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Betsy Ross Is Not the Issue

Betsy Ross Is Not the Issue

I understand the right to protest and the power of protest. It’s a vital aspect of free speech.

What I don’t understand is ignorance.

Betsy Ross was a Quaker, and Quakers were strong abolitionists who actively helped fleeing slaves. The fact that she created a flag at the request of the government during that time is historically accurate.

Why would Colin Kaepernick protest her flag on a shoe “during that period of history”? Are we to ignore the better parts of our history because someone seeks to eradicate it?

And what the hell is wrong with Nike for knee-jerking in this way?

Betsy Ross (and her flag) should be honored. Her beliefs and actions were honorable.

Protest loses all its power when it merely lashes out and doesn’t focus on real injustices, real evil, and actual villains. It seems more for the protester than for the cause.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 4

  • Duke Merhavy

    July 6, 2019

    I am as amazed as you are… worse yet, are we to object and erase *everything* that happened to this country “during that period of history”? This is crazy…

  • Alan Weiss

    July 6, 2019

    I can’t expect Colin Kaepernick to know any better, I’ve heard him speak and he’s no rocket scientist. But you’d think some cooler heads would prevail at Nike. Betsy Ross was a patriot. She was a seamstress. She sewed a flag. Are we supposed to eradicate the entire period, the Declaration of Independence, the Revolution? You can dilute a legitimate issue by stretching your outrage too far, extending it to tangential issues.

  • Bill Ellerton

    July 7, 2019

    I don’t know who Betsy Ross was. She was clearly part of American history which as a joint British and Australian citizen I haven’t studied in great detail. What I do know is that this sounds like another case of extremists judging those of the past by the standards of today.
    Here in Australia we have had people vandalising statures of Captain Cook on Australia Day, 26th January. Their ignorance is astounding, since Captain Cook has very little to do with Australia Day which celebrates the arrival of the First Fleet many years later led by Governor Phillip. I doubt if the British convicts he brought here with him saw themselves as invaders as the nutters seem to take delight suggesting.

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