A Star-Spangled​ Midnight Mirage

Recently Nike decided to recall from the marketplace their newest brand of sneakers featuring the first U.S. flag designed by Betsy Ross. Colin Kaepernick, former NFL quarterback and current cause celebre activist, led the charge to protest Nike’s use of America’s Old Glory.  Claiming that this 13-star flag is associated with the era of slavery, he found the use of a Revolutionary War of Independence banner on Nike’s sneakers offensive.

Careful Colin, judging the past only through our contemporary concepts of virtue, could blind us to our own present-day faults. By assuming we occupy a morally superior position to all who have gone before us, are we not guilty of what C.S. Lewis called chronological snobbery?

I cannot help but wonder if such a sanctimonious view of a common historical flag could work both ways.  After all, the rules of political correctness have a way of changing over time. My daylight pondering became a nighttime dream of what might happen in a different time and place.  My imagination conjured up an intriguing futuristic vision……….

Newsflash:  July 2059.  This is CBS News Reporter Tim Tebow, Jr. reporting from the world headquarters of Nike in Beaverton, Oregon.  Protesters have gathered here by the thousands to express their dismay at Nike’s use of the 50-star U.S. flag on their latest Nike Air Max 100 Shoe.  With the recent addition of Puerto Rico as the 51st state of the Union, a new 51-star flag hangs from flagpoles across America. This year, 2059, represents the 100th anniversary of the 50-star flag and Nike hoped to use this anniversary to spur sales of its $900 Air Max 100 athletic shoe.

Nike business leaders have expressed shock that the public would find their creative use of a U.S. flag offensive?  Yet, it was only 40 years ago that Nike bowed to pressure from Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback, known more for what he did on the sidelines than anything he did on the field.  At that time Kaepernick expressed how offensive he found the use of America’s first flag on the Nike Air Max 1 Quick Strike shoe.  Claiming the Betsy Ross designed flag was associated with the era of slavery, he demanded the flag be removed.  Nike caved in 2019, and it appears to be doing the same thing now in 2059.  

But no one could have predicted why the former 50-star U.S. flag would now be deemed equally offensive.  That response, some say, reflects the changing demographics of America.  In recent years Caucasians are no longer the majority ethnic/race in America.  Hispanics now represent 40% of the US population compared with only 39% white.  Hispanics, a far more family-friendly ethnic group, have taken the lead in the pro-life movement.  Hispanics for Life expressed outrage at Nike’s use of the 50-star flag instead of the 51-star flag.  Offended by a perceived slight toward Puerto Rico, they also charged Nike with using a flag most closely associated with the American Holocaust of the Unborn.  

In recent years, advances in fetal research and embryology have exposed the mask of linguistic euphemisms hiding the reality of human life in the womb.  Abortion, though still legal, has found its rates drop dramatically this past decade.  Data now indicates that unrestricted abortion has caused women physical and psychological harm. The American Psychiatric Association finally acknowledged in 2056 that Post Abortion Stress Syndrome is a legitimate response to the trauma of abortion.

Elected in a landslide in 2056, President Maria de la Cruz ran on a platform  declaring that “Women Deserve Better!”  Her victory reflected an awakening within Western culture that women’s rights and the rights of the unborn are not mutually exclusive. Earlier this year, she declared January 22 – the date of the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion — a National Day of Mourning.  She has asked all Americans to grieve together the cost of 86 years of the American Holocaust – the loss of over 90 million unborn Americans and the scarring of millions of feminine souls.

Nike has unofficially announced that they will refrain from ever using a flag on their shoes again.

This is Tim Tebow, Jr. reporting for CBS News in Beaverton, Oregon.

Awaking from this midnight mirage, I could not help but wonder…how  can we so clearly see the flaws of our past and yet be so blind about the sins of our present?

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