Whether or not Betsy Ross actually designed and made this flag is not important. What is important is that the flag symbolized a new republic made up of thirteen colonies that had won their independence.
Over the years the flag has been regarded as a symbol of patriotism. It has flown at presidential inaugurations and continues to be present at a number of public institutions. The fact that it has been misused to signal small group biases is unfortunate and has taken away the flag’s historical significance.
We wouldn’t be thinking about this flag had not Nike pulled a shoe initially designed for what seemed to be the right reasons. I don’t think I am the only person who questions the company’s action as it fuels frustration over where we are as a nation. We are not perfect, but continuing to espouse attitudes that further separate us is not the answer to the problems. Until we as a people learn to respect one another and work toward common goals I can’t help but wonder where we are headed. Turning a tennis shoe into a political commentary is not the answer.
Today is July 4, and I intend to participate in the celebrations honoring this country. No matter its problems, I am proud to be an American and every day I hope for solutions to those things that keep us from loving one another.