When this latest Nike controversy has suddenly convinced you that the Betsy Ross flag – the one with 13 stripes and 13 stars – the swastika or confederate flag designs that were introduced decades after the Civil War to itself to oppose civil rights, then I think you're just really a stupid person. This flag, which blew up at Barack Obama's inauguration and also at George Washington, has never had and has never been so important. And your views are not even worth so much of my time.
I am diplomatic.
In other words, if you're one of those very different types of people who are deeply concerned about Nike putting American flags on their shoes, then you're also very misguided.
I find it strange and deeply troublesome that a below-average quarterback like Colin Kaepernick can panic Nike's entire decision-making machine, filling all his pants. I find it regrettable that an American company is so quickly taking up its national roots and only its cowardice is displacing the greed that motivates its rejection of the despotic regime in China.
But quite frankly, their real mistake was ever trying to use a historical version of our flag as a marketing gimmick. It is disrespectful of our nation and indeed technically illegal, even if the law in question is considered advisory and never enforced.
The US Code contains a section on respect for the flag of the United States. Americans who love their country, liberal and conservative, should swear by it.
It contains a lot of things that you would probably expect, for example, that the flag does not touch the ground. Another provision:
The flag should never be displayed with the union open, unless it is a sign of a serious emergency in extreme danger to life or property.
Look, drama queens who do this whenever the wrong man wins the presidential race.
But here's the section you should take a closer look at:
The flag should never be used as clothing and bedding or curtains. It should never be folded, pulled back or folded, but always fall freely.
Under no circumstances should the flag be used for promotional purposes. It should not be embroidered on items such as pillows or handkerchiefs or the like, printed on paper napkins or boxes, or otherwise printed or discarded. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.
If Nike is to be sentenced, this is the main reason.
This also applies to all other companies that violate the American flag by using it for their own commercial purposes. As the US Code states, "the flag represents a living land and is itself regarded as a living being." Stop abusing it. And help spread this 4th of July awareness of the right manners that are on the flag that stands for our republic.