RushBaby on August 19, 2008 at 3:00 PM

I know, humor seems to escape you on a routine basis…but don’t fault the rest of us because of it.

James on August 19, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Didn’t appear to be joking. But then again, it’s so hard to tell on the interweb.

fossten on August 19, 2008 at 3:11 PM

I know, humor seems to escape you on a routine basis…but don’t fault the rest of us because of it.

James on August 19, 2008 at 12:23 PM

1. Generalize much?

2. Made the post about you.

3. Acted like you know me.

Mega-fail.

fossten on August 19, 2008 at 3:18 PM

Somewhere in the great chain of creativity, someone with a brain, consciously or unconsciously, got a little thrill from turning the flag upside down and having Barackstar! appear “out of the blue” to save the day.

CK MacLeod on August 19, 2008 at 1:35 PM

You may very well be correct. Pardon me but WTF were they thinking? Such unforced errors are so easily avoided.

Gilda on August 19, 2008 at 3:20 PM

They are right about this, distress will be the word of the day if B. Hussein wins.
SNOB-ama meant to do this, absolutely. Very swift and Kerryesque

shooter on August 19, 2008 at 3:26 PM

You may very well be correct. Pardon me but WTF were they thinking? Such unforced errors are so easily avoided.

Gilda on August 19, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Right. And of all the entrails dragging behind the O’Bus, I haven’t heard that any of them belong to any of his graphic propagandists.

This image is an upside down flag bearing a giant footprint with ears.

RushBaby on August 19, 2008 at 3:27 PM

HERE IS THE IMAGE THEY USED

RushBaby on August 19, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Yes. It certainly is. Excellent catch.

They evidently just photoshopped Obama’s Nose-in-Air Gaze Head into an upside down flag.

I would really love to see a higher-res photo of the finished piece, just to savor the complete idiocy.

I suppose we should thank them for the nonstop entertainment.

Gilda on August 19, 2008 at 3:40 PM

now now Ed, be fair…

the DNC are used to saluting the United Nations flag not the U.S. It’s very easy confuse the 2 sometimes….

(or maybe.. just maybe, they DO know that it’s upside down, and siginalling “Campaign in distress!”)

Razgriez on August 19, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Guess who the vp is? He voted for the upside down flag before he voted against it.

marklmail on August 19, 2008 at 3:48 PM

HERE IS THE IMAGE THEY USED
RushBaby on August 19, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Dude, you are awesome!

wise_man on August 19, 2008 at 4:10 PM

Pardon me but WTF were they thinking?

Gilda on August 19, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Possibly that all conservatives are knuckle-dragging oafs who already get headaches trying to figure out Thomas Kinkade, and who think “avant-garde” is a deodorant, so would never notice? Or that even if anyone did notice, their friends in the media would never make a big or even small deal out of it?

CK MacLeod on August 19, 2008 at 4:22 PM

9 of 10 Lefties are emotionally immature.

marklmail on August 19, 2008 at 4:26 PM

CK MacLeod on August 19, 2008 at 4:22 PM

So what do we do…nothing…just accept another gaffe and let them say oops if they’re questioned?
When and where do we REALLY draw the line?
Aren’t you angry?

jerrytbg on August 19, 2008 at 4:52 PM

He says it is a stylized flag designed to blend the stars on Senator Obama’s shirt with the flag blowing in the wind.

Stylized flag…in addition to his own personal Presidential seal, his airplane’s own symbol, and the stupid A-hole “gesture”. I would call it pathetic, but I guess I should at least be glad the flag isn’t on fire.

Kevin71 on August 19, 2008 at 5:30 PM

Guess who the vp is? He voted for the upside down flag before he voted against it.

marklmail on August 19, 2008 at 3:48 PM

You may be on to something. Only Jon Cary would be dumb enough to jump aboard this sinking ship.

Kevin71 on August 19, 2008 at 5:32 PM

jerry – Don’t know about you, but I can’t stay furious 24/7. To me, it’s truly frightening and dispiriting to think that the country is taking BO seriously at all. We haven’t actually voted him in yet, but he’s far too close for comfort. The continual burbling up of new evidence of just what he represents and of what his victory would mean doesn’t affect the overall calculation much: So there are varying admixtures of far left influence in and around Obama-land – I find it at least as problematic, but no more surprising, than the fact that there are self-styled conservatives still coming up with rationalizations for indifference to the outcome in November, or even for supporting Obama in some pseudo-conservative version of “the worse the better.”

CK MacLeod on August 19, 2008 at 5:42 PM

Ed–check the similarity between the tickets and the Ayers pic of him standing on the flag in an alley

funky chicken on August 19, 2008 at 6:26 PM

The DNC relating to the American flag, has been the joke of this century. The adage of: “No matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, it’s still a pig,” holds true for the hate America, and hate our military Democrat party!

byteshredder on August 19, 2008 at 6:27 PM

Freaking hippie punks.

Zorro on August 19, 2008 at 8:22 PM

………. and some in this country want these people running it?

Seven Percent Solution on August 19, 2008 at 9:33 PM

It looks just like the Stars and Stripes Ayers is stomping on in the other post photo.

AZCON on August 19, 2008 at 10:11 PM

Yep we found the inspiration for it:

http://hotair.cachefly.net/images/2008-05/ayers-flag-color.jpg

econavenger on August 19, 2008 at 10:46 PM

Mac,
I believe that an “o” win in November will make the Carter years look like an era of great achievement, not to mention all this symbolism we’re being inundated with just creeps me out.
So, the consequences of my being one of those who would sit it out, out of indifference, is a factor I’m not willing to live with.

jerrytbg on August 20, 2008 at 1:30 AM

Had BHO ever served in the military he’d know which end of the flag goes where. What a tool.

Mojave Mark on August 20, 2008 at 2:03 AM

Well…his campaign is in distress. ;)

becki51758 on August 20, 2008 at 6:21 AM

who think “avant-garde” is a deodorant

CK MacLeod on August 19, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Well done.

fossten on August 20, 2008 at 8:32 AM

fossten on August 19, 2008 at 3:11 PM

fossten on August 19, 2008 at 3:18 PM

It took you seven minutes and an extra post to think that up?

1. Generalize much?

No, I was referring to your specific posts here.

2. Made the post about you.

Ah, because I used the word ‘I’ in there. Wow, you sure got me. Oh no, I used ‘I’ again! And ‘me!’ Oh, the horror!

3. Acted like you know me.

I know what happens to any thread here in which you participate.

Mega-fail.

I usually prefer not to use the typical childish message board argot, but in this case you took the words right from my mouth.

James on August 20, 2008 at 10:18 AM

It took you seven minutes and an extra post to think that up?

James on August 20, 2008 at 10:18 AM

It took you nineteen hours to think up a response?

No, I was referring to your specific posts here.

When you say “routinely” you are generalizing. Sorry that logical flaw escapes you, I realize I’m talking over your head.

Ah, because I used the word ‘I’ in there. Wow, you sure got me. Oh no, I used ‘I’ again! And ‘me!’ Oh, the horror!

You made the post about you when you said “us.” I never referred to you; wasn’t talking to you. In fact, I don’t even remember you, as you’ve never made an impression on me. You’re not important enough for me to think about. You obviously take these things personally, as evidenced by thrusting your nose into other people’s conversations. Anger management classes might be a good solution.

I know what happens to any thread here in which you participate.

Generalizing again, eh? Or are you an internet stalker?

If you’re trying to start a flame war, you’re wasting your time. I’m not interested. Don’t you have better things to do than to bait people on the HA forum?

Guess not.

I do.

Buh-bye.

fossten on August 20, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Inverted optics: DNCC wraps Obama in upside-down flag; A familiar look?

The Democrats and the Obamaciples don’t even come close to being American patriots. Treason, and surrender maybe trendy in Holly-weird fund raisers, but the new Dem patriotism is definitely not! Matter of fact, IMO, the Democrats are an embarrassment, and affront to democracy!

byteshredder on August 20, 2008 at 1:33 PM