March 3rd, 2008
04:58 PM ET

Stick a pin in it!

Have we gotten so petty that we now judge people's patriotism by a flag lapel pin?


Roland S. Martin is a nationally syndicated columnist, Chicago-based radio host, and frequent contributor to the AC360° Blog.

Listening to talk radio and reading some fanatical blogs and hearing the super-duper patriots drone on about a lapel pin is pathetic. I know some folks who walk around with those pins and they are zealots who don't always represent the best of America.

And did you see that guy on MSNBC ripping Obama for not having a flag lapel pin, and then Dan Abrams points out that the critic wasn't wearing one?!

Classic hypocrite.

Right now, I'm wearing a shirt made in the image of the Texas flag. Why? Because I want to and am proud of my home state. And when I'm not sporting a Texas belt buckle, I'm still a proud Texan.

I've never worn a flag lapel pin, and am a proud American. And I wouldn't judge your love for America by a lapel pin, bumper sticker or window decal.

I really don't care if Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or John McCain wear a pin. In fact, they have their own distinctive pins: each member of Congress gets one. Their policies matter more than anything else.

But since the flag lapel pin freaks are going bonkers over such a silly issue, I'm going to start wearing a lapel pin every time I'm on TV.

But no flags.

Tonight, it will be my Texas A&M Century Club pin. I send a nice check annually and I'll show it off. Another night, it will be the Sickle Cell Anemia stamp pin. Another night, it might be my Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity life member pin. And another night it will be something else.

If you want in on the act, great.

Send me your lapel pins to:

Roland S. Martin
1 Time Warner Center
8th Floor
New York, NY 10019

The only pins not allowed: those from Big 12 schools, especially the University of Texas. That's crossing the line. No self-respecting Aggie would reduce himself to do such a thing!

So let's get to pinnin'!

– Roland S. Martin, 360° Contributor

Filed under: Roland S. Martin
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