Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, was seen wearing a pair of Nike sneakers, two days after he announced an order to rescind economic incentives to the company.
Ducey announced the end of the incentive package for the company on Tuesday. Arizona was set to give $1 million in incentives to Nike to encourage them to build a $185 million factory in the state, which would create 500 jobs.
The decision to rescind the incentives was due to a controversy involving a shoe design Nike decided to pull from its line, which featured the 13-star so-called “Betsy Ross flag” from the Revolutionary War. Nike decided to call off production of that design after former NFL quarterback and social activist Colin Kaepernick voiced concern with the company over its racist history, reported Business Insider.
Yet on Thursday, Ducey, who voiced strong dissatisfaction with Nike’s decision to listen to Kaepernick’s complaints, was himself seen wearing Nike sneakers on Independence Day. A spokesman for the governor tried to explain there was nothing inconsistent in his actions.
“The governor didn’t call for a boycott. He didn’t even say the company wasn’t welcome to do business in Arizona. He said we should be respecting our flag, our history and Betsy Ross,” the spokesman said.
Interestingly enough, the flag that is credited to Betsy Ross probably wasn’t actually crafted by her at all. It wasn’t until a full century after the Revolutionary War that any historical mention of Ross creating the flag was ever made — and it was her grandson, who had no tangible proof, who said she was commissioned by a committee of the Continental Congress to help create the flag.
Yet there’s no evidence that such a committee even existed, as Mental Floss pointed out, let alone that Congress asked Ross to help craft the emblem.
Her flag design is controversial because some, like Kaepernick, view it as a symbol of American history that celebrates a time when people of color were treated intolerably worse, particularly blacks who were slaves at the time.
It’s not just Kaepernick who thinks this way, however: several white supremacists share this view, and have co-opted the Betsy Ross flag as part of their movement, The Washington Post reported.
Featured image via Fox 1o Phoenix