American Elephants


A Little History for Mr. Kaepernick and Nike by The Elephant's Child

Perhaps you have seen this picture from Barack Obama’s Inauguration which has been widely circulated in response the the Nike shoe flap. You will notice the Betsy Ross flags at each end of the display. And the other flags depicting a time when we had fewer than 50 states. Hawaii and Alaska became the 49th and 50th states in 1959.

The Betsy Ross flag was the first official flag of the United States of America.

Jane Hampton Cook does a nice job of dispelling the myths about the Betsy Ross Flag at The Federalist.:

The Betsy Ross flag is not a colonial flag. It is the first official flag of the United States of America.

The Betsy Ross flag is the first flag of the United States of America, not of Britain’s American colonies. Independence Day, July 4, 1776, marks the day that the Declaration of Independence changed the American colonies into states.

While submitting to the authority of the Continental Congress, the new states began to set up new state governments and write new state constitutions. At the same time, Gen. George Washington knew that his army and the American people needed a new flag to symbolize this change from a government based on royalty to one based on representation. Betsy Ross, a known upholsterer in Philadelphia, sewed the first flag, according to sworn affidavits given by her descendants.

When Congress officially issued this flag on June 14, 1777, they emphasized the symbolism of the thirteen new states, not the thirteen colonies. “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation,” declared the Journal of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Do read the whole thing. Someone might send a copy to the idiots at Nike.




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