Barack Obama Used the Betsy Ross Flag at his 2013 Inauguration Because of Its Empowering Meaning

What’s your take on Colin Kaepernick and the Betsy Ross flag controversy? Some thoughts from me:

With his reported objections to the “Betsy Ross” flag design on a pair of special-edition Nike sneakers, former NFL star Colin Kaepernick is likely helping President Trump win reelection by reminding swing voters in middle America just how narrow-minded so many elite tastemakers have become … It’s clear Kaepernick and many progressives have learned nothing from 2016 about divisive, left-wing rhetoric and the alienating effects of hurling insults and labels at anyone who doesn’t buy into a politically correct groupthink that ignores broader truths.
Former President Barack Obama himself warned against a “certain kind of rigidity” among progressives. And two Betsy Ross flags, which feature 13 stars arranged in a circle, were prominently draped behind Obama on the US Capitol during his 2013 inauguration.
Why would the first black president allow the same imagery that Kaepernick and others find offensive since it dates to a time when prominent Americans held slaves? Because that flag stands for something astonishingly wonderful and revolutionary — a nascent country that allowed commoners (not all at first, as it would take many years for universal suffrage to become a reality) to vote and participate in their government rather than remaining subservient under a monarchy.
That was a dazzling concept for its time, despite Kaepernick’s efforts to dim it through his culture of shame and anger directed at our Founders — flawed human beings who were, for their day, bold innovators paving the way for a nation that empowers and protects women, people of color, the disabled and other marginalized groups toward inspiring heights.

Read the rest of my latest for CNN here.