The picture is authentic. It was
published in Time magazine and was taken 9/16/07 at an event in Indianola,
Iowa where six Democratic presidential candidates appeared. It was
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin's annual "meat and greet." The fourth
person in the picture is Senator Harkin's wife, Ruth. Not seen in
the picture are three other candidates who were standing out of view on
the right side of the platform, Senator Chris Dodd, Senator John Edwards,
Senator Joe Biden.
At question is what was going on with Senator Obama? His
critics are circulating the picture and saying that he is not respecting the
flag or the National Anthem, especially since the protocol, according to
the United States Flag code, is that civilians should have their right
hands over their hearts and that they should be facing the flag. His
supporters are saying that this little lapse should not be held against
him since there have been plenty of other events at which he has saluted
the flag---so it did not mean that he would, in principle, avoid doing it.
Some supporters have suggested that perhaps the picture does not tell the
whole story and that he may have raised his hand shortly after it was
An ABC News video, however, shows that Senator Obama did not salute at any
time during the Anthem and that everybody else on the platform did.
A spokesperson for the
Senator told Fox News that it was ridiculous to suggest that Obama was
making any kind of a statement and that sometimes "he does and sometimes
he doesn't place his hand over his heart during the National Anthem."
In 2008, a hoax started circulating that claimed to quote Obama about why
he didn't salute the flag during the National Anthem and why he did not
wear a lapel pin. CLICK HERE for
In response to email rumors that have circulated about Obama, his campaign
has created a page to respond to the rumors.
HERE for the "Fight the Smears" page, which includes a video of
Obama leading the Senate in the Pledge of Allegiance.