PHILADELPHIA – The last night of the Democratic convention — and at a Clinton-Kaine rally Friday — U.S. flags were highly visible, an apparent fix put in place before a Donald Trump-fueled problem got out of hand.
Indeed, at the Temple University gym here, where Hillary Clinton and vice presidential pick Tim Kaine held a rally before kicking off their Ohio-Pennsylvania bus tour, there were a dozen big flags in pole stands, flag bunting trimming the balconies and thousands of smaller flags handed out, all waved as Kaine and Clinton spoke.
Flags are highly potent political symbols.
When then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was battling then Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for the Democratic presidential nomination, he was asked in 2007 why he wasn’t wearing a flag lapel pin and it came up again in 2008 debate. He finally stuck a flag on his lapel to quiet his critics.
“Not one American flag on the massive stage at the Democratic National Convention until people started complaining-then a small one. Pathetic,” Trump, the GOP presidential nominee said in a Wednesday tweet.
Poltifact dug into Trump’s claim and concluded, “Trump has a point that physical flags (plural) appear to have been added to the stage for the second day of the Democratic National Convention, after some stories reported the lack of flags.
But Thursday night, the Wells Fargo Center was awash in a sea of the Stars and Stripes as delegates waved flags, big and small, handed out by volunteers in a choreographed move.
At the Temple U. rally, thousands of smaller flags were systematically passed out. Mission accomplished. The pictures of Clinton and Kaine all showed flags in the background.