Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday tweeted out a photo of the Betsy Ross flag in honor of the Fourth of July, following a controversy over the flag being pulled from a Nike shoe design earlier this week.
"Happy Fourth of July!" McConnell tweeted with an image of the Betsy Ross flag.
Happy Fourth of July! pic.twitter.com/Z6dt3VPzfx- Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) July 4, 2019
McConnell had joined other Republican lawmakers in criticizing Nike for nixing the planned design to release Air Max 1 USA, which featured the early flag design.
"If we're in a political environment where the American flag has become controversial to Americans, I think we've got a problem," McConnell told reporters during a trip to a Lexington, Ky., hemp farm on Tuesday, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.
"I hope Nike either releases these shoes or some other shoe maker picks up the flag, puts it on a pair of shoes and starts selling it. I'll make the first order," he added.
The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday the brand pulled the design, citing sources who claim the concerns were raised from NFL star Colin Kaepernick saying the design from the era of slavery is offensive.
Kaepernick declined to comment in the Journal's report.
The early flag has also been appropriated by some extremist groups opposed to increasing diversity, the Journal reported.
Kaepernick, famous for kneeling on the field during the national anthem in 2016, became the face of Nike's "Just Do It" ad campaign in September.