Published: Thu, July 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Nike pulls 'Betsy Ross Flag' sneaker after criticism of slavery-era imagery

Nike pulls 'Betsy Ross Flag' sneaker after criticism of slavery-era imagery

United States sportswear manufacturer Nike canned the release of a new sneaker on Tuesday which featured a colonial-era version of the American flag.

Nike's sudden decision to withdraw the product touched off a lively debate across the country about patriotism and political correctness.

"If we're in a political environment where the American flag has become controversial to Americans, I think we've got a problem", McConnell told reporters, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Nike shipped the shoes to retailers but then asked for them back, and has taken the design off its website, the Journal reported.

Nike recalled the shoe after former National Football League quarterback and Nike pitchman Colin Kaepernick asked the company not to sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive because of its connection to an era of slavery, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

"White nationalists organizations like the KKK and Nazi-leaning groups, they do use it as a proxy", says Dr. Perry Greene, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Adelphi University. The outlet reports that Stelnicki confirmed that the governor's office has reached out to Nike about working out a deal for the manufacturing facility, KOB 4 reports (h/t HotAir).

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona on Tuesday ordered a financial incentive package for Nike to be withdrawn because the company canceled the sneaker.

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The whole thing began after Nike decided on Monday not to make a shoe that featured an early version of the American flag due to the racist interpretation some people make of that flag.

According to Bridgman, the Flag Act of 1777 designated 13-stars and stripes as the official American flag, but its design was open to interpretation.

Nike said in statement that "it pulled the shoe based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation's patriotic holiday".

Because the Betsy Ross flag is not widely considered a racist image, it's hard to judge whether Nike should have designed the shoe in the first place.

The historic flag, now called the Betsy Ross flag, features thirteen stars in a circle representing the original thirteen colonies.

Nike was eligible for up to a $1 million grant, a spokeswoman at the Arizona Commerce Authority said, for a $185 million plant in Goodyear, Arizona, that would employ over 500 people.

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