Nike’s horribly timed decision to cancel their flag-themed sneakers right before Independence Day has gotten quite the national response. Now two companies are releasing their own Betsy Ross attire in a loud reply to quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick, who was reportedly behind Nike’s decision.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, Kaepernick demanded that Nike pull the Fourth of July shoes — after they’d already been shipped to the stores — because the Betsy Ross flag was flown during a time when slavery was legal in America. The heels of the shoes display the historic flag, which has only 13 stars to signify the 13 original colonies that formed the new United States of America.
In response, veteran-owned Nine Line Apparel released an entire line of Betsy Ross T-shirts, tank tops, and hoodies.
“In Greek mythology, Nike was the goddess of victory, symbolized as a divine charioteer, flying over the battlefield to reward the victors,” a description of the collection reads. “When it comes to symbolism, is there a more quintessential representation of the American Spirit than the Betsy Ross flag? A symbol of victory and independence, Old Glory represents the birth of our great country as a sovereign nation and the humble roots of the colonies that these 13 stars represent.”
“We find it disgusting that Nike, a company named after the Goddess of victory, would be so easily swayed into a false narrative that an iconic patriotic symbol of America’s independence now somehow — over 200 years later — holds racial and divisive undertones,” it continued.
“The social commentary that Nike is trying to impose on this symbol just shows how dismissive they are of the principles that our country was founded on and how out of touch they are with the values of the American public,” it concluded. “We at Nine Line are still standing true to our patriotic values, and we encourage the American people to stand with us to make their voices heard. #NoToNike”
A spokesman for Nine Line Apparel also made a quick video about how far Nike has sunk from its patriotic roots.
Meanwhile, the Out of Line company created a “Boss Like Ross” sneaker splashed in the iconic flag.
A statement on the site describes Ross as “an iconic FEMALE in American history” and a “heroic woman that helped found the United States of America.”
“Betsy was a widow and a single mother managing a household and property on her own. She was resourceful and quickly remarried for economic reasons,” it continued. “Her story and her life are stitched into the fabric of American history and every woman's life today.”
“We wear the flag in honor of every woman who has fought through setbacks and adversity.”
“We will take this flag back in a positive and encouraging way that unites people and helps make the world a better place,” it concluded.