Rebecca Brannon: Betsy Ross is Not Oppressing You – Proudly Wave Your 1777 Edition Flag

Social justice warriors also likely overlook the inconvenient fact that Betsy Ross was a Quaker – Quakers being one of the first religious groups in America to speak out against slavery.

Betsy Ross

A symbol and reminder of our young republic, I would have proudly purchased and sported Nike’s retro USA throwback ‘Betsy Ross’ shoe.

The patriotic design by Nike was due to roll out just in time for July 4th, Independence Day – you know, the Revolutionary War where American Patriots kicked the British out of American and claimed Independence from their Tyranny – a time in which our Young Republic literally was trying to secure rights from an oppressive entity? 

What better time than to remind ourselves of that history and our country’s founding origins than with another small piece of history from 1777, sometimes forgotten from our grammar school lessons…

Yet, fast forward over 240 years, an elitist, “pro-athlete” who cannot even play football, who’s led an entire life of privilege nor known true hardship (he should thank his two white adoptee parents), has managed to brand Betsy Ross’ sewing work into ‘oppressive’ and ‘offensive’. 

This same individual, who childishly donned socks depicting police officers (who risk their lives daily to serve and protect citizens even as himself) as pigs, has once again stowed the fires of division across the nation during its most celebrated week…

During a week in which commemorate not just simply our Independence in 1776, but who we are as one nation despite where we may come from or who we are – for one day, we celebrate what we share and set aside all that may divide us – for one day, we celebrate all we have overcome in our young country’s 243 years and what we’ve achieved!

This is our week, our day, as a nation to unite proudly despite whatever color of skin we are, or whichever political beliefs we hold, in which, as our President constantly reminds us: 

We All Bleed the Same.

If the Betsy Ross flag offends you, you’re going out of your way to be offended. It will always be a symbol of the American Revolution as we emerged as an independent country from tyranny. History cannot be viewed through a political lens, nor does that mean parts of it can be omitted, erased, or ‘canceled in release or production’ simply because one finds fault or offense in it.

The history and background of the Betsy Ross flag has been taught for years in our children’s’ classrooms around the country – but, will public school curriculum be forced into scrubbing any teaching or mentioning of the flag in order to ‘not offend’?

If one wants to be quite literal, frankly no one had ‘rights’ at the time of the true flag’s origin around 1777 – the Bill of Rights itself would not be adopted until 1791. Social justice warriors also likely overlook the inconvenient fact that Betsy Ross was a Quaker – Quakers being one of the first religious groups in America to speak out against slavery. 

Instead of moving forward, there is a consistency and growing effort in this country to manufacture division. Instead of aligning itself with the rest of the country’s celebrations today, Nike has instead pandered to an out-of-touch elitist who would rather inject division and partisan politics, beating the past, during a week in which the entire country comes together in communities across the nation at hometown parades, festivals, and bombastic firework displays. 

We’re inundated daily with politics via our social media feeds and TV signals – but just for today and this weekend, forget who we disagree with and remember all that our country has overcome unlike many other nations, who still today sadly, practice slavery, child labor, outlaw homosexuality, and oppress women in cultural bondage… 

What makes us wonderful as a country is not simply our freedoms, but how much our young country has achieved for its people compared to much older established nations – perhaps that is why we are sometimes the envy of the world and so many come here for a better life. They’re certainly not coming her for ‘oppression’ – it’s simply fake outrage.

So this week, let us all unite as one nation behind the American flag… and all her historic designs and variations. 

(PS Someone should alert Nike and Colin over Obama’s second inauguration – the backdrop, in full display, hangs the ‘Betsy Ross’ flags. Perhaps Google can get on censoring these images!)


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Rebecca Brannon