For my part, I promise to wear my flag pin without intending any implicit conclusions about the patriotism of those who don't. I will admit that I have occasionally wondered whether objections to a flag pin indicated a sort of general hostility to various American policies. When I was on the "Advocates" television program during the Vietnam War, and was wearing a flag pin, furious viewers would write to the producers denouncing me for this alleged "superpatriotism." ("Does he wear it" -- this was their favorite question -- "on his underwear?") But such oddballs were few and far between, and I certainly didn't regard them as representative.
For their part, I hope that people who choose not to wear a flag pin will do me the reciprocal kindness of not assuming that I suspect their patriotism, let alone suppose that I consider it necessarily open to question. The decorative object that is really causing the trouble here is not my lapel pin. It's the chip on their shoulder.
William Rusher is a Distinguished Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and author of How to Win Arguments .
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