Summer sports are already coming to a close, and the colorful balls of fire won’t fly again for another year. The fireworks are always a good show though.
So, Independence Day is a week behind us now, and perhaps you heard that in honor of the Fourth of July, Nike was making a Betsy Ross Flag sneaker, which is now probably the most valuable shoe on the market now.
What makes this shoe so valuable?
Because some guy by the name of Collin Kaepernick. Perhaps you heard him claim that the Betsy Ross flag, the flag that represented America during and after the Revolutionary War, was “a sign of white supremacy.”
Before I get too deep into my words let’s recap how the Betsy Ross flag came to be.
The Betsy Ross flag was made in 1776 and was adopted as the nation’s flag in 1777. Of course, when the Americans fought the British they certainly weren’t going to use the English flag. Though the original design had the stars with six points, Ross changed it to five, which is still the case with the stars on the flag today, along with the stripes and design of the red, white and blue.
The Betsy Ross flag still flies in some areas today as well, including at presidential inaugurations.
So, even though I’m sure I don’t need to answer it, what do I think of this whole deal?
Short answer... This is truly one of the dumbest, craziest, most divisive things I have ever seen or heard.
Long answer... I mean where the heck do I really even start?
The Betsy Ross flag stood for different things, but a sign of hate, white supremacy, and division of any sort, is not it at all. The flag was made as a sign of unity, and Nike rejected it because some whiny brat said something incredibly uneducated and ridiculous.
Seriously, does Kaepernick even know who Betsy Ross is, or was?
I remember while in Texas I said I would not write about anything Kaepernick said, simply because what he says is usually, if not almost always, ridiculous. I almost wrote this last week, and tried to stay true to my word, but this whole thing was just too unbelievably naive and unbearably frustrating not to write about.
Mark my words, Kaepernick will be the death of Nike if they do not cut him off soon. Very, very soon. But, they won’t.
I mean really, how weak and insecure of a company do you have to be to listen to washed-up quarterback who’s just trying to milk out his time in the spotlight. It was one thing to say praise him for his “sacrifice.” But now this? You’re going to disrespect one of the nation’s first-ever made flag’s, that people of multiple races fought for?
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the real oppression. Denying the people their right to celebrate the nation, by recognizing how America was born.
I mean, I don’t agree with all the Civil War statues being taken down, but at the same time I can understand some points being made there, as the Civil War was a time where our nation truly was divided into two parts. However, as dark, and not proud of those times some of us may be, it is still a part of our history as a nation.
You cannot change history. You may not like it, but it still happened. Period.
The Betsy Ross flag though is completely the opposite. It symbolizes unity. As for the red, white, and blue here is what the congress recorded back in 1782 of what the colors stand for.
“White signifies purity and innocence. Red - hardiness and valor and Blue - signifies vigilance perseverance and justice.”
Notice that the flag was made the official flag of the USA in 1777, but the colors description was not made until about five years later. Why?
As you may know, the Revolutionary war did not actually end until 1781. Going off of what Jane Hampton Cook said in The Federalist: “By the end of the revolution, they knew what those colors meant, because they understood the cost of freedom.”
As the cliche goes, freedom is not free. Freedom takes sacrifice. Not trying to brag, but coming from a family that has generations of veterans, including ones who served in World War II, I have heard some stories of what the cost of freedom can be, and with one brother in the Army who will soon be coming home from a training camp in Fort Knox by Louisville, Kentucky.
The youngest is also going into the Air Force once he heads to Iowa State this fall. I could not be a prouder brother.
So on a side note, yes, I’m the odd ball. I’m the only child in my immediate family who didn’t join a military branch, though in high school I did consider the National Guard for a bit of time. I don’t really remember why I chose not to.
Either way, with a family history of members serving this country — including two brothers serving — I can assure you, this is one man who will never disrespect the flag both present and past.
I know lots of people say they will no longer buy Nike, and I can assure you my purchasing of Nike products now is going to be brought to the absolute minimum. Sadly, the NFL is all Nike, the NBA is all Nike, and Nike also happens to be Iowa State’s merchandiser.
While, of course, other brands make ISU apparel along with Packers, I’m not really into the idea of ditching my jerseys as they are not cheap. But, I’m sure there are alternates to turn to that can be found for the future purchases.
However, my alma matter, West Texas A&M is an Under Armor school and Iowa Western is Adidas. So that’s good. I have preferred Under Armor over Nike for a while now anyway.
The fact that Nike wants to reject the Betsy Ross flag ultimately to me signals they reject our history and how we became America, which plain and simple, is not acceptable.
Boo you Nike, and boo you Collin Kaepernick!
Hope everyone has a great weekend.