Wednesday, July 03, 2019

NIKE Nixes Betsy Ross Flag

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As America prepares to celebrate our independence tomorrow, the athletic wear giant NIKE has yanked a U.S.A. themed sneaker featuring an early American flag.

Why? Because Colin Kaepernick told them to.

Why? Because "Betsy Ross' flag is offensive to some people."

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced yesterday he is "yanking" the state's incentives to NIKE for doing business in Arizona. He says their actions are "offensive" to him and should be to every American.

Be informed. Be outraged.

The Wall Street Journal said yesterday,
"The sneaker giant created the Air Max 1 USA in celebration of the Fourth of July holiday, and it was slated to go on sale this week. The heel of the shoe featured a US flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag."

After shipping the shoes to retailers, Nike suddenly asked for them back without any explanation. The shoes were also removed from Nike's own apps and web site.

What is NIKE thinking?

A Nike spokesperson told the WSJ, "Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag."

The old version was the original version created in the 1770s to represent the 13 original colonies. There were, of course, several other versions as states were added.

After images of the shoe were posted online, Mr. Colon Kaepernick, a NIKE endorser, reached out to the company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery. Some users on social media also expressed the same concerns.

Following that logic, perhaps Kaepernick and his mutually offended cohorts should stop walking on American soil because that too was walked upon by Betsy and George and Thomas and Ben and Madison and Adams and a host of other deplorables.

Kaepernick is the former NFL football player whose career ended in 2016, not because he birthed the movement to "take a knee" in defiance during the presentation of our National Anthem, but because he was no longer able to make a team.

NIKE hired him as a consultant and last year made him the face of a campaign. They credit him with substantially increasing worldwide sales.

If it's left up to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, the increases in sales are over.

Gov. Ducey yanks AZ Nike plant incentives after Betsy Ross flag shoes are yanked from market.

Gov. Ducey was very direct yesterday, as he announced that he has directed the Arizona Commerce Authority to cancel all financial incentives for Nike's planned manufacturing plant in the state.

He says his decision came after he read the Wall Street Journal article.

The Arizona Republic had reported that Nike would be investing at least $184 million into the plant. The plant would create an estimated 500 full-time jobs as well as $7.7 million in direct revenue for the area. The Republic said the economic impact of the Nike plant would be about $483 million in its first five years of operation.

But it's apparently not about the money with Ducey.

Gov. Duecy said:
"Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike. Nike is an iconic American brand and American company. This country, our system of government and free enterprise, have allowed them to prosper and flourish."

Then he said this:

Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism. It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it. Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours. I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here. Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.
And finally, it shouldn’t take a controversy over a shoe for our kids to know who Betsy Ross is. A founding mother. Her story should be taught in all American schools. In the meantime, it’s worth googling her.

Ironically, Nike has hired Kaepernick to be the face of its "Just Do It" ad campaign with the slogan: 'Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.'

That's exactly what Governor Ducey is doing. It may cost him politically. Or it may increase support for him in his state. In any case, he clearly acted out doing the right thing---not a political calculation.

Freedom is not free.

The men who signed the Declaration of Independence had very few illusions about what they were risking:

"We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

For example, Ben Franklin, known as the sage of Philadelphia---the oldest to sign the Declaration before traveling to France in late 1776 to ask them for money to help in the revolution, he gave his entire fortune to Congress to help fund the war.

Another example involves Francis Lewis---not as well know as many of the other signers. A few months after signing his name to the Declaration of Independence, British troops destroyed his Long Island estate. They took his wife and put her in prison where she was tortured on a regular basis. After two years, George Washington was finally able to get her released under a prisoner exchange agreement.

The Heritage Foundation published an article a while back that documents what freedom cost the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

More current leaders of our country have also understood the risk and cost of freedom.

Ronald Reagan said:
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children;s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

The greatest freedom of all is the spiritual freedom given by God to all of us, although none of us deserved it.

It is written, "Those whom the Son sets free are free indeed."

That's true because God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Be Free. Be Joyful. Be Blessed.