After Nike Drops Patriotic Shoe, Veteran Creates Star-Spangled Shoe Of His Own, Will Donate Proceeds

Sports retail giant Nike’s decision to pull a patriotic sneaker commemorating the original Betsy Ross-style American flag (set for a Fourth of July release) has inspired police veteran Ron Slagle to market his own design.

Slagle objected to Nike’s decision, Fox News reports, saying: “The Betsy Ross objection with the shoe for Nike translates into a loss of history. And I believe at times that’s the biggest loss we have is really knowing what the history about that is.”

As a result, Slagle revealed his new “Honor and Respect” sneaker design which will commemorate the police, of which he has served for 24 years, the Western Journal reports.

“The flag means freedom,” Slagle said. “The flag is a symbol of what we fought for and a lot of Americans are still fighting for today.”

From Fox News:

Ron Slagle, who now works as a police officer in Iowa, told “Fox & Friends” Wednesday that those who were hoping to buy the Nike shoe, which featured the original Betsy Ross American flag, should check out his “Honor and Respect” sneaker instead.

Proceeds from the sale of his sneakers, which are black, white and blue, benefit Code 9 and Blue H.E.L.P, two organizations which seek to improve the lives of officers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Slagle called Colin Kaepernick’s objection to the Nike sneaker, and his continued protest of the American flag, a “disgrace to the actual profession.”

“The Betsy Ross objection with the shoe for Nike translates into a loss of history,” Slagle said. “And I believe at times that’s the biggest loss we have is really knowing what the history about that is.”

Nike canceled their Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July sneakers after former NFL quarterback and the face of Nike’s most recent campaign Colin Kaepernick complained about its design.

Naturally, Kaepernick complained about the American flag on the sneaker and argued it could alienate some of Nike’s customers. The Associated Press reports:

Nike pulled the Air Max 1 USA shoe, which included a Revolutionary-era U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle on the heel. Kaepernick reached out to Nike after learning they planned to release the sneaker to explain that the flag recalls an era when black people were enslaved and that it has been appropriated by white nationalist groups, a person familiar with the conversation told The Associated Press.

The decision caused an instant backlash among conservatives who accused Nike of denigrating U.S. history, with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey tweeting that he is asking the state’s Commerce Authority to withdraw financial incentives promised to Nike to build a plant in the state.

Others expressed surprise that the symbol known as the “Betsy Ross” flag, so named after the beloved Philadelphia woman credited with designing it, could be considered offensive. Although some extremist groups appear to have appropriated the flag, it is not widely viewed as a symbol of hate, and is used in museums that focus on 18th century U.S. history.