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Where’s the flag?

I was slumming on the Internet when I ran across this comment from just this past December (image hyperlinks to original comment):

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That seemed odd since I saw Air Force One in person not long ago, so I checked my photos from Barack Obama’s appearance in Asheville, NC, last October and found this:

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I counted the stars and I counted the stripes and they were all there (50 and 13 respectively).

Perhaps they confused Air Force One, with Marine One. No, check out this December 2011 photo:

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A little more research shows that what really happened was that Candidate Barack Obama in 2008, traveled in an Obama campaign aircraft that didn’t have an American flag on its tail after a new paint job. It wasn’t Air Force One. You can read a heavily spun story about it titled “Obama Ditches The American Flag” at the No Quarter web site.

The story was circulating in August of 2008, before Dr. Conspiracy appeared, and I wasn’t looking into such things back then. However, there is a little more to the story. You see, while the Obama campaign plane didn’t have a US Flag on the tail, it did have one on the side and I note that John McCain’s campaign plane didn’t have a flag on its tail either. FactCheck.org debunked this one and has some nice photos.

So this is an example of an old rumor, refurbished to make it current, unchecked, and untrue.  I should add that the No Quarter web site presents the story in a confusing way, and someone with the mentality of a Birther might well think it was Air Force One. And now I will be a good boy and not say something further that I really should not say.

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17 Responses to Where’s the flag?

  1. avatar
    John Reilly February 20, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    This story resonates with some folk who heard in 2008 that then Senator Obama was not wearing a flag pin, or that he did not put his hand over his heart for the national anthem.

  2. avatar
    G February 20, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    Ah, a crazy rumor that originated at PUMA hole, “No Quarter”…

    …Hmmm… this surely has been a PUMA heavy week of spurious nonsense making the rounds…

  3. avatar
    Lupin February 20, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    I’m part of the generation who hated Nixon, but I don’t recall any such rubbish about him. Plus, Agnew *was* a crook.

    It’s really sad to see such tripe bandied about.

  4. avatar
    Mary Brown February 20, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Nothing will change these people. I am reading a novel set in North Korea and the mindset of the characters reminds of birthers in general. They live in a fantasy world they think is real. They don’t assimilate and accomodate reality as Piaget described. They assimilate and accomodate fantasy. It allows them to live in a seperate universe.

  5. avatar
    misha February 20, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Lupin: I’m part of the generation who hated Nixon, but I don’t recall any such rubbish about him. Plus, Agnew *was* a crook.

    Federal bailouts started with Nixon, for Lockheed: http://uspolitics.about.com/od/economy/a/lockheedBailout.htm

    No one screamed he was a socialist, or a Marxist.

    “I’m part of the generation who hated Nixon” Nixon detested Pierre Trudeau. Trudeau disliked Nixon with good reason.

    Agnew pleaded nolo contendere to one count of income tax evasion, and resigned. Could you imagine what would have happened to a black man?

    After Agnew resigned, he turned out to be an anti-Semite.

  6. avatar
    Arthur February 20, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Mary Brown: Nothing will change these people. I am reading a novel set in North Korea and the mindset of the characters reminds of birthers in general. They live in a fantasy world they think is real. They don’t assimilate and accomodate reality as Piaget described. They assimilate and accomodate fantasy. It allows them to live in a seperate universe.

    I think I heard the author interviewed on NPR–I prefer non-fiction, but his book sounded interesting.

  7. avatar
    Thomas Brown February 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    New Right-Wing Motto: “Since we can’t prevail with real facts, fake facts will have to do!”

  8. avatar
    misha February 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Thomas Brown:
    New Right-Wing Motto: “Since we can’t prevail with real facts, fake facts will have to do!”

    New Right-Wing Motto: “Freedom Not France”

  9. avatar
    JPotter February 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    I frequently see this rumor conflated with “Obama uses Air Force One for campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime!” This rumor in all its variations is dumber than dumb. What would Obama be doing on Air Force One in 2008, before he was President? Pretty Bush would have taken issue with that. Now that he is President, yes, he’s campaigning, and hopefully doing so on Air Force One. It’s the mobile White House, I want my President on the job, and duplicating it’s security features and functionality on a second, private plane is a nonstarter.

    I suppose the conspiracists could try thinking before typing for a change. Heh.

  10. avatar
    Thinker February 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Somebody (not Orly) posted the version of the story that you describe on Orly’s Facebook page a couple of months ago. A few of her flying monkeys were outraged–OUTRAGED–at this manifestation of Obama’s obvious hate for America. When someone pointed out that Obama could not have been campaigning on Air Force One in 2008 because he was not the president then, one of the other commenters, while acknowledging that the story was obviously wrong, nonetheless continued to express her outrage at the fact that Obama had painted over the flag on Air Force One during the 2008 campaign.

    I honestly cannot comprehend how somebody so wrapped up in hate and stupidity can function in everyday life.

    JPotter:
    I frequently see this rumor conflated with “Obama uses Air Force One for campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime!” This rumor in all its variations is dumber than dumb. What would Obama be doing on Air Force One in 2008, before he was President? Pretty Bush would have taken issue with that.

  11. avatar
    JPotter February 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Oops, I meant to say, “Pretty sure Bush …” not call Bush “Pretty”! Haha.

    If you see any expressing outrage over the President using AF1 for campaign trips, kindly remind them the Secret Service wouldn’t have it any other way. You want teh sitting POTUS driving around on a bus? Taking time off to use a praivate plane? And if anyone is so dumb as to assume this is a new thing, refer them to every President since Nixon. Nutters, I say, nutters.

    As for me, “I am not a nut.”

  12. avatar
    Majority Will February 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    JPotter: You want teh sitting POTUS driving around on a bus?

    Many birthers like Orly would insist that he and his family be allowed to sit only in the back of the bus as they believe the law should demand.

  13. avatar
    JPotter February 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Majority Will: Many birthers like Orly would insist that he and his family be allowed to sit only in the back of the bus as they believe the law should demand.

    Nice one! What’s really objectionalbe is that a President they don’t like is allowed to campaign for re-election. It’s so unfair; why can’t he just stay at home and let his opponents bad-mouth him? Why does he have to roll up in the big shiny plane and make’em look like wannabes? Silly, birthers, candidates are wannabes!

    In other news, rumor is Mitt is legally changing his first name to “Not”. Heh.

  14. avatar
    misha February 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Majority Will: Many birthers like Orly would insist that he and his family be allowed to sit only in the back of the bus as they believe the law should demand.

    You’re not that far off. “Taitz appears haggard and even more disturbed than usual in her MSNBC interview with David Schuster, who charged in a question at the end of the interview that Taitz refused a ride to MSNBC’s affiliate in Tel Aviv the same day because the driver appeared to be a Muslim. A Soviet-born holder of dual US/Israeli citizenship, Taitz is on record with the Orange County Register stating that Israel should not merely defeat but “exterminate” its Arab enemies, whatever “collateral damage” may occur among innocent Arab civilians…

    Orly Taitz claims that she is merely a “lawyer,” with a purely “legal” interest in the details of Obama’s birth, but I obviously suspect there’s more to her Obama birth obsession than this or mere insanity. Taitz hails from a milieu of Soviet-born Israelis among whom far-right, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment runs much stronger by most accounts than among the general Israeli population, as numerous Israeli and international sources have observed. Witness the rise of Avigdor Lieberman, Soviet-born leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, made up mostly of other Soviet-born Israelis with strongly anti-Arab views, many of whom live not in Israel itself but in West Bank settlements; and many of whom really, really don’t like Barack Hussein Obama.”

    Regulars here know I have been saying this all along.

    Read on: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/eades/2009/08/why-is-orly-taitz-in-israel-tw.php

  15. avatar
    misha February 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    JPotter: In other news, rumor is Mitt is legally changing his first name to “Not”.

    Read this: http://newyorkleftist.blogspot.com/2009/06/famous-willards.html

  16. avatar
    Keith February 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    misha: Nixon was insanely jealous of Pierre Trudeau.

    FIFY

  17. avatar
    G February 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    You always make a very convincing argument for this. Glad to have your serious perspective on this, in addition to the regular doses of humor you keep us entertained with. Thanks Misha!

    misha: Orly Taitz claims that she is merely a “lawyer,” with a purely “legal” interest in the details of Obama’s birth, but I obviously suspect there’s more to her Obama birth obsession than this or mere insanity. Taitz hails from a milieu of Soviet-born Israelis among whom far-right, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment runs much stronger by most accounts than among the general Israeli population, as numerous Israeli and international sources have observed. Witness the rise of Avigdor Lieberman, Soviet-born leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, made up mostly of other Soviet-born Israelis with strongly anti-Arab views, many of whom live not in Israel itself but in West Bank settlements; and many of whom really, really don’t like Barack Hussein Obama.”
    Regulars here know I have been saying this all along.
    Read on: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/eades/2009/08/why-is-orly-taitz-in-israel-tw.php