It wasn’t until this past Fourth of July weekend that I learned about the disgusting perversion of Old Glory’s original incarnation. The American flag of the original 13 colonies, Betsy Ross’ sensation of a creation, is now being utilized by hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis.
What? Why? Huh? Are you joking? As a massive American Revolution nerd, who is enthralled by all things pertaining to patriotism, how did I miss this?
As a kid growing up we had a colonial flag that we put out in front of the house every Fourth of July. It’s still in the family today, and I bought a smaller one when I visited the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia in 2017.
My final term paper project in business school was on the marketing of nationalism and I’ve been to every major Revolutionary War site in the country: Yorktown, Saratoga, Bunker Hill, Lexington & Concord, Freedom Trail, Liberty Bell, Paul Revere/Betsy Ross/Benjamin Franklin’s House, Independence Hall et al.
The Boston and Philly sites; I’ve been to twice. To crib the legendary television character Jeff Winger (played by Joel McHale) on “Community,” if you ask me what my favorite color is, “I’ll say it’s a three way tie between red, white and blue.”
I can only see the 13 colony flag symbol as one that is universally approved of, if not beloved. (Certainly so by jingoistic history geeks) However, I’m also someone who does not consume the white nationalist media: FOX News, OAN, Info Wars, Daily Stormer, Tomi Lahren etc.
So I didn’t know that the most subhuman garbage subset of the American population was making this a thing, until the Nike Betsy Ross themed shoes came out and were quickly pulled off the shelves.
They were withdrawn due to a complaint by Nike brand ambassador Colin Kaepernick.
It was Kap who pointed out that hate groups were using the 13 colonies flag as a symbol of hatred and bigotry, and again, to me this was disturbing news.
Then I saw a TV talking head or two, the kind with apparently limitless career opportunities in this current media landscape, the very physically attractive white girl (usually blonde-haired, fake-tanned and blue-eyed) saying the ugliest possible things, using that flag as their Twitter banner photo.
In today’s world of journalism in peril, where jobs are scarce and shrinking by the day, we still have a raging bull market for photogenic white girls who want to go on TV and espouse (often YELL!) talking points of white supremacy.
It sells to idiots and bigots, because it conveys the idea of "hey, look at the pretty package for which your ideas are being delivered."
And once you see someone who can easily be classified as a Stepford Wife meets Eva Braun co-opting the original 13 star flag, you can’t unsee it.
Likewise with the racist rednecks brandishing the 13 stars matching the 13 stripes version of Old Glory. It is painful to see American flag version 1.0 being twisted and distorted in such a manner.
Here’s the deal with that though- if they’re really serious about believing in that flag as a symbol of “hey, let’s go back to that era, where minorities had no rights! Let’s turn the clock back to 1776,” then they need to buy in the entire way.
In that era, only white male landowners had any rights; AT ALL.
EVERYONE else: women, minorities, white men not from the elite classes, were second class (at best) citizens.
So if you racist rednecks really want that, well, I’m not sure you actually have any clue as to what kind of flag you’re waving and why.
The types of people waving this flag, for these hateful reasons, would be indentured servants in the 18th century.
They should abandon the flag of a rebellious insurgency that succeeded, and instead stick to brandishing the symbol of a rebellious insurgency that failed- one that stood first and foremost for the ideas of white supremacy.
That’s the Confederate flag, and it’s the banner that best embodies who they are and what they're about.
Obviously, it would be best to put this flag back where it belongs- in museums and cemeteries only, but that doesn't seem to be happening any time soon. Although it's worth noting that until the 1960s, when the South started "celebrating" the Confederacy centennial, and trying to repel the Civil Rights movement, the Confederate flag wasn't seen much and barely talked about.
Hopefully, American society can get back there. In the mean time, please leave the 13 colonies American flag alone!
There is no reason to pervert and desecrate this symbol.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry," regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the "Let's Get Weird, Sports" podcast on SB Nation.
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Filed under: Current Events