I just saw the newswire report surrounding Sen. Obama’s removal of the American flag lapel from his jacket — and why he refuses to wear one now. This will go down as one of the worst political gaffes of the 2008 presidential election campaign. Don’t take my word for it — here’s what Sen. Obama said in his own words:

“The truth is that right after 9-11 I had a pin. Shortly after 9-11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security. I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism.”

Excuse me? The American flag, the Stars and Strips stand for all that is great about the United States of America. The flag is not a political statement, object or reflection other than the great 50 states represented by 50 white stars along with the 13 red and white stripes of the original 13 Colonies.

Earth calling Sen. Obama – the flag stands for the strength, diversity and banner of freedom and liberty that makes us the strongest, freest and best nation on the face of the Earth. For Obama to equate the flag of the United States to the War in Iraq is dumb at best. For him to remove it so he can talk about issues relating to national security so he can “tell the American people what I believe will make this country great” is baffling.

The great right to free speech is enshrined in our First Amendment to the Constitution and the Senator availed himself of that right when he made his statement above. To equate the Stars and Stripes as representing a war or a policy that he doesn’t support at a time of war will go down as one of the most foolish lines of this campaign season that will come back to haunt Obama for months to come. How long do you think Hillary and the others seeking the democratic nomination will sport flag lapels while questioning Obama’s patriotism?