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Tue Jul 2, 2019, 02:37 PM

Nike featuring Betsy Ross flag canceled after backlash

Source: CNN

New York(CNN Business) Nike is canceling a sneaker that featured the "Betsy Ross" version of the American flag from the late 18th century.

"Nike made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation's patriotic holiday," Nike said in a statement to CNN Business. "Nike is a company proud of its American heritage."

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Nike (NKE) delivered the sneakers to retailers, but asked stores to return them to Nike after the company received a complaint from former NFL star Colin Kaepernick. The Journal indicated Kaepernick said he and others found the shoe offensive because of its ties to America's era of slavery.

The shoe was set to be released Monday for $140, according to Sneakernews.com. The website included photos of a shoe that featured a version of the American flag with 13 stars organized in a circle and 13 stripes. That version of the flag, according to the Smithsonian, was used in the United States from 1777 to 1795.

Read more: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/07/01/business/nike-air-max-1-quick-strike-fourth-of-july/index.html

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Reply Nike featuring Betsy Ross flag canceled after backlash (Original post)
Polybius Jul 2019 OP
jcmaine72 Jul 2019 #1
The Mouth Jul 2019 #2
targetpractice Jul 2019 #6
Post removed Jul 2019 #7
Post removed Jul 2019 #8
Igel Jul 2019 #11
targetpractice Jul 2019 #12
MosheFeingold Jul 2019 #9
targetpractice Jul 2019 #10
MichMan Jul 2019 #13
MosheFeingold Jul 2019 #15
JonLP24 Jul 2019 #16
MichMan Jul 2019 #18
JonLP24 Jul 2019 #19
MosheFeingold Jul 2019 #23
JonLP24 Jul 2019 #24
Dr. Strange Jul 2019 #30
rwsanders Jul 2019 #20
lunasun Jul 2019 #26
Sapient Donkey Jul 2019 #28
ck4829 Jul 2019 #25
3Hotdogs Jul 2019 #3
AllaN01Bear Jul 2019 #4
bucolic_frolic Jul 2019 #5
lunasun Jul 2019 #27
Maxheader Jul 2019 #14
Polybius Jul 2019 #17
Gore1FL Jul 2019 #21
MosheFeingold Jul 2019 #22
Gore1FL Jul 2019 #29
clementine613 Jul 2019 #31
Gore1FL Jul 2019 #32

Response to Polybius (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 03:01 PM

1. This flag has also been adopted by many white supremacists over the past few years.

It's replaced the Confederate flag in many circles as a symbol of white nationalism. Whereas the racism behind any public display of the Confederate flag was pretty overt, the Betsy Ross gives these hatemongers plausible deniability. When called on it, as they are now, they argue that it's an American flag, our first flag, and that anyone who objects to its display is anti-American and a commie.

This, sadly, was one of the unintended (but ultimately necessary) consequences of driving the Confederate flag out of the public space. Before, it was pretty obvious who these scumbags were and what they believed. Now, just as they've artfully done with language on social media to avoid getting banned, racists have co-opted other symbols, words and images to express their supremacist beliefs, all while claiming such things are innocuous.

Frankly, I'm surprised Nike even attempted to market such a product in the first place. Just goes to show how out of touch big corporations are.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 03:20 PM

2. Sweet Jesus

That's the stupidest fucking thing I've read all day.

We ALREADY lost the 'OK' sign because some morons were successfully trolled by 4/chan.

Anyone who believes or propagates this is a blithering idiot and a tool of trolls.

Massive load of stupid bullshit.

I respected Colion, but he has his head up his ass on this one.

Personally I wish someone had slapped upside the head the first jackass to do anything other than laugh when anyone tried to seriously say that the 'OK sign was a white power symbol, unfortunately too many goddamned idiots let them win that one so that now it can be considered by non idiots to have that meaning.

Just. Stop. it.

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 05:08 PM

6. It happens. The meaning of language and symbols evolve in society...

I don't know how many times years ago I've heard straight people express faux outrage that the "homosexuals took a perfectly good word 'gay' and made it their own."

Well, my predecessors did. And, "gay" is ours now.

Interest groups co-opt cultural symbols all the time. It's easier to co-opt the "OK" gesture than to invent some new one. Once it spreads, this phenomenon is hard to stop. It's frustrating, but it's difficult to protest and stop the momentum... no matter how detestable the purpose.

I did not know that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted, but apparently it has... And, Nike, took the responsible step to protect their brand. They know their customer base. For those that object, there is always New Balance.

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Response to targetpractice (Reply #6)


Response to targetpractice (Reply #6)


Response to targetpractice (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 06:05 PM

11. The "ok" sign was "coopted" in parody.

It wasn't originally used by white supremacist groups. It was *claimed* by a satirist to be used by white-supremacist groups, because it suited his satire--not because he was making an actual serious claim.

That was enough to taint it and consider it to be too dangerous to use. Quickly it spread among those quick to judge and slow to think that anybody who used it was racist. Similar to the way that the "vaccines cause autism" claims spread. Ignore the facts, we need to be able to blame somebody, quickly, without having to actual worry about evidence.

Finally it jumped from the left-leaning "must not even allow a suspicion of my virtue by using that sign or defending its use" folk to the white supremacist. Who used it to troll lefties.

Perhaps it finally took root among some white supremacists. But it's now a fundamental of belief among some that every use of it--even by those who would be the object of attacks by white supremacists, even by those who have no white-supremacist organization associations--is prima facie proof, adequate on its own, to show white-supremacist ideology on the part of the user.


The problem is the almost pathological fear of heretical "taint" and judgment that squelches any sort of reasoning or common sense and brooks no dissent. "Gay" was "lost" in the same way--if somebody, somewhere, uses it to mean "homosexual" then any red-blooded American male, with the same kind of pathological fear of being judged and having somebody believe something about you that isn't (necessarily) true, will run from letting himself be called "gay". In fact, the dangerous meaning of the word gets projected back in time, because against that kind of judgmentalism there is no real defense.

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Response to Igel (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 06:32 PM

12. Fascinating...

My comments were not about merit, but simply something along the lines that you "can't put the toothpaste back in the tube."

I think once a word, symbol, or meme (in the Richard Dawkins sense) is co-opted and begins to propagate... It's very hard to advocate against it and promote a return to the original meaning, because society simply doesn't care.

That's the nature of linguistics... I find the "vocal fry" super annoying, but who am I to stop that?

Oh, and the internet has made this phenomenon much, much more rapid.

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 05:43 PM

9. Betsy Ross was an abolishonist

Specifically, she was a Quaker (Society of Friends), which was instrumental in first ridding England of the slave trade, then the Underground Railroad, and finally abolition of slavery in the USA.

You would think the white supremacists would pick a different flag than her version.

Of course, they are stupid and ignorant of history. So maybe so.

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Response to MosheFeingold (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 05:51 PM

10. Thanks... Did not know that.

I love DU because of folks like you, MosheFeingold!

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Response to MosheFeingold (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 06:36 PM

13. Apparently Kaepernick didn't know that she was an abolitionist either

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Response to MichMan (Reply #13)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 07:40 PM

15. He's famous

Because he plays a childrenís game very well.

Not exactly important in my book.

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Response to MosheFeingold (Reply #15)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 07:48 PM

16. I don't think kids can keep up with concepts in the NFL

Adults already have a hard enough time following along.

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #16)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 10:12 PM

18. Colin K is 31 yrs old

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Response to MichMan (Reply #18)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 11:45 PM

19. I was addressing the children's game part

I don't think kids can keep up with the concepts in the NFL when the adults have a hard enough time as it is.

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #19)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 05:35 AM

23. If I didn't say his job was hard

But he plays with a ball. Athletes are not people I look to for anything.

Otherwise, I suppose Iíll go ask Tim Tebow for geopolitical advice.

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Response to MosheFeingold (Reply #23)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 05:48 AM

24. I'm just saying the systems in the NFL are complex.

Kaepernick was mostly famous in football circles because of a Super Bowl appearance but he became famous among non sports people because of his protest of racial injustice. Like Muhammad Ali or Tommie Smith & John Carlos.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #13)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 09:30 PM

30. Kaepernick couldn't tell the difference between Hillary and Trump.

He ain't a smart guy.

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Response to MosheFeingold (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 12:08 AM

20. Probably the same folks that picked the term "teabagger" that was already in use and never quite

caught on to the irony of their corporate funded AstroTurf asses trying to coopt the Boston Tea Party. Which from what I have read was partly a swipe not just at Britain, but an early multinational corporation, the British East India Tea Company (sierrraclub.org : meet the corporation).
I'm frustrated because I'm not really fond of flying our current flag as it appears to have become a hated symbol of our imperialism. So I had been intending to fly this one as a suggestion that we return to the values as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, prior to the compromises in the constitution.

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 08:58 AM

26. I bet you still laugh out loud at swastikas

After all itís a silly old symbol and in Sanskrit stands for well being . How cAn anyone be against something like that and think it means any more ? Plenty of many like you may have asked last century and ignored it and the people behind it

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 11:53 AM

28. I had my doubts about that claim too

Last edited Thu Jul 4, 2019, 01:56 AM - Edit history (1)

But there does appear to be some merits to it. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/business/betsy-ross-shoe-kaepernick-nike.html
So, it's not just something someone made up or a single instance of a racist waving it.

That being said, I don't like the idea of letting these people take over the flag for their own uses. By claiming it's a symbol of hate that should be tucked away, then we're pretty much just giving it to them.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 06:57 AM

25. Good to know

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 03:28 PM

3. Forest Gump: "Stupid is as stupid is."

Now, I ain't never spending $140 on a pair of sneaks anyways....

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 04:12 PM

4. these idiots dont know their flags

i got one in my closet that i was given from my church on the bicentenial of our country. its either called betsy ross , bennington, spirit of 1776. or , this ,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowpens_flag
these people stole lots of ideas of other pple and co opted them. p s : they also had the "dont tread on me flag" during the obama years . also known as the Gadsden flag, original had each name of the orginal colonies and said " live free or die. i agree. $140.00 big deal . shear profit mode umbriago. give me a good ole pair of keds tennis shoes and ill be happy. opps im ageing mysel.

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Response to AllaN01Bear (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 04:40 PM

5. Not sure if Native Americans of New England would agree with you

There was King Phillip's War, and Roger's Rangers. It wasn't a Rainbow Coalition.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 08:59 AM

27. +1

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 06:39 PM

14. Meh..oh well..


Best thing about this is the winger heads are shaking with rage...

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Response to Maxheader (Reply #14)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 08:33 PM

17. So are many non-wingers

I personally love the Betsy Ross flag. I think Nike will reverse its stance and sales will go through the roof. Maybe it's all for publicity.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 12:16 AM

21. The shoe violates virtually every flag code.

b. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
c. The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
d. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.
e. The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
g. The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
i. The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.
j. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/4/8


I find it hilarious that those who figuratively wrap themselves in the flag now want to literally wrap their feet in the flag. It really doesn't matter if all of this violates more flag code than burning it. At least the right gives us things to laugh at them for.

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #21)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 05:30 AM

22. The flag code

1. Only applies to things that started out a a flag. Not things that resemble the US flag so wear that flag bikini proudly. (Ha)

2. Was declared unconstitutional as it violates free speech rights. Itís just on the books.

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Response to MosheFeingold (Reply #22)

Wed Jul 3, 2019, 07:13 PM

29. Fair points, but the shoe clearly is disrespectful as defined in these guidelines.

You can't stomp through mud puddles in flag shoes and have moral standing to criticize those who burn the flag. The target audience for this shoe would do just that.

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #21)

Sun Jul 7, 2019, 11:25 AM

31. Does this apply to designs that are not actually the flag?

The Betsy Ross flag is not the official flag. The official flag has 50 stars. Does the law apply to any version of the flag or only the official current one?

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Response to clementine613 (Reply #31)

Sun Jul 7, 2019, 02:54 PM

32. It doesn't technically apply at all because of the first amendment.

It's more of a do and don't etiquette list. It that manner, I think it covers historic and present-day flags.

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