A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

No Flag on Obama’s Plane?


Q: Did Obama replace the U.S. flag on the tail of his campaign plane with his campaign symbol?

A: Yes. Obama’s newly designed campaign plane features the campaign’s logo on the tail. However, an image of the U.S. flag appears on the side of the plane.

FULL QUESTION

I was sent an e-mail about Barack Obama’s plane. It said that he had removed the American flag from the tail of his plane and replaced it with another symbol. Can this be true?

WHAT A DISGRACE!!! AND HE IS ALL AMERICAN????

Obama The Patriot – Removes American Flag From His Plane

The Patriot Room
Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 8:11:07 AM by Bill Dupray

Barack Obama recently finished a $500,000 total overhaul of his 757. And as part of the new design, he decided to remove the American flag from the tail…

[EET ]

What American running for President of the United States would remove the symbol of his country? And worse, he replaced the flag with it with a symbol of himself… Obama is such a despicable human being.

Please forward this if you’re not ashamed of our country and our flag & if think this is a disgrace.

If you do not forward this to everyone you know nothing will happen. If Obama is elected president of the United States we are in trouble. If you think the Liberals can lead our country just look what Pelosi and Reid have accomplished for us.[/EET]

FULL ANSWER

On July 20, before Sen. Barack Obama took off on a week-long overseas tour that included stops in the Middle East and Europe, his campaign unveiled a newly designed Boeing 757 plane that the Illinois senator, members of his campaign staff, secret service and members of the press corps will use for the remainder of his campaign. The plane features first class, business and coach seating, with new carpet and leather chairs and a brand new paint job of the exterior.

Prior to the redesign, Obama had used a number of planes for his traveling needs, but the plane in question was one he has chartered from North American Airlines since late March. The design of that plane had featured two images of the American flag: a small wavy flag that was displayed on the side of the aircraft and a much larger image of the flag that appeared on the plane’s tail. According to NAA’s director of corporate communications, Steve Forsyth, both images are typical of North American Airline planes. “The flag design is used on the tails of all North American aircraft (Boeing 757s and 767s) and is in the corporate logo,” said Forsyth. However, neither image is a part of the Obama campaign’s new plane design.

Obama’s freshly painted plane features his campaign slogan, “Change We Can Believe In,” and his Web site name on the side, and the campaign’s sunrise “O” symbol on the tail, instead of the American flag. However, an image of the flag does appear on the body of the plane with its tail number.

When asked about the plane’s new look sans the flag on the tail, Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said, “I’d note that there is a flag on the side of Senator Obama’s plane, near the center. I’d also note that there is not a flag on the tail of John McCain’s plane. Lastly, I’d note that I don’t think plane design should lead us to question the patriotism of either candidate.”

It is probably worth mentioning that Sen. John McCain’s campaign Boeing 737 plane does not feature a U.S. flag on its tail either. As these images from CNN show, it does feature one on the side of the plane near the campaign’s slogan, “Reform. Prosperity. Peace.”

-D’Angelo Gore

Sources

An American Tail.” Snopes.com, 30 July 2008
O’Keefe, Allison. “O-Force One.” From the Road blog, CBSnews.com, 3 Aug. 2008
Sweet, Lynn. “Obama campaign plane poised to depart from Chicago for Mid-east and Europe.” Chicago Sun-Times, 20 July 2008
North American Airlines. “North American Airlines Operates Campaign Aircraft for Barack Obama.” news release, 23 July 2008.
Cooper, Michael. “For McCain, a new plane to revive old campaign style.” International Herald Tribune, 29 June 2008