Our Founding Fathers were not thinking about flags. There were many different ones throughout the colonies.
One flag, however, developed a following. Betsy Ross, whether she designed it or simply sewed it, is credited for its 13 stars in a circle.
Its circle signified the unity the 13 colonies were doing their best to exhibit as the new union took shape in the 1790s and early 1800s, in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
A couple of weeks ago, the flag was in jeopardy, dumped by Nike, which had planned to market a special Fourth of July tennis shoe (capitalism!). Nike had been told by Colin Kaepernick, with whom it consults in support of his advocacy of civil rights, that the 13-star flag was being used by a white supremacist group.
The shoes were called back.
That the Ross flag had been kidnapped by such a group was a surprise to us, and apparently many people. This group may be a thin sliver of the supremacist movement. Whatever its size and influence, Americans – right-thinking Americans – should not let the 13-star flag get away. That flag represented an especially critical time in the country’s creation.
During the next few weeks and on select days, the 13-star flag will appear at the top of the Opinion page. We want that to be a reminder of where this country began and how it has flourished.