Nike canceled Monday’s launch of its new limited edition USA-themed Air Max 1 Quick Strike sneaker for the Fourth of July holiday after criticism that it featured an early American flag that some found offensive.
A patriotic homage to Betsy Ross’ original American flag design can be found embroidered on the heel along with a Nike Air woven tongue patch surrounded by 13 stars to represent the original states. The model was expected to serve as the follow-up to the 2003 Air Max 1 “USA.”
Critics reportedly included former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who fronted the company’s 30th Anniversary ad campaign last year. According to the Wall Street Journal, Kaepernick told Nike that he and others found the flag to be an offensive symbol due to its connection to the slavery era. Images of the model had been posted on social media.
Photo courtesy CNBC