GEORGIA — A clothing company in Georgia has released a T-shirt featuring the flag designed by Betsy Ross in response to Nike canceling a sneaker bearing the same flag.
The athletic-wear company delivered the sneaker to retailers but asked stores to return them to Nike after the company received a complaint from NFL star Colin Kaepernick. The Wall Street Journal indicated Kaepernick said he and others found the shoe offensive.
The shoe was set to be released Monday for $140, according to Sneakernews.com. The website included photos of a shoe that featured a version of the American flag with 13 stars organized in a circle and 13 stripes. That version of the flag, according to the Smithsonian, was used in the United States from 1777 to 1795.
It is unclear if any of the shoes were sold.
Nine Line Apparel states on its website that the “controversy” involving Kaepernick “has us all shaking our heads again at Nike in complete disgust. Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, reached out to the footwear and apparel giant to let them know his dissatisfaction with their newly slated planned release of the Nike Air Max 1 Quick Strike ‘Fourth of July’ USA-themed sneakers.”
The website goes on to say that the early design of the flag represents the unity of the 13 original American colonies in their fight against to the British during the Revolutionary War.
“We are only able to enjoy our liberties, rights and lives as Americans today, because of what this flag has always symbolized and stood for. For Colin Kaepernick and Nike to say no to the release of what would have probably been a popular shoe for their summer footwear line is like saying no to our 4th of July holiday,” it states. The one day of the year where we all unite as one patriotic American family to rejoice and celebrate our freedom, hard fought and won by our country’s forefathers. The Betsy Ross flag has a direct correlation with this national patriotic holiday but Kaepernick and Nike don’t care. They are a disgrace to all freedom-loving Americans, choosing ignorance over patriotism. For these reasons and so many more, we proudly stand for freedom and the Betsy Ross flag to say without recall or hesitation, just DON’T do it.”
The T-shirt retails for $26.99 and comes in black, gray and navy. It’s called the Boyfriend Fit T-shirt – Victory. It’s a limited time design and will start to ship on July 12.