Monday, July 8, 2019

Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue!

Friends, not since America's bicentennial in 1976 have we paid so much attention to our original, "Betsy Ross" flag.  Not so long ago the flag was uncontroversial.  Barack Obama flew it at his 2013 inauguration.  The Left has taken a definite leftward turn since then, however, and as a result things which were patriotic five minutes ago are now beyond the pale.  Get used to it, because the liberals have so much more in store for us...  Of course, they may not have counted on the pushback they're now getting.  My latest article is about the foolishness of disrespecting the Betsy Ross flag -- and the pressing need for Americans to rally around it, and around America itself.

Americans Should Fly the Betsy Ross Flag With Pride

Americans were rightly bewildered to learn recently that, in the eyes of Colin Kaepernick and the Nike Corporation, the “Betsy Ross flag” that flew over the young United States in the late 18th century is a supposedly troubling and racist symbol. Kaepernick observed that the flag flew in an “era of slavery,” and that was all the prodding Nike needed to scrap the planned release of patriotic sneakers emblazoned with the offensive flag.
Social media has been in an uproar ever since, and with good reason.

Since our nation was born in 1776, dozens of flags have flown over it. Almost all have incorporated the horizontal red and white stripes that were first observed in the “Grand Union Flag” that in turn borrowed them from the flag of the (British) East India Company. The Betsy Ross flag added the dark blue field in the upper-left and the “new constellation” of 13 stars. Every American flag since then has been an elaboration of this original design.

Contrary to myth, there is little evidence that Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia upholsterer, contributed much to the design of the flag that now bears her name, although she may have suggested the five-pointed star instead of the six-pointed star in order to save herself some bother. Not exactly a profile in hyper-patriotism, but none of this prevented the Betsy Ross story, which posited George Washington and Mrs. Ross designing the flag together, from becoming national lore after our centennial celebrations in 1876. The country needed its heroes and heroines, and Betsy Ross fit the bill. It is an irony of Nike's current denigration of the flag that the practical effect of their historical revisionism is to erase one of America's first (and, for many years, one of its only) heroines from public memory.

The point of displaying the Betsy Ross flag, though, has never been to celebrate Betsy Ross, but to celebrate America in her formative years. The young republic, called The United States of America (and spoken of mostly in the plural until the Civil War) was a bold experiment in liberty and constitutionalism in an era of monarchical tyranny. It heralded the rise of a more individualistic and humane political philosophy that would make possible startling and unprecedented improvements in human welfare. Thus, the symbols of early America seem, on the face of it, something to celebrate rather than bemoan.

The late 18th century was an “era of slavery,” yes, but that was true throughout the world. Not a single country had abolished slavery, and few were inclined even to take the concept of abolition seriously. That is an indictment of America, but it is more accurately an indictment of humanity, which made copious use of slaves from ancient times until the mid-19th century. 
If, therefore, the Betsy Ross flag is tainted by slavery, it is no more tainted than every symbol in wide use before the modern age, from the Christian cross to the Roman eagle to China's Yin and Yang. Should all these symbols be banned from modern apparel, and declared permanently offensive, because the people who used them also, in some cases, owned slaves? That would be absurd.

While many Americans may have limited appreciation for the Betsy Ross flag, which is seldom flown today, they ought to understand that the ultimate motivation for Colin Kaepernick and his fellow travelers on the far left is not the denigration of American history, but of America itself. This country, which was born to renew and expand human freedom, is, to the Left, instead a dark, sinister place of almost unparalleled wickedness and cruelty (unparalleled because liberals refuse to acknowledge wickedness and cruelty when it is practiced by people they like). The erasure of the symbols of America's past presages, for Kaepernick and his ilk, the obliteration of everything that America was and is, to be replaced by the newfangled values of political correctness, “wokeness,” and enforced equality. 
It is, in fact, only a matter of time before even the current American flag must be permanently furled, and replaced with a new standard that more accurately represents the Marxist utopia that the Left has in store for us. We will be lucky if even so much as the red, white, and blue theme of the current flag survives, amid an explosion of new symbolism and imagery that will represent the countless ethnicities, genders, and other officially approved identities that will be mandatory elements of the New Flag of New America (also known as North Mexico).

Make no mistake: those who seek to erase the Betsy Ross Flag, the first flag of the United States of America, are really trying to erase America itself. They are succeeding, frankly, beyond the wildest dreams and most fevered nightmares of the Founding Fathers, who understood the fragility of their magnificent creation. Anti-Americanism has taken deep root in America, and we must, no matter the cost, turn the tide against it.

The easiest and best first step? 

Fly the Betsy Ross flag. Fly it on your front porch. Fly it at your local school. Fly it over the White House lawn, if you happen to be the President. 

Fly it everywhere liberals might see it, so they will know that America is here to stay!

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: He appears weekly on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480.

And here's the Townhall version: 


  1. Dr. Waddy: There can be no doubt of what they are working up to: forced abolition of our flag as both a symbol of and a concrete step toward the breaking of America. Great article: c'mon everybody please; pass the word, fly and otherwise display the 13 star flag.

  2. Agree, Jack. I actually ordered a Betsy Ross flag-American made at that.

    Another great post Dr. Waddy.

  3. Thanks, all! Linda, that news pleases me to no end. :) Show those lefty snowflakes who's boss!!!

  4. Colin Kaepernick's objection to the Betsy Ross flag has more to do with it be conscripted by a white supremacist movement than by it's supposedly being flown in the "era of slavery". I really wish you weren't such a bigot and racist which is evident by many of your pronouncements and if that makes me a "lefty snowflake" then so be it.

  5. You know which flag the white supremacists fly a whole lot more often than the Betsy Ross flag? The CURRENT American flag? No doubt that flag makes poor Colin anxious too. Sometime, somehow, this madness has to stop.

  6. Renee: Please define both the term "racist" and bigot.

  7. I asked Renee to define the terms "racist" and "bigot" for the following reasons: I think "racist" has been so overused and misused over the last 50 years that responsible use of it now,if possible, should be accompanied by support and justification; it certainly does carry a pejorative connotation. It is often considered a convenient, automatic, intimidating dismissal of an opposing opinion and those who use it that way often manifest the belief that it is self evident and that accusation alone amounts to condemnation, for which sanctions are by definition justified. Used in this sense it is antiintellectual and often indicative of ignorance on the part of the user as to a creditable definition and lack of appropriate examination as to whether the definition fits the accused. I've seen "racist" used to describe a librarian who sent an overdue notice to a member of a minority. The casual use of the "race card" is a well known phenomenom. Is the above accusation directed at Dr. Waddy of this nature? We cannot know without further explanation. I would bid the accuser express her understanding of the definition of the term and then be very specific about how she perceives that Dr. Waddy's actions have met the standard she thinks just.

    The common definition of the term "bigot" is "an obstinate, narrow minded person unreasonably unwilling to see any merit in an opposing argument." Of late it has been freely used by persons of leftist persuasion to mean, by definition by itself, someone with views opposite to those of the left. This, again, is a convenient way to dismiss the views of another out of hand and strongly implies that the user considers ALL opposing arguments to be products of "narrow minds" bereft of objectivity and intellectual integrity. Is the above accusation of being a "bigot" directed at Dr. Waddy, of this nature? I would again bid the accuser define their understanding of the term and be specific as to how she thinks Dr. Waddy's pronouncements manifest it. I think it is best to qualify the term when using it; for example I use the term "leftist bigot".

    Is Dr. Waddy a bigot? That's a serious criticism of a professional academic. Well, for one thing he makes copious use of empirical evidence in his essays and that often reveals his reasons for his opinions; this is one not unreasonable justification for his convictions. When approached with intellectual respect he has time and again shown a willingness to consider the opinions of those with whom the totality of his experiences move him to disagree. A narrow mind? He writes on a cornucopia of subjects; yes, he apparently does have a world view which guides him and has the courage to stand for it. Why not? Its the product of a sound intellectual process, as are many supportable doctrines.

    The above is my opinion alone; I have not consulted with Dr. Waddy on anything I said here.

  8. Thanks for rushing to my defense, Jack! Good man. As always, you're the voice of reason...though I suspect the chances of Renee taking your bait and offering definitions of racism and bigotry are slim to none. Frankly I didn't take her insults to heart. We conservatives have to get used to being called names. At least she bothered to speak up. That's a start.

    I agree that the terms "racist" and "bigot" are designed to intimidate and silence one's opponents. Well, it looks like Renee missed the mark, because you and I are anything but intimidated, and we are very rarely silent!

  9. Dr. Waddy: Though I disagree with her assertion that your pronouncements show you a "racist" (whatever that means these days) or a bigot, as she has stated them so far, I invited her engage in mutually courteous further discussion and I still hope she does.

    Though we may not take such accusations to heart there is little doubt that in many settings they can have serious consequences for the accused. She gave me a good opening to opine on the faults of the summary, presumptuous and unsupported use of such terms which is close to ubiquitous these days. Unfettered dialogue on the responsible use of "bigot" and the largely but not fully discredited use of the term "racism" as an accusation ,can, together with resolution to confront these syndromes, put the lie to these injustices.

  10. Dr. Waddy: I should further support my use of the term "leftist bigot" by saying I am willing to defend it in detail.Though some leftists are reasonable and intellectually sound in exposition ( eg.Alan Dershowitz) ,a very dominant strain of intolerance and dismissiveness fulfilling a credible definition of "bigotry"is obvious in the expressions, actions and policies of the American left. It denies them moral license to use the term with the recklessness they casually presume though it can be to our advantage to see them do so because it is a continuing reminder of their incipient totaltarianism.

    Also, I would have said in my initial criticism of the accusations against you that constancy, confidence and even vehemence in the assertion of one's convictions does not in itself and should not alone invite, a charge of bigotry.

  11. Dr. Waddy:Also,I have not heard from the above or anyone else any specifics about "white supremacists" who are described as displaying the Betsy Ross flag.- No names, no instances.- That includes Fox's liberal Juan Williams who I like and respect for the courtesy he shows toward those who oppose him. Too, what is a leftist definition of a "white supremacist"? Why that could easily include the entire "basket of deplorables", in which I most surely belong and there sure are a passel of us ain't there Hillary?

    The lefties have made sure to advance a backup argument like that should their "this flew over a slave owning nation and to hell with its promised and realized advances, such as the destruction of slavery to the tune of 300,000 deaths of those who upheld those promises". So lets see them produce on the notion that the display of the Betsy Ross flag is condemned by ANY setting in which it occurs due to their unproven and unconvincing allegations of its use by fringe groups. Even should that be established, the history of that flag and the America it helped to birth redeems it and is a direct cause of Kaepernick's assured freedom to excoriate his country, which has afforded him wealth ( for throwing an inflated pigskin!,) as he wishes.

  12. Jack -- good point that the Left uses the phrase "white supremacy" just as loosely as it uses all the other terms we've been discussing. All groups that oppose illegal immigration, presumably, are "white supremacist", in their eyes. Anyone who teaches a Western Civ class (unless they utilize the opportunity to condemn the West in toto) is a "white supremacist" for sure. But now there's an even simpler definition: anyone who supports Trump is a "white supremacist". Never mind that that includes millions of non-whites, since, as we've learned recently, a black person without a "black mind" isn't really black. Oy! It's exhausting trying to make sense of the nonsense these people spew.

  13. Dr. Waddy: Civilizations completely consisting of white people have afforded the world many of its most telling and humane advances. Probably not simply because they were white, but because they were there.History and pseudohistory cannot deny or disprove this. Sorry!Eg. Magna Charta, the U.S. Constitution.

    There can be no doubt that white hunans have done nonwhites enormous wrong. Nor can it be disproven by scrupulously driven, objective history that most Western, white majority, civilizations have undergone purposeful, often very painful (eg. the American Civil war) introspection and consequent action in pursuit of justice in this regard. To deny this is ignorant of this agonizing story and its PRACTICAL manifestations to this day. Purposeful and summary rejection of creditably supported historical reality reveals in the critic expectation of intellectual or financial profit or of fanatic ideological drive ( that being generated in hives devoid of reason).

  14. Amen, Jack! If anyone can cite a civilization that has done more GOOD in the world, on balance, than the West, I'd be shocked...