"I read today that instead of celebrating the birth of our nation, a shoe company has deemed the flag, which flew during our Independence, too offensive ... too offensive to put on a pair of shoes", McConnell said at an event in Kentucky.
The Wall Street Journal reports the company canceled plans to release shoes featuring the Betsy Ross American flag with 13 stars in a circle in celebration of the 4th of July holiday.
If we're in a political environment where the American flag has become controversial to Americans, I think we've got a problem.
Nike recalled the shoe, originally planned for a Fourth of July launch, after former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick asked the company not to sell a product with a symbol he considered offensive because of its links to an era of slavery.
Often referred to as the "Betsy Ross" flag, he said it was a symbol of a time of slavery and racism in the U.S. A representative for Nike wasn't immediately available to comment outside of business hours on Tuesday.
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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, R, said he has ordered state authorities to revoke a modest incentive package it offered Nike to open a factory near Phoenix.
Nike Inc. (NKE.N) pulled Fourth of July sneakers from stores because they had a "Betsy Ross Flag" that some people view as offensive, pulling the sports apparel maker once again into America's culture wars. According to a 2013 investigation by The Albany Herald in Georgia, at least some local Ku Klux Klan units were required to use either that flag or the Confederate flag at ritualistic meetings.
US Senator Ted Cruz said on Twitter that because of the decision to pull the shoes, his days as a Nike customer were over. The company pushed back against criticism that the decision was being "anti-American". "In Betsy's time, the flag was strictly utilitarian, a military tool".
This referred to the furor last September when people threatened to boycott Nike after Kaepernick, an outspoken voice against police violence affecting black communities, was unveiled as the face of the 30th anniversary of the "Just Do It" marketing campaign.
"Resolved, that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."
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It implies a strict review, and the chances of receiving approval under it are slim to none, as Reuters points out. The United States has accused Huawei of stealing American intellectual property and violating Iran sanctions.
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