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Attacking the Founders’ Flag

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The price of a pair of Air Max 1 sneakers from Nike with the Betsy Ross flag on it are for sale on the website Stockx.com as seen on a computer screen in New York, U.S., July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, best known for his protests during the national anthem, has launched new attacks against the “The Betsy Ross Flag,” used by patriots during the Revolution. Under pressure from Kaepernick, Nike canceled plans for special edition sneakers decorated with the flag, featuring a circle of thirteen stars representing the thirteen rebellious colonies. All of them allowed slavery, so Kaepernick connects them to “white supremacy.” This ignores impassioned, anti-slavery patriots – like Adams, Franklin and Hamilton – as well as Betsy Ross herself. Historians debate whether she designed the flag personally herself, but we do know she came from a devout Quaker family – and Quakers led anti-slavery activism in America. What’s more, Betsy’s home colony of Pennsylvania was the first to abolish slavery – in 1780, 7 years before the Constitution. Slurs against our Founders and their banner are not only foolish, but ignorant.

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