At Mitt Romney Iowa Rally, Swiss Flag Mix-up Goes Unnoticed


Farmers at a Romney rally in Iowa wave Swiss flags.

Farmers at a Romney rally in Iowa wave Swiss flags.

Des Moines—Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at an Iowa rally for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The monochromatic, 50-plus demographic of nearly two hundred farm country Americans were—with contained enthusiasm—applauding and waving flags as similar crowds had done for Mr. Romney as he hopscotched from one battleground state to another. The only difference was that the flags they were waving were Swiss.

Apparently a Romney staffer inadvertently checked the wrong box on the flag order form and consequently it was Swiss rather than American flags that were shipped to the rally site. The real surprise, however, was that not a single member of the Romney team had realized a mistake was made. Per normal pre-rally preparations, the Swiss flags were distributed to the audience just as American flags had been passed out at other rallies.

“I thought it was a bit strange and all,” said Jim Dithers, a fourth generation farmer from Des Moines. “But I figured they knew what they were doing.” Dithers speculated that the Romney team was perhaps going to burn the flags to demonstrate that Romney was indeed a true American. He figured Romney wanted to publically disavow any future connection to Swiss Banks, where he allegedly has stashed tens of millions of dollars to avoid US taxes.

But that wasn’t the case. In fact Romney himself saw nothing unusual. “As I look out on this wonderful crowd on this glorious day and see those flags waving, I get chills, ” he said. “I feel like I’m truly home.”

When a reporter for the Des Moines Register later asked Romney the significance of the Swiss flags, Romney replied, “What Swiss flags?” At that moment, Romney presidential campaign senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom realized what had happened. His explanation was that the campaign rally was in fact a Red Cross blood drive and that the white, rather than red crosses, symbolized a blood shortage.

When that explanation didn’t fly, Fehrnstrom gave it one more shot. He claimed that since Switzerland is a symbol of neutrality, the flags were symbolic of an American economy that was stuck in neutral. “And this event made a strong case for the candidate most qualified to shift into the economy into drive and speed unprecedented growth,” he said.

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3 Responses to “At Mitt Romney Iowa Rally, Swiss Flag Mix-up Goes Unnoticed”

  1. R G Says:

    So instead of admitting the obvious mistake, they lied. Twice.

  2. danbbrown Says:

    I guess they figure two lies make a truth.

  3. danbbrown Says:

    Thanks, Deborah. Always great to hear something I wrote is worth stealing!

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