Veteran-owned clothing company releases Betsy Ross Flag T-shirt in response to Nike controversy

A Georgia clothing company is releasing a Betsy Ross flag t-shirt in objection to Nike’s decision to pull its Fourth of July-themed sneaker collection following concerns raised by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick that the apparel is racially insensitive.

Nine Line Apparel, a veteran-owned apparel company located in Savannah, Ga., took issue with the fact that Nike canceled what it saw was “patriotic release.” The Georgia company believes the Betsy Ross flag directly represents the “freedom fought and owned by early Americans,” according to a description on its website.

“Nine Line Apparel, along with relentlessly patriotic Americans everywhere, cannot believe the total ignorance and lack of understanding displayed by both Colin Kaepernick and Nike in relation to our country's Betsy Ross flag, it's symbolism and meaning,” the description reads.

The company added that Nike’s decision to pull the line makes it look like they don’t care about Independence Day.

“For Colin Kaepernick and Nike to say no to the release of what would have probably been a popular shoe for their summer footwear line is like saying no to our 4th of July holiday,” the website says. “The Betsy Ross flag has a direct correlation with this national patriotic holiday but Kaepernick and Nike don't care.”

WJCL reported that that Nine Line Apparel’s CEO urged people to stop supporting Nike and join their boycott using the hashtag “#NoToNike.”

“The American people should support the red, white, and blue and boycott Nike and join our #NoToNike campaign,” Nine Line Apparel CEO and retired U.S. Army captain Tyler Merritt told WJCL. “Nike says ‘just do it.’ We say just stand – stand for your beliefs and for your country.”

While representatives from Nike did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, Nike spokesman Mark Rhodes told Yahoo Sports in a statement on Monday that the company “has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag.”

In a Facebook post, Nine Line Apparel called out both Nike and Kaepernick, writing, “Apparently, symbols of patriotism are now racist.”

People immediately reacted to the post, some with comments mocking Nike for making decisions based on the former NFL star’s objections.

“I’m amazed that Nike lets Colin make its business decisions,” one person commented.

Another wrote, “Yes, I'm sure consumers are buying these to celebrate slavery. Stop giving this guy any extra publicity.”

Others highlighted Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s tweets against the company as well as his decision to “to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here.”

“Proud of our AZ governor......he pulled funding from Nike because of this decision,” a person commented. Someone else wrote “Proud of AZ governor. I will NEVER purchase another Nike item #boycott.”

This isn’t the first time Nine Line Apparel has opposed Nike and Kaepernick, who was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality.

Nine Line Apparel launched a “Just Stand” shirt in September 2018 in response to Nike’s decision to make Colin Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” 30th-anniversary campaign, along with the quote, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

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People react to Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign
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People react to Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign
.@Nike Due to your support of C.K. in your coming adds, I as an American can no longer support your company.… https://t.co/vKkFpsg87P
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me… https://t.co/ZUqEd7ldUd
Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready @Nike multiply that by the millions. https://t.co/h8kj6RXe7j
The Twitter user ArtenenAeolus shared a video, since deleted, of a man burning some Nike products. (ArtenenAeolus/Twitter)
When you find out #nike is supporting #ColinKaepernick #BoycottNike 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/EQRGcPoaFr
When you find out #nike is supporting #ColinKaepernick #BoycottNike 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/EQRGcPoaFr
Nike ran the numbers. They’ll be ok. But please, burn your socks.
Not playing around. #BackTheBlue #BackTheArmedForces #NikeBoycott https://t.co/uoJcRVJZM5
I just gave $10 this weekend to a homeless veteran. Instead of burning your Nike gear like a goddamned idiot, donat… https://t.co/57AUzQbNL2
#NikeBoycott meet this #VeteransForKaepernick Retired Navy Chief. I served so that Kap can have his voice and spea… https://t.co/QspDdYckjZ
Waiting for Goodwill to open this week with all the new Nike gear... #ColinKaepernick #nikeboycott https://t.co/4nqSOrknrj
Hey #Nike . I don't wear politics or anything related to #ColinKaepernick I no longer buy 5 to 6 pairs per year of… https://t.co/IlATG1XUMI
.@Nike Due to your support of C.K. in your coming adds, I as an American can no longer support your company.… https://t.co/vKkFpsg87P
Let me guess we‘re boycotting Nike because by them supporting Colin Kaepernick they are somehow “disrespecting the… https://t.co/VJF0LOJXDG
Ripping my Nike Air Max to own the libs #BoycottNike https://t.co/FYzpNoZiHX
Can't believe Nike would do such a thing. @Nike @Kaepernick7 #fire #JustDoIt #BoycottNike https://t.co/otqcS49AMu
.@Nike how you going to endorse @Kaepernick7 a person that advertises socks with cops portrayed as pigs, a person t… https://t.co/V2AW0OoMvI
@BreitbartNews Burned my #Nike https://t.co/62rQsXomRH
@TheLastRefuge2 @R_Daneel_0livaw Takin out the trash @Nike #nikeboycott https://t.co/Iz532FatEQ
I just wrote “NIKE” on twenty dollar bills and burned them to own the libs.
wow can’t believe colin kaepernick just became the official spokesperson of brake lines
I'm finally cutting out the Nike logos out of my Nike pillow case! https://t.co/cP9Un6PVzH
Breaking: Nike responds to MAGA backlash https://t.co/8NQj0Y9Hkt
them: Gonna burn/throw away my Nike gear because they are unpatriotic Nike: https://t.co/k1kroZ02cG
“This is terrible marketing. Just awful. I’m gonna show everyone how terrible this is. That’ll show Nike.” https://t.co/XNN06YnPMF
Racists: I’m never buying Nike again Nike: https://t.co/YGD23VWVFA
nike brilliantly found a way to get the least stylish people to stop wearing its stuff
oh wow not sure how Nike's going to survive if they lose the 70 year old white man market
When you can’t find a cross https://t.co/efrqlN09fH
Me, looking to see if anybody burns some Jordans rather the Nike’s they got on the clearance rack https://t.co/5ZKHvpqJOP
Going one step further and no longer worshiping Nike as my goddess of victory. Will ONLY recognize Victoria, her Ro… https://t.co/m1SnsmHcws
Wow Nike. Not a good look https://t.co/MZrOXdukxV
I actually need a new pair of workout shoes. The choices are dizzying. The #NikeBoycott helps me narrow the decisi… https://t.co/rqKgx8hAfY
I Always thought the Air Jordan’s craze was silly. But I will be buying 10 pairs of Those "Air Kaepernick’s" when t… https://t.co/xQM13jsWej
Whether you agree with Nike doing the Kaepernick ad or not it’s bold and I like it. Wish more big companies took risk to make a statement.
✊🏾 https://t.co/P5xQr2lwLk
Legendary. https://t.co/mvS6ChlXhH
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Nine Line’s Betsy Ross t-shirt is a limited time special and sales will close on July 6.

Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to Nine Line Apparel for comment.

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