The 4th of July is typically a day where Americans come together and celebrate symbols such an American flag, but thanks to Nike and Colin Kaepernick, the flag has become a symbol of controvery.
The footwear giant was slated to release a special edition shoe in time for the holiday featuring the original American flag with Betsy Ross’ thirteen star design, but was pulled after Nike sponsee Colin Kaepernick among others complained about using that flag in particular. The former NFL QB claimed it was offensive to some and advised the company not to move forward with the quick-fire release.
Backlash against Kaepernick and Nike began once news was released of the decision to not release the shoe and how it came to that point.
One of those protesting the decision was that of Scott Lobaido, who found his own creative way to voice his displeasure to the company.
The longtime artist and avid painter of American iconography decided to set up his canvas and paint the very Betsy Ross flag at the center of the controversy right outside Nike’s headquarters in new York City on the 4th.
“As an artist and an activist, I have spent the last 25 years promoting the importance of our flag. And on the very day when we should be celebrating the great patriots who founded our country and kept it free over the last three centuries, Nike is trashing their memories and contributions.”
Lobaido says the protest was not one to shame the company or try to affect its sales, but rather educate them on what the flag represented at that time and how it should be looked at today.
“What’s beautiful about this flag and this country is that it is not perfect; we strive to get better, we come through these struggles. We are only 243 years old, we are learning and we are here to get better; that’s what this flag represents,” he said.