The Recycled Flags of the DNCC; Update: Pathetic spin by Team O

posted at 12:00 pm on September 6, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Democrats brought out tens of thousands of American flags to Invesco Field, saluting Barack Obama as he spoke from the Styrofoam columns of the Barackopolis at the conclusion of the Democratic convention.  Perhaps some of them took the flags home as souvenirs, but where did the rest go?  According to David Harsanyi, they went into the trash — and would have gone to a landfill, except for a worker at Invesco who rescued them from the dumpsters:

This morning, Republicans tell me that a worker at Invesco Field in Denver saved thousands of unused flags from the Democratic National Convention that were headed for the garbage. Guerrilla campaigning. They will use these flags at their own event today in Colorado Springs with John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Before McCain speaks today, veterans will haul these garbage bags filled with flags out onto the stage — with dramatic effect, no doubt — and tell the story.

Didn’t anyone make arrangements for better disposal of these flags from Invesco?  At the very least, they were an investment that could have been re-used at rallies in Colorado as well as the rest of the nation during the general election.  Instead, they’ve handed a dramatic moment to John McCain and Sarah Palin, as well as relieved them of the cost of 12,000 such flags — as well as a full 3’x5′ flag that also wound up in the trash.

Remember when the DNCC was supposed to be the “greenest convention ever”?  How they worried about the color of the food and using organic materials in their merchandise?  I guess we can see where the “green” concern ends … at red, white, and blue.

Still … I hope the RNCC did a better job rescuing discarded flags at the Xcel Center.

Update: If you want to know how to properly dispose of flags, you can check the US Flag Code. If you’re still confused, contact your local American Legion or VFW, and they will help you dispose of them.  (h/t: Indythinker in comments)

Update II: I’m getting e-mails saying that we need to “stop the lies” because Team Obama put this out as a statement:

Stories circulating about flags from the Democratic National Convention are false. More than 125,000 American-made flags were distributed at the Convention – any flags removed from the Convention after the event were taken without authorization.  It’s disappointing that someone would take American flags without authorization and then falsely describe their intended purpose. We have the utmost respect for the American flag and it’s sad to see them being used for a cheap political stunt.

They claim that the flags were “bundled” for return to their manufacturer.  If so, it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of anyone bundling returned merchandise in Hefty bags and storing them “in and around dumpsters” while awaiting the RMA.  Here’s the picture that ran in the Denver Post:

I sincerely doubt that these flags got sold to Team Obama in Hefty bags.  And let’s try to parse this story down with some common sense:

  • Why would a manufacturer provide a refund on open product?  They certainly couldn’t resell them, especially not after being left like this at Invesco.
  • 12,000 flags must have cost at least $2,000 or so, and probably more.  Once Democrats discovered the “theft”, why didn’t they report it to the police?  It’s been more than a week apparently since they were “stolen”, and Team Obama just discovered it?
  • Leaving material in and around dumpsters, especially in Hefty bags, makes it look like trash.  That’s hardly a way to store American flags, and it’s certainly not a way to keep janitors and waste management people from taking them to landfills.

Instead of just saying that their people made a really stupid error and apologizing, though, Team Obama decided to tell a ridiculous lie to get themselves off the hook.

Update III: David Harsanyi now has several updates to his first report, including this:

I just spoke with the person at Invesco who found the flags and he thinks both sides are exaggerating a bit. The person claims the majority of the bags with flags in them were near the trash, on a dock, and would have been thrown away. The person thinks it was probably an “oversight” by the Democrats rather than any nefarious plot against the flag. But the person doesn’t believe anyone was coming to get them: “The flags were there for a week and a day and no one came looking for them.”

No one suggested here that it was a “nefarious plot”, and like Harsanyi, I hardly think that Obama would have directed his staff to throw 12,000 American flags in a dumpster.  In fact, until Team Obama issued this ludicrous statement, the story didn’t have anything to do with them.   However, the obvious carelessness with which the DNCC treated the flags is a rather revealing moment for them, and the lie for people in Obama’s organization.

Update IV: Gateway Pundit has pictures of individual flags sitting in trash bags, but that’s not the DNCC’s fault; it’s the fault of the individuals who threw out their flags.  The DNCC couldn’t possibly be expected to sort through all of the thousands of bags of normal trash.  They can be expected to know better than to toss 12,000 American flags in with it.

Jazz Shaw’s following the story at TMV.


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PEPSI CENTER — The moment the Joe Biden speech was over, the scavenger hunt was on.

Biden signs, Obama signs, Unity signs all were being snatched up by delegates hoping to secure a souvenir of the Democratic National Convention as it closed at the Pepsi Center tonight. The convention moves to Invesco Field on Thursday for Obama’s nomination speech.

The most coveted item was a state sign.

You know the ones — the tall blue signs with state names on them. Swing states attracted more traffic. People reached up the poles to nab Nevada, Colorado and Pennsylvania. Even red states like South Carolina and Wyoming didn’t hang around long.

But Sally Rosen got a big prize — one of the key states for Obama.

Ohio.

“That makes it a little bigger,” the 22-year-old said — arms full of Biden signs and the Ohio sign.

However, it has special meaning for her.

Rosen’s mother — an Ohio native — died this past year.

“She was a die-hard Democrat,” Rosen said. “So I’m going to give this to my dad.”

TheBigOldDog on September 7, 2008 at 8:27 AM

This whole article is a small example, and typifies what the left thinks and will do to our country.

Insert other things in place of “scavenger”, “poster”, “signs”, etc.

How about:

PEPSI CENTER — The moment the Joe Biden speech was over, the thieving hunt was on.

John Q’s taxes, Sally Q’s wages, Jimmy Q’s private property all were being snatched up by delegates hoping to secure loot of the American public as it closed at the Pepsi Center tonight. The thieving moves to Invesco Field on Thursday for Obama’s coronation speech.

The most coveted item was Constitutional and states rights.

You know the ones — the revered ones with state names on them. Swing states attracted more traffic. People reached up the poles to nab Nevada, Colorado and Pennsylvania. Even red states like South Carolina and Wyoming didn’t hang around long.

Puts it in better perspective doesn’t it?

91Veteran on September 7, 2008 at 3:05 PM

Maybe the thousands of American flags had been bundled lovingly into garbage bags for easy shipment back to Chicago… so Obama’s longtime friend Bill Ayers could install new carpet in his home.

Texas Rainmaker on September 7, 2008 at 3:45 PM

The democrats are pissed ’cause they weren’t able to lose the Iraq/Afghanistan war like they lost Vietnam.

Better luck next war fellas.

This flag story will make a great 30 second commercial. *cringe*

Mojave Mark on September 7, 2008 at 6:16 PM

The Recycled Flags of the DNCC; Update: Pathetic spin by Team O

The treasonous Democrats hate America, our system, our military, and yes folks, our flag. The hate is absolutely incredible.

byteshredder on September 7, 2008 at 7:11 PM

From the updated information in the Denver news, it looks like the vast majority of the flags hadn’t been thrown away. Just near a dumpster, not in it.

So did the guy steal the flags and did McCain knowingly hand out stolen flags?

jim m on September 7, 2008 at 7:20 PM

From the updated information in the Denver news, it looks like the vast majority of the flags hadn’t been thrown away. Just near a dumpster, not in it.

So did the guy steal the flags and did McCain knowingly hand out stolen flags?

jim m on September 7, 2008 at 7:20 PM

Could you link to any updated news?

Leaving material in and around dumpsters, especially in Hefty bags, makes it look like trash. That’s hardly a way to store American flags, and it’s certainly not a way to keep janitors and waste management people from taking them to landfills.

“The flags were there for a week and a day and no one came looking for them.”

Has any of this been convincingly contradicted?

RushBaby on September 7, 2008 at 7:54 PM

The person claims the majority of the bags with flags in them were NEAR THE TRASH, ON A DOCK, and would have been thrown away.

I don’t read that as saying these flags had been thrown out.

jim m on September 7, 2008 at 8:03 PM

Jim…

Mind giving us your definition of “is”? cuz at this stage your parsing words..

The DNCC screwed up..period… wasn’t malicious in it’s intent.. just a very stupid screw up made even more stupid by their attempted “explanation” and those buying the explanation..

theblacksheepwasright on September 7, 2008 at 8:18 PM

jim m on September 7, 2008 at 8:03 PM

For eight days. In garbage bags. Near dumpsters.

How ’bout we call them…”abandoned”, then.

RushBaby on September 7, 2008 at 8:20 PM

Obama and jim m have thrown Betsy Ross under the bus.

andycanuck on September 7, 2008 at 8:26 PM

I don’t read that as saying these flags had been thrown out. – jim m on September 7, 2008 at 8:03 PM

LOL. Yeah…because we always stash stuff we don’t want to throw away near a garbage dumpster. You keep gumming that meme, Jimbo.

ManlyRash on September 7, 2008 at 8:48 PM

I stored my old clothing in a garbage bag near the dumpster once. Some meanie stole them also. Happened on garbage day, as a matter of fact!

coyoterex on September 7, 2008 at 8:59 PM

There’s white trash, black trash and red-white-and-blue trash.

The dems hate the first and last and keep the second one on the dem plantation by no vouchers, enslavement with government handouts etc

txdoc on September 7, 2008 at 10:28 PM

From the updated information in the Denver news, it looks like the vast majority of the flags hadn’t been thrown away. Just near a dumpster, not in it.

So did the guy steal the flags and did McCain knowingly hand out stolen flags?

jim m on September 7, 2008 at 7:20 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAH!
jim, your too much, you got everyone thinking you were serious. Way to go.
Those other posters should know, no one can be that stupid, that utterly foolish, as to make a statement like you made…no one. “hand out stolen flags”, HAHA, that’s a good one, and some even thought you were serious, I can’t believe anyone would think what you posted was from someone with any intelligence at all, nobody with an ounce of common sense would state what you stated.
You got them good…(I like the word “knowingly”, sounds very nefarious)

right2bright on September 8, 2008 at 12:13 AM

Didn’t anyone make arrangements for better disposal of these flags from Invesco?

Any local Boy Scout troop would have “retired” those flags in a respectful manner. But the BSA and the flags are anathema to liberals/socialists.

abcurtis on September 8, 2008 at 9:32 AM

I’d like to see the US Flag Code actually enforced. I respect the flag, but technically I am in violation as I wear a ‘flag shirt’ (a la Nugent) on occasion. What’s the penalty for that?

So they disposed of the flags – wasteful and hypocritical, true – but if you can burn a flag, why not trash ’em?

The whole flag code is unconstitutional and, quite frankly, stupid. What someone does with our flag tells us something about them….that’s all we need to know.

The libs trash flags. Nuff said.

LimeyGeek on September 8, 2008 at 9:50 AM

I had no idea this happened and no matter the circumstances:
Who throws away the American flag?!

MrsWeebork on September 8, 2008 at 11:45 AM

The treasonous Democrats hate America, our system, our military, and yes folks, our flag. The hate is absolutely incredible.

byteshredder on September 7, 2008 at 7:11 PM

Wow..looks like there’s plenty of hate staring back at you in the mirror every morning.

I can promise you that there are those in this country who hate their home, I can promise you that there are Americans who hate the system, hate the military and yes even hate the stars and stripes, but I can also promise you that not everyone on those America Haters comes from the left.

It is your responsibility to embrace the fact that America extends to the the freedom of hate. The freedom to hate our government, the freedom to hate our system, military and national symbols. It is your responsibility to recognize that America extends these freedoms blindly, unconditionally, and that, in and of it self is reason enough to Love America, and to love your fellow Americans who share the same freedoms you do.

You can’t hate a man for exercising his freedoms…if you feel that hatred, you’re feeling hatred towards the freedom, and toward the establishment who extended to him that freedom, again, let me repeat…you cannot hate a man for exercising his freedoms. That hate turns around and bites you in the ass. But still, the most amazing thing about this country is that you are free to feel what you want to feel, and to shout it from the rooftops…Do you really want to deprive others of freedoms you yourself enjoy simply because you don’t agree with their point of view…or the way they express it?

beefytee on September 8, 2008 at 2:32 PM

beefytee on September 8, 2008 at 2:32 PM —

They can express all they wish.

But you are operating at the periphery of the argument.

The Dems committed an act of commission, following an act of ommission. They attempted to assuage America by manufacturing several lies to cover their omission, abandoning 12,000 flags at Invesco Field, and leaving flags as refuse within the stadium, and then through their acts of commission flagrantly stating that they did not abandon them, nor were any thrown away, both provable to the contrary, and then stating they had an agreement with the manufacturer of these flags wherein the manufacturer would take them back, and the further lie that these flags were somehow stolen.

No evidence has been produced to show that any manufacturer had any agreement regarding disposition of these flags after the convention nor has there been any warrant or complaint filed in Denver or in Colorado regarding the alleged theft.

Conflating “free speech” into this argument is specious.

coldwarrior on September 8, 2008 at 2:46 PM

I attended the rally in Colorado Springs, that was great to get those flags. I have 3 of them now.

Don’t forget that Boy Scouts also need used flags so they can learn to properly dispose of them in ceremony. I think it’s even a requirement for Webelos scouts to get Arrow of Light.

kirkill on September 8, 2008 at 2:58 PM

But you are operating at the periphery of the argument.
coldwarrior on September 8, 2008 at 2:46 PM

I won’t deny that, however I feel as if both sides of that argument were on the periphery (mine and byteshredder’s) Or at leas my peripheral argument was responding to a vague generalization.

You’re correct, this is not an argument of free speech, but I felt that :::

The treasonous Democrats hate America, our system, our military, and yes folks, our flag. The hate is absolutely incredible.

could be addressed in the way I addressed it.

Most likely this was an oversight nothing more. That said, whoever was in charge of making sure the flags were handled properly (I’m sure it wasn’t the Junior senator from IL) will not be invited back for the convention in 2012. Of that you can be sure.

beefytee on September 8, 2008 at 3:11 PM

beefytee on September 8, 2008 at 3:11 PM —

I doubt that particular staff member in charge of those flags will not be invited back. This is at the crux of it all. Being steeped in tradition, steeped in reverence for the several symbols of our democracy, it is doubtful that a staffer for the GOP convention would make this error. Does this mean that the GOP is more American than the Dem Party? No. But it does offer insight into which party has in its members a common deep seated respect for the several symbols of our democracy and which party is more prone to viewing these symbols are merely symbols.

coldwarrior on September 8, 2008 at 5:04 PM

coldwarrior on September 8, 2008 at 5:04 PM

unarguable. The insight is dead on.

beefytee on September 8, 2008 at 5:17 PM

Wow, I just got back from the weekend with no news and I don’t think I have ever seen this many posts on one thread!

Torch on September 9, 2008 at 9:47 AM

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