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Things have gone sideways, haven't they?
Author: TriSec    Date: 07/06/2019 09:57:35

Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.


The common story is thus:

Betsy Ross, an upholsterer in Philadelphia who produced uniforms, tents, and flags for Continental forces, became a notable figure representing the contribution of women in the American Revolution. The National Museum of American History notes that the story first entered into American consciousness about the time of the 1876 Centennial Exposition celebrations. In 1870, Ross's grandson, William J. Canby, presented a paper to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in which he claimed that his grandmother had "made with her hands the first flag" of the United States. Canby said he first obtained this information from his aunt Clarissa Sydney Wilson (née Claypoole) in 1857, twenty years after Betsy Ross's death. In his account, the original flag was made in June 1776, when a small committee – including George Washington, Robert Morris and relative George Ross – visited Betsy and discussed the need for a new American flag. Betsy accepted the job to manufacture the flag, altering the committee's design by replacing the six-pointed stars with five-pointed stars. Canby dates the historic episode based on Washington's journey to Philadelphia, in late spring 1776, a year before Congress passed the Flag Act.

Of course, none of that can be proven.

Seems like it should be an innocent thing to decorate a shoe with, never mind the violation of the flag code that it entails. (Remember, all historic US flags are covered by the Code, and are perfectly legal and acceptable to display instead of the current 50-star design.)

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.

I searched for quite a bit about this, and despite the claim, the only person that thinks this is a symbol of racism is Nike's spokesperson. While I may agree with some of his other points, I will diplomatically agree to disagree this time.

At least one credible source did more research than I did, and there is very little evidence that ol' Betsy Ross has been appropriated by the hate movement.

The Anti-Defamation League does not include it in its database of hate symbols. Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow for the ADL's Center on Extremism, said extremist groups have occasionally used it, but the flag is most commonly used by people for patriotic purposes.

"We view it as essentially an innocuous historical flag," Pitcavage said. "It's not a thing in the white supremacist movement."

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." The company pushed back against criticism that the decision was being "anti-American."

"Nike is a company proud of its American heritage and our continuing engagement supporting thousands of American athletes including the U.S. Olympic team and U.S. Soccer teams," Nike said.

Being a national historic tour company, it's actually in our handbook that a US flag should be flown at all our depots, and one be present somewhere on the grounds of the office. Our location didn't have one, and after putting up a Union Jack for a few days to be cheeky with our new (British-born) general manager, the Betsy Ross flag is now the one currently hung up in our briefing room.


3 comments (Latest Comment: 07/07/2019 19:00:04 by TriSec)
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