Colin Kaepernick May Not ‘Totally Understand’ Who Betsy Ross is, Dr. Martin Luther King’s Niece Says

Colin Kaepernick May Not ‘Totally Understand’ Who Betsy Ross is, Dr. Martin Luther King’s Niece Says
Colin Kaepernick attends The 2019 Met Gala in New York City on May 6, 2019. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

The niece of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King said that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick might not have a full understanding of Betsy Ross.

Kaepernick reportedly conveyed concerns about a 1776 version of the American flag said to be sewn by Ross being placed on Nike shoes, leading to a recall by the company.

“I am not so sure brother Kaepernick even totally understands who Betsy Ross is,” Alveda King told Fox on July 3.

“It’s kind of unfortunate that we are fighting over sneakers when we should be celebrating living in the best country on the planet,” she added.

King, a supporter of President Donald Trump, speculated that Ross “may or may not have designed the flag.”

King said her uncle helped spur progress in the country by focusing on resolving conflicts in a peaceful fashion, emphasizing education and facts.

She also said that Nike’s recall was unfortunate.

“Unfortunately, Nike decided to join in a fight, in a struggle, that further divides rather than reconciles,” she said. “I think love always wins the day, but we have to get there.”

NTD Photo
A picture portrays American seamstress Betsy Ross showing the first design of the American flag to George Washington in Philadelphia. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Betsy Ross and the Flag

According to the Library of Congress, George Washington was said to have commissioned Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, in 1776 to create a flag for the new nation of the United States.

“Scholars debate this legend and most dispute it, but they generally agree that Mrs. Ross most likely knew Washington and sewed flags in her family’s Philadelphia upholstery shop,” it stated.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (pdf), Ross was commissioned by the State Navy Board of Pennsylvania in 1777 to sew flags for Navy vessels. “Legend credits Ross with having sewn the first flag to meet the specifications outlined by Congress, while changing the stars from six points to five points to speed her work.”

A page on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico said that Ross was, at the time, a widow “struggling to run her own upholstery business.”

“Upholsterers in colonial America not only worked on furniture but did all manner of sewing work, which for some included making flags. According to Betsy, General Washington showed her a rough design of the flag,” the page stated. When Ross showed a method to make a five-point star using a single snip, the committee—Washington, Robert Morris, a landowner, and Colonel George Ross, uncle of Betsy’s late husband—was “impressed” and had her make the first flag.

More and more stars were added over the years with the addition of new states, culminating in 1960 with 50 stars after the addition of Hawaii to the country.

Nike Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July shoes
This undated product image shows Nike Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July shoes that have a U.S. flag with Betsy Ross flag on them. (AP Photo)

Nike Prices

Nike’s Air Max 1 Fourth of July shoes were slated to retail for $120 but because of the recall, shoes that had been purchased were being resold for thousands of dollars.

One pair being auctioned on eBay was up to $8,200 on July 3, but the page was later removed. Another pair was up to $8,800 as of July 4 while another was at $9,100.

According to TMZ, pairs of the shoes were being sold on the auction site StockX for $2,000 or more.

Two pairs sold for $2,000, one pair sold for $1,750, and several pairs sold for around $1,200, the website reported.

Another seller was asking for nearly $7,000, but that pair had not been sold.

“It’s unclear exactly how many pairs slipped through and got to the public,” the website reported.

Pairs of the shoes on all auction sites appeared to be going fast.

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