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In January 2013, during his second Inauguration, President Obama hung the Betsy Ross 13-star flag behind him, without offending anyone. In 2015, prominent Democrat and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda launched the hip-hop musical “Hamilton.” The cast sang a tune celebrating that same flag flying at Yorktown:

“How do we emerge victorious from the quagmire? Leave the battlefield, waving Betsy Ross’ flag higher?”

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The multi-racial cast had no problem singing those words despite Colin Kaepernick’s unfortunate veto of a Nike shoe design due to the presence of what he implied was a “racist” 1777 flag purportedly designed by a Quaker lady (and Quakers were strong opponents of slavery), Betsy Ross.

The Betsy Ross flag stands for America’s miraculous victory over the greatest military power the world had ever seen to that date. When did that flag become a racist symbol? Lisa Moulder, director of the Betsy Ross Home in Philadelphia, said that she has never heard of the flag being used as a hate symbol, and Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said “I am not sure brother Kaepernick even totally understands who Betsy Ross is.”

I am on the board of Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas. I have contacted police chiefs and retired FBI agents in both Texas and Louisiana. They all emphatically told me that they had not seen the Betsy Ross flag used in an inappropriate manner and never in conjunction with the Confederate flag.

The Betsy Ross flag is also part of the seal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. I have spoken with veterans who served overseas. They saw men die. They were present when the flag was draped over the casket, then folded carefully and given to the widow or heirs. Disrespect for the flag saddens those veterans. My Air Force veteran father had a U.S. flag draped over his coffin, and that flag was ceremonially folded and presented to my mother.

Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow for the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said that extremist groups have occasionally used it, but the flag is most commonly used for patriotic purposes: “We view it as an innocuous historical flag. It’s not a ‘thing’ in the white supremacist movement.” It is not in the ADL’s “Hate Symbols Database.” If a few fringe racist groups used that flag, so what? Must Christians stop honoring the cross if KKK groups misuse them? I prefer not to let haters define our greatest symbols.

It also is sad to see Democratic Presidential candidates like Julian Castro or Beto O’Rourke jump on the anti-American bandwagon of praising Nike and Colin Kaepernick for banning an American symbol of freedom and sacrifice.

Colin Kaepernick also refused to stand during the raising of today’s 50-star flag, so we have to ask: What flag does he want Nike to put on a shoe these days? Is there any U.S. flag that he respects? We will always stand for the flag. Show your patriotism and support of our great nation by purchasing one of our exclusive flag products today!