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.