Of the first (not wearing a flag pin), Obama's actual explanation went as follows:
"You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq War, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism." (Source: ABC News, Oct. 4, 2007.)
Obama took to wearing a flag lapel pin during public appearances after becoming President.
Obama Aide: 'In no way was he making any sort of statement'
As to the second item (failure to salute during the national anthem), the implication that Obama has taken an ideological stand against saluting the flag is misleading and unsupported by evidence. On one occasion in 2008 he was caught on film singing along during the national anthem with hands clasped in front of him instead of his right hand over his heart, prompting a partisan outcry.
"In no way was he making any sort of statement," responded an Obama aide when questioned by the press, "and any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous." (Source: Inside Edition, October 23, 2007.)
On literally scores of other occasions before and since, Obama has been photographed with hand over heart in appropriate situations.Newer version of the email boasts extra added falsehoods
As if to demonstrate that smear-mongering is a team sport, additional fabrications have been appended to the message since its inbox-to-inbox journey commenced in March 2008. None of the quotes attributed to Obama are authentic. Neither is the claim that Obama uttered them during a September 7, 2008 appearance on Meet the Press (not so). Another is the attribution of the article as a whole to a Washington Post reporter named Dale Lindsborg (who doesn't exist).
Sources and further reading:
Obama Explains National Anthem Stance
Semi-News by John Semmens, 27 October 2007
Barack Obama Drops U.S. Flag Pin
ABC News, 4 October 2007
Barack Obama Refuses to Salute the Flag?
Urban Legends blog
National Anthem Controversy
MediaMatters.org, 24 October 2007
Bogus Washington Post Reporter Featured in Obama Smear
Editor and Publisher, 16 October 2008
Last updated: 02/29/12