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  #1  
Old 07-01-2019, 08:59 PM
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Is the "Betsy Ross" flag racist


Specifically, this one.

First let me explain my opinion about these things. I am not racist. I understand and agree the southern cross flag has come to stand for racism. I understand the swastika has come to stand for racism.

So this thread is first and foremost a 'fight my ignorance' thread. Second I want opinions.

Recently, Nike reportedly cancelled a patriotic shoe design for Independence Day with a Betsy Ross flag because Colin Kaepernick objected to the symbol, according to the Washington Post.

This apparently stemmed from students at Forest Hills, Mich. high School displaying it alongside a Trump banner.

Really? I get the Dukes of Hazard flag. I get the swastika hate. But does everything that some fringe hate group uses automatically go on the racist list? If I wear blue laces on my boots does that automatically mean I think cops should be killed?

So fight my ignorance, does America's first flag stand for hate or are some people working to hard to be offended?

And, yes, I know Betsy Ross probably didn't really design that flag.


.

Last edited by Lucas Jackson; 07-01-2019 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:11 PM
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As the swastika example shows, a symbol that has no inherent racist connotations may acquire them by being co-opted and employed by racists.

So there's no doubt that the Betsy Ross flag could become a racist, or otherwise offensive, symbol.

Whether it has become so is not a question that has a simple binary answer. A flag may be innocent when displayed in one context but offensive when displayed in another. Or it may have innocent connotations for one group of people but offensive connotations for another.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:24 PM
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I'm sure racists groups have marched under the standard 50 star U.S. flag as well. Does that make it racist?

But obviously Nike can do what it wishes in this matter.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:53 PM
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I'm sure racists groups have marched under the standard 50 star U.S. flag as well. Does that make it racist?
It's displayed in many other contexts as well. But if racists are the only ones making extensive use of the Betsy Ross flag then, yeah, it could get to be a racist symbol pretty quickly.

Which brings us to a certain irony. The more ready people are to eschew the use of a flag which they think has acquired or is acquiring racist connotations, the more they entrench, intensify, etc those racist connotations.

In the US the national flag is extensively used for commercial promotion by private companies seeking profit (as in the present example). That, second only to being displayed to signify government property, is probably its predominant use. So if private businesses are averse to using the Betsy Ross flag because they fear it might not contribute to their profitability, and of course the government doesn't use it because it uses the current flag, that pretty much leaves the field clear for the fascists.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:55 PM
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I have no idea, could it be people don't know exactly what flag it is?


(Although Kaepernick's shilling for Nike should tell you where his priorities lie. Seriously, they're notorious for having some of the worst sweat-shops in the world.)
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:15 PM
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It has been adopted (coopted?) by the Patriot Movement.

Those guys are generally white supremacist.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:32 PM
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Seriously, they're notorious for having some of the worst sweat-shops in the world.
Well, they were about 25 years ago. Ethical-business evaluators consider that since then Nike has substantially improved its practices, although they still have a long way to go.

I'm not sure I see how Nike's use of sweatshop labor invalidates Kaepernick's opinion about racist connotations of the "Betsy Ross flag", however. I mean, the Nike designers who suggested the "Betsy Ross flag" sneaker design in the first place are also working for Nike; should we consider their opinions about the acceptability of the design invalidated too?

As for whether the "Betsy Ross flag" actually does have racist connotations, as UDS said, it's a matter of usage and opinion. I agree that it comes across as more racist when it's being paraded around with a Trump banner and MAGA hats, other US flags, etc., at a high school football game.

Especially when the students parading it are white students from a mostly-white school whose opponents are a mostly-nonwhite school with a large population of recent immigrants. I mean, why would you use aggressively patriotic, politically jingoistic, and anti-immigrant symbols as a show of partisan support for your team in a football game between two US high schools, except to try to send the message that your team are the real Americans and the other team aren't?
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:46 PM
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It's displayed in many other contexts as well. But if racists are the only ones making extensive use of the Betsy Ross flag then, yeah, it could get to be a racist symbol pretty quickly.

Which brings us to a certain irony. The more ready people are to eschew the use of a flag which they think has acquired or is acquiring racist connotations, the more they entrench, intensify, etc those racist connotations.
This is the heart of the issue right here. This basically lets the racists co-opt the symbol and control the narrative.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:52 PM
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AKA, "why should I change? He's the one who sucks." Good point.

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Well, they were about 25 years ago. Ethical-business evaluators consider that since then Nike has substantially improved its practices, although they still have a long way to go.

I'm not sure I see how Nike's use of sweatshop labor invalidates Kaepernick's opinion about racist connotations of the "Betsy Ross flag", however. I mean, the Nike designers who suggested the "Betsy Ross flag" sneaker design in the first place are also working for Nike; should we consider their opinions about the acceptability of the design invalidated too?

As for whether the "Betsy Ross flag" actually does have racist connotations, as UDS said, it's a matter of usage and opinion. I agree that it comes across as more racist when it's being paraded around with a Trump banner and MAGA hats, other US flags, etc., at a high school football game.

Especially when the students parading it are white students from a mostly-white school whose opponents are a mostly-nonwhite school with a large population of recent immigrants. I mean, why would you use aggressively patriotic, politically jingoistic, and anti-immigrant symbols as a show of partisan support for your team in a football game between two US high schools, except to try to send the message that your team are the real Americans and the other team aren't?
I think what bugs me that if he's so eager to fight injustice, why is he willing to accept millions from a business like Nike? You know? It's like, okay, I have no issue with kneeling for the flag, but don't talk about fighting for injustice, and then take money from a company that treats its workers like Nike does.

If he REALLY wants to make a difference, he wouldn't be working for them at all. THAT'S what bothers me. But that's probably for a different thread.

Last edited by Guinastasia; 07-01-2019 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:11 PM
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This is the heart of the issue right here. This basically lets the racists co-opt the symbol and control the narrative.
It's not about "letting" racists "control the narrative", it's about being aware of how racists have already changed the narrative. When racists seize on a particular symbol to represent their racist ideology, and it becomes associated with their ideology in popular consciousness, you can't immediately un-ring that bell.

Maybe the subsequent evolution of popular iconography will further change the perceived meaning of the "Betsy Ross flag" away from overt white nationalism. But at present, Nike sees that the "Betsy Ross flag" is widely perceived as having been co-opted by white nationalists, and Nike knows that trying to market sneaker designs that are widely perceived as racist symbols will hurt their sales of sneakers, so they're not going to do that.

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Originally Posted by Guinastasia
I think what bugs me that if he's so eager to fight injustice, why is he willing to accept millions from a business like Nike?
Dunno, possibly because it enables him to donate buttloads of money to charitable causes for social justice and helping people out of poverty?

Or possibly not. I'm not arguing that Kaepernick or any other well-known activist is 100% on principled consistency in all their thoughts, words and actions. I just don't think that Kaepernick's having a sponsorship deal with a company that has some glaring labor-policy-fairness issues necessarily invalidates his opinion on whether the "Betsy Ross flag" has connotations of being a racist symbol.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:50 PM
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<snip>...and anti-immigrant symbols...
Yeah, but is it though? What about the "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...

This thread wasnt really intended to be about Nike (though I welcome those comments), they can do as they please. And apparently they thought the BR flag graphics were a good idea before Kappernick nixed it.

I do believe its about letting the racists control the narrative. Obviously an organization like the Third Riech coopted the swastika, but they were huge. Im not sure every little grass roots mob should taint every symbol they use.
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:16 AM
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Yeah, but is it though? What about the "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...

This thread wasnt really intended to be about Nike (though I welcome those comments), they can do as they please. And apparently they thought the BR flag graphics were a good idea before Kappernick nixed it.

I do believe its about letting the racists control the narrative. Obviously an organization like the Third Riech coopted the swastika, but they were huge. Im not sure every little grass roots mob should taint every symbol they use.
But that's the thing. Given the dominance in the US of commercial considerations in decisions about how the national symbols are used and displayed, it is effectively the Nikes of this world who will decide whether to contest the possession of the Betsy Ross flag and reclaim it from the racists, or to leave it to them and allow them to own it. And they'll do whichever is most profitable for them.

They can do as they please, as you say. But what it pleases them to do will probably determine the outcome of this contest for the signficance of the Betsy Ross flag.
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:37 AM
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It's not about "letting" racists "control the narrative", it's about being aware of how racists have already changed the narrative. When racists seize on a particular symbol to represent their racist ideology, and it becomes associated with their ideology in popular consciousness, you can't immediately un-ring that bell.
But, I think we (US citizens) have a responsibility to un-ring that bell in this instance. I don't want the founding symbols for my country to become co-opted by racists. I'll defend your right to burn any fashion of the US flag, but to ban certain versions because certain idiots want to adopt it? Nope. I'm gonna have to find a Betsy Ross flag sticker to display, because I'm not the flag-y type. Were some of the founders racists and slaveowners? Yep. Does that make them the least little bit special in their time? Nope, but I'm overlooking that for their other collective good qualities. You can't expect anyone to be all things, and a group is far less likely to be spotless.

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Dunno, possibly because it enables him to donate buttloads of money to charitable causes for social justice and helping people out of poverty?

Or possibly not. I'm not arguing that Kaepernick or any other well-known activist is 100% on principled consistency in all their thoughts, words and actions. I just don't think that Kaepernick's having a sponsorship deal with a company that has some glaring labor-policy-fairness issues necessarily invalidates his opinion on whether the "Betsy Ross flag" has connotations of being a racist symbol.

I'm not sure that Kapernick even killed the design, and I generally support his turn of conscience WRT the national anthem. But I've got a real hard time justifying robbing Peter to pay Paul, in this instance. If you could be brave enough to take a knee against the anthem, you'd have the sense to say no to Nike if you thought about it hard. So, it does show that he might not think very far when he takes his stands, or might have limited or specific courage. Either way, Nike is an employer who's using him for promotion. I'm not sure I have real problems if he decided to use them for his ends in turn, even if I think at that point it's a silly gripe.

But in the end, I don't have to accept his idea of what's a racist symbol. Symbols mean a lot of things to a lot of folks, and I don't really have to accept anyone else's idea of what it means. To give a personal example, I've worn a series of leather biker jackets as winter wear my entire adult life. It's a symbol that just means "Rock 'n Roll!" to me, and is a practical, very durable garment. I've only really had to own two since I turned 18. One is painted, and the other has patches on it. I've been asked "Are you a skinhead" by a couple of black guys while wearing it with hair that was at least 2'5" past my shoulders. I don't know if they were scared or just interested in pointers on trying to identify skinheads, but they didn't seem accusatory. I just smiled, pointed to my head and said, "Nope! Got Hair!", and went about my buisness.

These days, I work with at an international company with a large number of immigrants from a great variety of places. The same jacket that might have meat specific things to Americans in the past means a different thing to them now. Most of them just see the jacket as "American". A few of them will ask with different levels of excitement and a little bit of exotic revulsion if it is "real". I assume the people who are absolutely revolted by me wearing a cow don't even ask (and possibly they tried to go anywhere but Texas), so I always answer that it is really leather. I'm sure this jacket means something different to them than it does to me.

Similarly, I had a co-worker who decorated their car for a Hindu holiday. I apologize, I figured out which one, but I cannot recall it at the moment. On the front of their hood was an unmistakable swastika, but rotating the opposite direction from what I'm used to. They seemed to park across from me every day for around a year. I never said anything about it (yes, I should have at least asked if they were aware of the potential problems), but I do know a bit about the history of the symbol, and wasn't personally confused. However, I do wonder what other drivers who might notice it would think about this Indian man driving around with what could be easily misinterpreted as a Nazi symbol painted in beige on his hood.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:20 AM
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Using the proceeds or hardcore capitalism to solve the injustices and misery wrought by hardcore capitalism strikes me as a strategy wrought with a slight problem
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:40 AM
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And, yes, I know Betsy Ross probably didn't really design that flag.


.
And it’s probably not accurate to call it our first flag either. The history is murky, but the first flag is either the Grand Union flag with the Union Jack in the canton or its a flag with the 13 stars in a rectangular pattern.

The Betsy Ross flag with the 13 stars in a circle didn’t become popular until the centennial celebrations in 1876, when Ross’s family started pushing the Betsy Ross story.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:03 AM
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The reflexive idea that if racists have commandeered a particular symbol or object means that we can no longer use that thing not only gives them great power ("4chan says the OK hand symbol is racist? No more OK hand symbols!") but also misses a useful strategy: Diluting their power. If racists want to use the Betsy Ross flag for racist purposes, then why not have all of society deliberately use that same flag for non-racist purposes? If 4chan trolls want us to stop using the OK hand symbol for fear of racism, why not purposefully use the hand symbol a lot for innocuous purposes? You dilute the racist effectiveness that way.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:52 AM
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This is the kind of lunatic shit that will get Trump reelected.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:23 AM
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I kind of like this one.

https://allpoetry.com/poem/6739603-O...-Mr.-Numi-Who-
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:44 AM
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By that standard, the Bald Eagle is now racist.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:21 AM
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It's my understanding that Colin Kaepernick's objection to the Betsy Ross flag is not because of it's recent use by racists groups. Rather, it stems from the same reasoning that leads him not to stand during the playing of the National Anthem: it represents an inherently racists governmental system. His reasoning is that the United States, as constituted at the time of the Revolution, had the choice to be non-racist, and instead specifically institutionalized racism, especially slavery. So to idolize a symbol from that time period in our history is to idolize the institution that continued to oppress his ancestors.

It's others who piled onto his objections by noting the use of the flag by racist groups recently.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:31 AM
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It's my understanding that Colin Kaepernick's objection to the Betsy Ross flag is not because of it's recent use by racists groups. Rather, it stems from the same reasoning that leads him not to stand during the playing of the National Anthem: it represents an inherently racists governmental system. His reasoning is that the United States, as constituted at the time of the Revolution, had the choice to be non-racist, and instead specifically institutionalized racism, especially slavery. So to idolize a symbol from that time period in our history is to idolize the institution that continued to oppress his ancestors.

It's others who piled onto his objections by noting the use of the flag by racist groups recently.
That kind of objection could be applied to basically all of human history though, and views all of human activity through a very narrow, one-dimensional lens. I personally find the idea that you cannot celebrate anything if it occurred during a time of injustice to be so ridiculous that it genuinely distracts from legitimate criticisms.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:09 PM
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No, no it is not. Nor is the Ok sign. Nor is the Dont tread on me flag.

Last edited by DrDeth; 07-02-2019 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:32 PM
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Arizona tells Nike to go fuck itself.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:52 PM
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The Betsy Ross flag with the 13 stars in a circle didn’t become popular until the centennial celebrations in 1876, when Ross’s family started pushing the Betsy Ross story.
A timely article from Threads magazine about Ross and the flag:
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In fact, no one credited Betsy Ross as the flag creator during her lifetime, aside from relatives and friends to whom she told this story. It wasn’t until Betsy’s grandson William Canby made a speech to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1870 that Betsy was first recognized as the flag’s creator. While Canby conducted thorough research into the history of the flag and interviewed his mother and two aunts (all of whom were Betsy’s daughters) and one of Betsy’s nieces before giving the speech, it was too late to get firsthand knowledge by this time. [...]

Although we will probably never know if Betsy created the original U.S. flag, there are records showing she was paid as an official flag maker for the U.S. Navy during the Revolutionary War.
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Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq
It's my understanding that Colin Kaepernick's objection to the Betsy Ross flag is not because of it's recent use by racists groups. Rather, it stems from the same reasoning that leads him not to stand during the playing of the National Anthem: it represents an inherently racists governmental system. His reasoning is that the United States, as constituted at the time of the Revolution, had the choice to be non-racist, and instead specifically institutionalized racism, especially slavery. [...]

It's others who piled onto his objections by noting the use of the flag by racist groups recently.
May well be: the Wall Street Journal article apparently discussing the issue in detail, which I can't read because paywall, is briefly described here:
Quote:
The sneakers’ release this week was canceled after Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback, activist and Nike ambassador, reportedly weighed in on the flag design as potentially offensive because of its connection to an era of slavery. The WSJ also reported that the early flag has also been co-opted in recent years by some white nationalist groups.
Update: Republican governor Doug Ducey of Arizona is apparently canceling an offered financial incentive package for Nike to build a factory in Goodyear, AZ, on account of miffed feelings about the withdrawal of the "Betsy Ross flag" sneaker. I'm not sure it makes a whole lot of sense economically to cut off Arizona workers' noses to spite Nike's face, especially since the whole foofaraw is probably providing tons of valuable free publicity for Nike.

ETA: ninja'd by Darren Garrison, with one caveat:
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison
Arizona tells Nike to go fuck itself.
Well, more like "Arizona tells Nike to go give other people the jobs they were being invited to give Arizonans".


I also don't really get how people are justifying spinning this in the online outrage uproar as Nike being "unpatriotic". ISTM that there's nothing unpatriotic about saying that racist associations disqualify a particular symbol from being an acceptable signifier of patriotism, even if there's room for disagreement about whether the "Betsy Ross flag" symbol actually does have racist associations.

Last edited by Kimstu; 07-02-2019 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:25 PM
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I don't want the founding symbols for my country to become co-opted by racists. I'll defend your right to burn any fashion of the US flag, but to ban certain versions because certain idiots want to adopt it?
"Ban"? Who is suggesting any form of "ban" on the "Betsy Ross flag" symbol? AFAICT, this is about one company deciding to stop their use of the symbol as a marketing device for their brand because they feel it has racist associations that are bad for their image.

Personally, I never saw anything particularly patriotic in the symbolism of slapping an American flag on a grimy old sneaker anyway. It's not as outright mystifying to me as the mindset of the people who think it's patriotic to literally use American flag iconography on a doormat, but it's still a bit bizarre.
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:56 PM
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This is stupid. Is every US symbol pre 1865 racist? I have some coins that are pre 1865 should I throw them away?
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:11 PM
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Is every US symbol pre 1865 racist?
Well, what did the pre-1865 US stand for, ideologically? Many different things, including legal chattel slavery of black people. I think it's a bit oversensitive to get all indignant when somebody not unreasonably points out that the history of American slavery tends to associate pre-Civil War America with racism. (Not that the history of post-Reconstruction American racial segregation and oppression did a whole lot to fix that association, mind you.)

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I have some coins that are pre 1865 should I throw them away?
Um, this seems to be taking snowflakey overreaction to a fairly extreme level. I am not seeing anybody saying that every instance of any symbol associated with the US prior to 1865 needs to be "thrown away". Just that maybe such a symbol isn't the best marketing choice for a sales campaign built around themes of racial justice and equality.

Jeez, people, maybe just calm down a bit? Neither Nike nor Colin Kaepernick is telling you that you have to "throw away" every instance of American iconography dating from the days of legalized slavery. But they are also not exactly wrong when they acknowledge that the existence of legalized slavery in those days somewhat tarnishes our self-congratulatory image of early America as the good old days of freedom and equality.
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:25 PM
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It's like prayer at football games. What version of the flag wouldn't be disrespectful on a shoe?
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:07 PM
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Um, this seems to be taking snowflakey overreaction to a fairly extreme level.
Yes, that is a good description of Kaepernick!
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:17 PM
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The US flag code law probably would not allow a flag on a shoe but that may only apply to the current flag. Also there are many cases where this law is ignored when people make shirts , etc with the flag .

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Flag_Code
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:35 PM
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Yes, that is a good description of Kaepernick!
Who actually fits the description of "overreacting snowflake" here? The activist who allegedly said to a major corporation something along the lines of "Um, this slavery-era US flag frequently used as an emblem by modern right-wing 'patriot' groups is maybe not a good look for a sneaker-sales ad campaign based on my protests against racial injustice"?

Or the Republican governor who threw a public tantrum about the corporation's marketing decision, to the extent of rescinding a financial-incentive package to encourage the corporation to build a factory in his state to provide jobs to his constituents, while whining "We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history"?

We may disagree with Kaepernick and Nike about how salient the racist associations of the "Betsy Ross flag" symbol really are, but the honest-to-gosh overreacting snowflakes here are the folks losing their shit at them for allegedly "unpatriotic" transgressions when all they did was to make a marketing decision about their own products. Chill out, people.

Last edited by Kimstu; 07-02-2019 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:49 PM
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[QUOTE=Kimstu;21729035] Who actually fits the description of "overreacting snowflake" here? /QUOTE]


Kaepernick. He has graduated from "principled objector" to "pathetic clown."
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:03 PM
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Specifically, this one.


And, yes, I know Betsy Ross probably didn't really design that flag.


.
Of course she didn't. It's made of nylon.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Kaepernick. He has graduated from "principled objector" to "pathetic clown."
That just seems like a really weird and melodramatic assessment of the mere act of (allegedly) telling the company that he has a sponsorship contract with that a patriotic symbol from the era of slavery is widely perceived as having racist connotations, and therefore isn't the best marketing choice for the company's product.

(And it's not like Kaepernick is just making up that assessment out of his own head, either: the "Betsy Ross flag" has been described as problematic for a while now, as noted in this article from September 2016: )
Quote:
The Betsy Ross flag is controversial, in part, because it is embraced by white nationalist organizations whose members claim a superior birthright.
And you think that merely pointing that out is somehow more "pathetic" and "overreacting" than the response of the governor who went to the lengths of nixing a tax-break package for the company (or, in your own somewhat overheated rhetoric, telling the company to "go fuck itself") to provide jobs to the citizens of his own state, just because he was so outraged at the company's internal marketing decision?

Somebody's being pathetic clowns and oversensitive snowflakes here, but I don't think it's Kaepernick.
  #35  
Old 07-02-2019, 05:10 PM
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Yes, that is a good description of Kaepernick!
Lil thinskinned aintcha? Back in the day, we didn't get offended every time someone said something we didn't like.
  #36  
Old 07-02-2019, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
That just seems like a really weird and melodramatic assessment of the mere act of (allegedly) telling the company that he has a sponsorship contract with that a patriotic symbol from the era of slavery is widely perceived as having racist connotations, and therefore isn't the best marketing choice for the company's product.

Where is it "widely perceived" as having "racist connotations"? This is the first time I've ever heard of it.


I truly and sincerely hope that Nike looses a shit-ton of business over this idiocy.
  #37  
Old 07-02-2019, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Where is it "widely perceived" as having "racist connotations"? This is the first time I've ever heard of it.


...
"widely perceived" meaning "I think so, thereby...."
  #38  
Old 07-02-2019, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Where is it "widely perceived" as having "racist connotations"? This is the first time I've ever heard of it.
Are you seriously suggesting that something can't be "widely" familiar even though you've never heard of it before? Because that seems like a rather unrealistic benchmark.

As I quoted from a September 2016 article in my previous post:
Quote:
The Betsy Ross flag is controversial, in part, because it is embraced by white nationalist organizations whose members claim a superior birthright.
Here's a January 2019 comment from someone on r/vexillology about "Controversial flags":
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Why is Canadian red flag controversial? I thought it was just the Canadian flag before the leaf?
It’s used by white supremacist groups to attempt to go back to the original mono-ethnic British Canada compared to today’s
I mean, I guess the same way a Betsy Ross flag is used?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison
I truly and sincerely hope that Nike looses a shit-ton of business over this idiocy.
Your inexplicable fury over what is just an internal marketing decision by Nike about sneaker decoration, based on a potentially sensitive PR issue about which reasonable people can disagree, is coming across as more and more baffling. I mean, who tf cares if Nike might be erring a bit on the side of over-caution about the symbolic connotations of their shoe design? You are fuming as though Nike just launched a billboard campaign declaring "Darren Garrison Can Suck Our Big Nylon-Mesh Dick" or something.

Anyway, not to make you even madder, but I kind of doubt that this particular marketing decision is going to cause Nike to "loose" any business. Their PR people are probably not stupid and have likely figured out the relative pros and cons of making this call. (Including the fact that any business they might have lost from people outraged over their discontinuation of the "Betsy Ross flag" symbol was probably already lost when Nike hired Kaepernick as brand ambassador in the first place. And that seems to have worked out quite well for them as of six months ago or so: )
Quote:
The boycott against Nike for making Colin Kaepernick the face of its latest ad campaign doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect.

According to CBS, Nike’s stock has soared over the past year, seeing a 5 percent increase since Labor Day — the day it revealed that Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, was the star of company’s 30th-anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.
So yeah, Nike is probably going to make a lot more than it loses off this latest wave of controversy-sparked free publicity, especially if their critics go on frothing at the mouth in this belligerent but weirdly entertaining way.

Heck, not even all Arizonans are on board with their governor's outraged decision to tell Nike, as you put it, "to go fuck itself":
Quote:
While Ducey drew a lot of applause from conservatives, others were not so pleased.

“That Ducey would eliminate jobs for the people of Arizona for this? It’s very heartbreaking, but it’s so enlightening,” said Katt McKinney of Black Lives Matter Arizona in Phoenix. [...]

Mary Grace Wendell, a retired schoolteacher, urged citizens to opposed Ducey's directive.

"It's time for Goodyear to stand up and take care of their community even if the governor of their state thinks otherwise," she said in a Facebook message.

U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego said Ducey was acting presidential.

"Doug Ducey is taking a page out of Donald Trump's playbook – playing politics rather than focusing on creating jobs for Arizonans," Gallego said on Twitter. The Congressman said District 7 would welcome the factory, and invited residents to contact his office if they needed help following the announcement.

Last edited by Kimstu; 07-02-2019 at 05:47 PM.
  #39  
Old 07-02-2019, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Your inexplicable fury over what is just an internal marketing decision by Nike about sneaker decoration, based on a potentially sensitive PR issue about which reasonable people can disagree, is coming across as more and more baffling.

You sure are good at projecting strong emotions on to short text messages that you read on a screen.
  #40  
Old 07-02-2019, 06:07 PM
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So yeah, Nike is probably going to make a lot more than it loses off this latest wave of controversy-sparked free publicity, especially if their critics go on frothing at the mouth in this belligerent but weirdly entertaining way.

Possibly. I was expressing a hope, not an expectation. I'm well aware that idiocy is often rewarded, though.
  #41  
Old 07-02-2019, 06:25 PM
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You sure are good at projecting strong emotions on to short text messages that you read on a screen.
Well, when the short text messages consist of phrases like "tells Nike to go fuck itself", "pathetic clown", and "I truly and sincerely hope that Nike looses a shit-ton of business over this idiocy", no projection is needed to detect a strong vibe of anger.

Especially when you haven't articulated even the slightest rational justification for why you are reacting so strongly to this fairly minor issue as an instance of "pathetic clown" "idiocy" for which Nike should "go fuck itself".

I mean, this is simply a marketing decision by Nike execs based on concern about the possible negative connotations of this one symbol for their brand image. Companies tweak their product designs based on concern about possible negative connotations of certain symbols for their brand image all the time. Why in the world are you pissed off about this one instance to the extent of hoping that Nike loses "a shit-ton of business" over it?
  #42  
Old 07-02-2019, 06:54 PM
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Well, when the short text messages consist of phrases like "tells Nike to go fuck itself", "pathetic clown", and "I truly and sincerely hope that Nike looses a shit-ton of business over this idiocy", no projection is needed to detect a strong vibe of anger.

Especially when you haven't articulated even the slightest rational justification for why you are reacting so strongly to this fairly minor issue as an instance of "pathetic clown" "idiocy" for which Nike should "go fuck itself".

I mean, this is simply a marketing decision by Nike execs based on concern about the possible negative connotations of this one symbol for their brand image. Companies tweak their product designs based on concern about possible negative connotations of certain symbols for their brand image all the time. Why in the world are you pissed off about this one instance to the extent of hoping that Nike loses "a shit-ton of business" over it?

Are you saying that the position shown by the Arizona governor in those tweets isn't accurately summed up as telling Nike to go fuck itself?


And again, you are projecting that I am "pissed off." Can you not conceive of someone taking a different position than you that isn't a straw-man frothing-at-the-mouth caricature? I assure you that I'm am perfectly calm as I roll my eyes at Kaepernick. How far back are the ultra-WOKE supposed to erase American history now? All the way back to 1492?
  #43  
Old 07-02-2019, 07:05 PM
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How far back are the ultra-WOKE supposed to erase American history now? All the way back to 1492?
In what possible way does Nike's decision not to use the "Betsy Ross flag" symbol in a 2019 sneaker design qualify as "erasing American history"?

I would have thought that having a serious discussion of the question of what exactly the "Betsy Ross" flag symbolizes, and how some modern ideological groups have tried to appropriate its symbolism, and how the positive connotations of early American independence stack up against the negative connotations of early American slavery, is the very opposite of "erasing American history".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison
I assure you that I'm am perfectly calm as I roll my eyes at Kaepernick.
Mm-hmm, right, your using four separate forms of typographical emphasis simultaneously on the word "woke" doesn't sound angry at all.
  #44  
Old 07-02-2019, 08:06 PM
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Did American history come into existence when someone at Nike designed this shoe?

The claim of erasing history is so nonsensical that it should be considered trolling.
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  #45  
Old 07-02-2019, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
"Ban"? Who is suggesting any form of "ban" on the "Betsy Ross flag" symbol? AFAICT, this is about one company deciding to stop their use of the symbol as a marketing device for their brand because they feel it has racist associations that are bad for their image.
Ban may have been a bad word choice, but if society agrees with Kapernick's reasoning, how could it not be effectively banned in society outside of a museum?


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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Personally, I never saw anything particularly patriotic in the symbolism of slapping an American flag on a grimy old sneaker anyway. It's not as outright mystifying to me as the mindset of the people who think it's patriotic to literally use American flag iconography on a doormat, but it's still a bit bizarre.
I don't find it particularly patriotic to do either, to be honest. But to discard a symbol for this reason is pretty silly. Kapernick didn't have to wear them if he found them distasteful for whatever reason.
  #46  
Old 07-02-2019, 08:32 PM
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The KKK has been using the Christian cross as a symbol longer and more widely than the Betsy Ross flag, and I don't see anyone abandoning that because of an association with white supremacy.

Besides, the joke's on them. I've been flying that flag for years now, and I'm a socialist. That makes it the socialist flag.
  #47  
Old 07-02-2019, 08:35 PM
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Ban may have been a bad word choice, but if society agrees with Kapernick's reasoning, how could it not be effectively banned in society outside of a museum?
Is the swastika banned? Is the Confederate flag banned? Most people agree these symbols have been co-opted by racists and thus, have come to represent racism, and yet its perfectly legal to display them in or outside a museum.

Quote:
I don't find it particularly patriotic to do either, to be honest. But to discard a symbol for this reason is pretty silly. Kapernick didn't have to wear them if he found them distasteful for whatever reason.
If Nike really wanted to use that flag, they couldve done so. Its not like Kapernick held them at gunpoint; all he did was offer an opinion that made them reconsider their marketing approach.

Why is a business decision that is zero consequence to anyone worth worrying about?
  #48  
Old 07-02-2019, 09:02 PM
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Is the swastika banned? Is the Confederate flag banned? Most people agree these symbols have been co-opted by racists and thus, have come to represent racism, and yet its perfectly legal to display them in or outside a museum.
...
In Germany yes, it is. And on eBay.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post%E..._of_Nazi_flags
  #49  
Old 07-02-2019, 09:28 PM
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Ban may have been a bad word choice, but if society agrees with Kapernick's reasoning, how could it not be effectively banned in society outside of a museum?
Okay, now you've really gasted my flabber. I don't see at all how you get from "symbol unsuitable for our sneaker marketing campaign" to "symbol that ought to be effectively banned outside of a museum".

Quote:
Originally Posted by scabpicker
But to discard a symbol for this reason is pretty silly.
If Nike or Kaepernick were trying to decree that we as a society have to "discard" this symbol altogether, I would agree with you. But all they're doing is stating why they don't consider the symbol appropriate as a marketing device for selling their sneakers. This is Nike's product, for which Kaepernick is a brand ambassador: I think they're the ones who get to make that call.

Let's rewind the tape and look at the actual statement Nike made concerning this decision:
Quote:
"We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services. NIKE made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation's patriotic holiday.

"Nike is a company proud of its American heritage and our continuing engagement supporting thousands of American athletes including the US Olympic team and US Soccer teams. We already employ 35,000 people in the U.S. and remain committed to creating jobs in the U.S., including a significant investment in an additional manufacturing center which will create 500 new jobs." [...]

Nike still offers the Air Max 1 in red, white and blue, saying the shoe "updates the legendary design with patriotic colors."
Nothing about banning, nothing about erasing history, nothing about telling anybody else what symbols they can or can't use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face
Why is a business decision that is zero consequence to anyone worth worrying about?
Exactly what I've been wondering, and for which nobody seems to have a coherent answer that doesn't drag in exaggerated interpretations like "banning", or "erasing history", or having to "throw away" "every US symbol pre 1965", or "you cannot celebrate anything if it occurred during a time of injustice", or even "consciously denigrat[ing] our nation's history" ( that one's Gov. Ducey).
  #50  
Old 07-02-2019, 09:42 PM
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This is the kind of lunatic shit that will get Trump reelected.
Yep. The whole think with whether stuff like this is reasonable is whether it's well, reasonable. Just establishing a general principle, like frowning on symbols deeply associated with murderous ideologies (swastika, hammer and sickle, etc) doesn't mean you can take that principal to any extreme before people start saying it's crazy and carried away.

You can't compare some (who knows how big, or infinitesimally tiny) racist groups adopting a style of Revolutionary period American flag to ruling regimes in major countries adopting Nazi or Communist flags. IOW if people aren't 'aware' of that use of the Betsy Ross flag, maybe it's because it's really minor in the scheme of things. As well as being a symbol those groups have no right to and should be not be ceded.

Or if the argument is nothing to do with fringe politics now but actually reaching the long predicted point where American founding symbols are deemed 'white supremacist' because slavery was tolerated in the founding, that's also going too far IMO. Even if in theory one accepts that idea, that's how Democrats/Left can make their 'inevitable future political dominance' always be in the future.
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