FACT CHECK: Did None Of The Democratic Candidates Wear Flag Pins At The First Debate?

Aislinn Murphy | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims that none of the 2020 candidates wore an American flag pin during night one of the first Democratic presidential debate.

“So as you can see Democrats hate Americans and America,” the caption reads. “Remember this.”

Verdict: False

Four of the 10 candidates wore American flag pins onstage Wednesday.

Fact Check:

As one of the simplest ways to signal patriotism, the American flag lapel pin has become a staple for both elected and aspiring politicians. During former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, he got flack for often not wearing one during his public appearances.

This line of criticism appeared on social media Thursday, with the image alleging that none of the candidates wore an American flag pin during night one of the first Democratic primary debate. That was not the case, however, since four out of the 10 candidates wore them onstage. (RELATED: Was Trump The Only World Leader To Not Wear A G20 Lapel Pin?)

Ten candidates from a 24-candidate field took the stage Wednesday for the first of two nights of debate hosted by NBC. Notable contenders included Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

The four Democrats who wore flag pins on their lapels were New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney.

In this photo, the pins on De Blasio and Ryan are clearly visible as they talk to Warren:

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren talks with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan during a break at the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren talks with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan during a break at the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Gabbard, who became the most searched for candidate on Google by the end of the debate, had an American flag pin on her red blazer.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks at the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks at the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Delaney also wore the pin, as evidenced by this picture:

Former U.S. Rep. John Delaney speaks during the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Former U.S. Rep. John Delaney speaks during the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

The lineup for night two brought about a matchup between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who stood next to each other onstage. Other notable debate contenders were South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and California Rep. Eric Swalwell.

Only two candidates – Biden and entrepreneur Andrew Yang – wore American flag pins during Thursday’s debate. Sanders wore a pin but not an American flag.

Former Vice President Joe Biden gestures during the second night of the first Democratic presidential candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 27, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Former Vice President Joe Biden gestures during the second night of the first Democratic presidential candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 27, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang speaks during the second night of the first Democratic presidential candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S. June 27, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang speaks during the second night of the first Democratic presidential candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S. June 27, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

The post on Facebook also lamented that there did not appear to be any physical American flags onstage during the broadcast. However, graphics behind the candidates boasted stars and red and white stripes throughout the debate.

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Aislinn Murphy

Fact Check Reporter
Follow Aislinn on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].

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