Betsy Ross flag on Air Max 1 Independence Day

The Air Max 1 Independence Day was originally touted for release on July 4th. To accompany the Independence Day festivities in America. With the design featuring the Betsy Ross flag which contained 13 stars to represent the original 13 colonies and acting as the basis for today’s 50 star equipped flag. The Betsy Ross flag dates back to the 1700s and is embroidered on the heel of this pair of Air Max 1s.

Controversy surrounding Betsy Ross flag

The launch of the limited edition shoe was cancelled on Monday after receiving heavy criticisms surrounding the use of the Betsy Ross flag. Critics reportedly included former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has previously endorsed Nike, appearing in the brands advertising campaigns. The criticisms are grounded in the flag’s obvious racial connotations connecting the flag to the era of slavery in America; a period which many feel shouldn’t be celebrated in any kind of way. Many also took to Instagram to challenge the design. With one person commenting “I wasn’t free yet”.

The flag in recent times has been adopted by white nationalist groups in America with it becoming a symbol of hate across America in recent years, used for political purposes to promote more extreme views. This oversight by Nike appears to be nothing more than that. Nike quickly pulled the release when concerns were raised. The official statement from the brand reads “Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag.” It is clearly apparent that the flag was chosen for its obvious connection to Independence Day when America secured independence from Great Britain. The connotation of slavery was only noticed post production. So, pairs of the shoe have appeared on the secondary market and weren’t recalled. Naturally, these pairs are going for a very high price due to their unreleased, exclusive nature.

You can find exclusive footwear with Laced’s online trainers service.