Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Is the Betsy Ross Flag Racist? Colin Kaepernick vs Betsy Ross on Race, Patriotism, and America's Founding

Is the thirteen-star American flag, believed to be designed by Betsy Ross, a racist symbol? And is it racially insensitive to be patriotic, especially if you honor the American founding? To Colin Kaepernick and (it would seem) many others, the answers today to the above questions are increasingly “yes.”

By now, unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve heard that Nike decided to pull an American flag themed sneaker due to objections reportedly raised by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. According to The Wall Street Journal, Kaepernick said the design of the “Air Max 1 USA” sneakers, which uses the original “Betsy Ross” American flag, is offensive to him and others as it stirs up images of slavery and oppression. “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,” declared a Nike spokesperson.

Others have chimed in. Appearing on MSNBC, Michael Eric Dyson compared the Betsy Ross American flag to the Nazi swastika and a KKK cross-burning. Indeed, all of social media has lit up, with many agreeing with Kaepernick and Dyson.

Nike is, of course, a private company and they are free to release (or not release) whatever product they wish. And people like Dyson and Kaepernick are American citizens who are free (and should be free) to say whatever they wish. But I can’t help but be sad that racism and patriotism are becoming increasingly associated in the minds of so many today. It didn’t use to be this way, and if we don’t do something about this unfortunate association, it will only further divide us and tear us apart.

To continue with this article and read it in full, please click here ----> "Is the Betsy Ross Flag Racist?"

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