St. Louis, MO - A law enforcement-veteran owned apparel brand has issued the best response we've seen to Nike's decision to drop shoes featuring the Betsy Ross flag.
The Air Max 1 USA, which was created in honor of Independence Day, was supposed to be released to the public during the Fourth of July holiday week, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The sneaker featured an early version of the American flag – known as the Betsy Ross flag – on the heels.
The American Revolution-era flag design dates back to the 1770s, and has a circle of 13 stars and stripes representing the original 13 colonies.
Nike posted images of the sneakers online ahead of their scheduled release, and had already shipped the shoes to retailers, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Meanwhile, ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick saw photos of the sneakers and contacted the company to complain about the Betsy Ross flag design.
The ex-quarterback alleged that it was offensive to use a symbol that stemmed back to an era of slavery in the United States, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The company abruptly asked merchants to return the shipments of $140 shoes, but provided no explanation as to why.
Joseph Murphy, a retired police officer who now runs patriotic apparel company Warrior 12, incorporates the flag in many of the company's shirt designs. (DISCLOSURE: Warrior 12 produces official Blue Lives Matter shirts and gear and the proceeds support Blue Lives Matter. )
Disgusted that an international brand continues to listen to Kaepernick about what Murphy calls "non-existent issues," he decided to release new shirts which incorporate both the Betsy Ross flag and support for law enforcement.
Murphy was outspoken immediately after he heard how Nike was disrespecting the Betsy Ross flag.
"There's nothing racist about this flag," Murphy explained to Blue Lives Matter. "The problem is that racial identitarians like Kaepernick tend to see everything through the lens of racism."
"It's getting to the point where any American who is proud of their country is being viewed as racist. It's madness," Murphy added.
"Unlike Nike, we're not going to cater to these race-obsessed wackjobs," Murphy said.
The retired Montgomery County police officer noted that Warrior 12 has long incorporated the Betsy Ross flag into many of their designs.
"The Betsy Ross flag represents to us that patriots fought and died for the idea that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," Murphy said.
"Nothing racist could be construed from that," Murphy concluded. "Unfortunately, it's becoming part of the platform of these radicals that anything which hints of patriotism is inherently offensive. Well, I guess we're going to keep offending them."