From the Denver Post Sept 6
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.
“What you see in the picture I sent you is less than half of total
flags,” a Republican official emailed. “We estimate the total number to
be around 12,000 small flags and one full size 3×5 flag.”
I’m not sure what the DNC was supposed to do with unused hand-flags, frankly. But the Republicans are obviously questioning someone’s patriotism here.
(Democratic Party response below)
UPDATE I: 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.”
One thing I know for certain: Barack Obama didn’t order anyone to throw out 12,000 American flags.
Here are the statements from the Democrats.
“American flags were proudly waved by the 75,000 people who joined
Barack Obama at the Democratic Convention. John McCain should applaud
that, but instead his supporters wrongfully took leftover bundles of
our flags from the stadium to play a cheap political stunt calling into
question our patriotism. On the same day he agrees to join Barack Obama
at Ground Zero on September 11, John McCain attacks the patriotism of
Obama supporters who so proudly waved the American flag at our historic
event in Denver just days ago.”
– Democratic National Committee Spokeswoman Karen Finney
“Stories circulating about flags at the Democratic National
Convention are false. We distributed more than 125,000 American made
flags at the Convention – the flags removed from Invesco field were
intended for other events and taken without permission. It’s
disappointing that someone would take American flags without
authorization and then falsely describe how they were being used. We
have the utmost respect for the American flag, and it’s sad to see them
being used for a cheap political stunt.”
– Democratic National Convention Committee
UPDATE II: Here is a Huffington Post by Nico Pitney:
Fox News’ Carl Cameron and Bonney Kapp reported that
they had “been told” that “a vendor at Invesco Field found the flags,
which were going to be thrown out, and turned them over to the McCain
The Democratic convention official says that’s not true.
“It’s pretty reprehensible on their part,” he said. “Someone made an
assumption, took the flags, and essentially lied about what was going
to happen to them. I mean, c’mon, we were never ever going to throw out
Having spoken to the person who found the bags, it’s difficult to
believe that anyone was coming to get them a week after the convention
— or that they were “stolen.” If so, what is the name of the person who
was coming to pick them up? I’ve sent a query asking that question.
It sounds to me like some intern or volunteer probably made a
mistake with these flags and the McCain campaign used it to pull a
UPDATE III: There are a lot of angry emails over my
comment regarding the flag (”I’m not sure what the DNC was supposed to
do with unused hand-flags, frankly.”) Sorry, I’ve never disposed of an
American flag in my life. But this is how if the need arises.
UPDATE IV: RedState has some photos of
discarded flags. All I can say is, Republican Party better make sure
every image of the flag is properly dealt with at every single rally
for the rest of its existence.