Happy Independence Day 2019 – tainting another symbol

Posted By on July 4, 2019

Delaware_crossingMost Americans love their country and enjoy celebrating our country’s “amazing” 243 year history and success. We are thankful for the rag-tag group of patriots from the 13 original colonies who boldly fought for their independence from Great Britain. In school, my generation (and previous) learned about our forefather’s near impossible struggle for freedom and their aspirational desire to build a democratic republic. The praise was for what they achieved and not for the colonists’ shortcomings.

Today, instead of honoring and appreciating what these patriots got right in founding our country, some spend an extraordinary amount of time on our predecessors’ wrongs. Yes we need to know history and learn from it, but not weaponize it. Each time I think the next generation is going to be able to put our nations’ transgressions behind us … be they the Oppression of Native Americans, Slavery, Civil Rights, Woman’s Suffrage, Japanese-American Interment, Jim Crow/Segregation, etc … there are inciters who take every opportunity to inflame the issues (many who benefit politically or financially). This keeps yet another generation from achieving Dr. King’s goal of racial and color blindness, something I thought my generation would advance (but to “focus on the positives,” we have … considering citizens did elect President Obama).

NikeBetsyRossShoes_190704Still … another story from the “NFL star turned-activist” Colin Kaepernick once again put the focus on the “wrongs” associated with our countries 243 year old independence movement. He has a problem with our country’s 13-starred flag that a Nike was planning to display on a July 4th sneaker. On the heel of the shoe was a Betsy Ross American Revolution flag – yet with a phone call from Kaepernick, Nike has decided to pull the sneaker. What’s next … social media banning that flag because it is not considered “racially charged?”

Once again, we Americans are taking the bait as activists inflame the issue and widen the divide. We all know activist and politicians who have built their their entire careers fanning the flames rather than working to reinforce and recognize our gains. Kaepernick and Nike may be the latest provocateurs, but they are playing the same game. 

Nike is yanking a U.S.A.-themed sneaker featuring an early American flag after NFL star-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick told the company it shouldn’t sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive, according to people familiar with the matter.

The sneaker giant created the Air Max 1 USA in celebration of the July Fourth holiday, and it was slated to go on sale this week. The heel of the shoe featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.

After shipping the shoes to retailers, Nike asked for them to be returned without explaining why, the people said. The shoes aren’t available on Nike’s own apps and websites.

“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a Nike spokeswoman said.

After images of the shoe were posted online, Mr. Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, reached out to company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery, the people said. Some users on social media responded to posts about the shoe with similar concerns. Mr. Kaepernick declined to comment.

he design was created in the 1770s to represent the 13 original colonies, though there were many early versions of the America flag, according to the Smithsonian. In the 1790s, stars and bars were added to reflect the addition of Vermont and Kentucky as states. U.S. flag designs continued to change as states were admitted to the union until the 50th star, for Hawaii, was added in 1960.

More at WSJ article LINK


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