Democrats and much of the press denounced the Betsy Ross flag this week not realizing the recent reality concerning one of the most patriotic symbols of the nation.
The very same flag flew prominently during then-President Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony in 2013, but became controversial when Nike halted the release of shoes bearing the flag.
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who endorses Nike, reportedly reached out to the company, when photos of the shoes with the symbol were posted online. The player said the flag was offensive because of its ties to an era in our history when slavery was legal.
The controversy quickly emerged on the national political stage, with some Democratic presidential candidates siding with Nike.
Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, had a response.
He tweeted, “Democrats running for president have officially lost it. Beto & Castro strongly imply that the Betsy Ross flag is a symbol of hatred. Do the rest of the Dems agree? Pictured here, of course, is the notorious flag prominently featured at President Obama’s 2nd inauguration.”
Democrats running for president have officially lost it.
Beto & Castro strongly imply that the Betsy Ross flag is a symbol of hatred. Do the rest of the Dems agree?
Pictured here, of course, is the notorious flag prominently featured at President Obama’s 2nd inauguration. pic.twitter.com/yfM9U8rG7Z
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) July 3, 2019
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, also tweeted, “weird that no one had a problem with The Betsy Ross Flag when it flew over Obama’s inauguration.”
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 3, 2019
In the meantime, Democrats protected Nike’s decision.
Julián Castro, a 2020 presidential candidate, said he was “glad to see” Nike remove the shoes over the “painful” symbol that he compared to the Confederate flag.
“There are a lot of things in our history that are still very painful,” Castro told CBS News. As an example, he cited “the Confederate flag that still flies in some places and is used as a symbol.”
Beto O’Rourke also supported Nike’s decision, noting that “white nationalist groups” have “appropriated” the Betsy Ross flag, without providing evidence.
“I think it’s really important to take into account the impression that kind of symbol would have for many of our fellow Americans,” he said, according to Jewish Insider.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted that Nike was “doing the right thing” and represented “the best of our American values.”
However, President Trump praised American greatness and named the nation’s heroes, including Betsy Ross, during a speech at the Salute to America July 4th celebration on Thursday.
Trump said: America’s fearless resolve has inspired heroes who defined our national character from George Washington, John Adams, and Betsy Ross to Douglass—you know, Frederick Douglass, the great Frederick Douglass — Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Jackie Robinson, and of course John Glenn.
“As long as we stay true to our course, as long as we remember our great history, as long as we never, ever stop fighting for a better future, then there will be nothing that America cannot do,” the president concluded.