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Attacking the founders’ flag

American seamstress Betsy Ross showing the first design of the American flag to George Washington in Philadelphia. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, best known for his protests during the national anthem, has launched new attacks against the “The Betsy Ross Flag,” used by patriots during the Revolution. Under pressure from Kaepernick, Nike canceled plans for special edition sneakers decorated with the flag, featuring a circle of thirteen stars representing the thirteen rebellious colonies. All of them allowed slavery, so Kaepernick connects them to “white supremacy.”

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This ignores impassioned, anti-slavery patriots – like Adams, Franklin and Hamilton – as well as Betsy Ross herself. Historians debate whether she designed the flag personally herself, but we do know she came from a devout Quaker family – and Quakers led anti-slavery activism in America. What’s more, Betsy’s home colony of Pennsylvania was the first to abolish slavery – in 1780, seven years before the Constitution. Slurs against our Founders and their banner are not only foolish, but ignorant.

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