Let me be blunt, I hold great contempt for what Colin Kaepernick, Nike, and others have done, and are doing, to the Betsy Ross Flag and, our more current American Flag. And here is why…

A U.S. Air Force carry team transfers the remains of Air Force Airman 1st Class Christoffer P. Johnson, of Clarksville, Tenn., at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Feb. 19, 2011. Johnson was assigned to the 423rd Security Forces Squadron, Royal Air Force Alconbury, England. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)

I am not only the wife of a man that served this nation for 20 years, but, I also happen to be a Gold Star mother.  And because of that, I can NOT, in good conscience, sit back and NOT speak out about subjects like this that I’ve been witnessing going on in our nation as of late.  While I fully support free speech, I find certain actions where people within America striking out against the symbols of this great nation to be extremely hurtful and offensive, I am sorry if this ruffles a few feathers.

One of the more recent and offensive outrages that I have seen recently is over the Betsy Ross flag and our current flag, and how they are being dishonored and completely disrespected today. It is unfortunate that people are choosing, or are being misled, to believe what the media, celebrities, and “for profit” companies are attempting to declare as history instead of believing what they already know or, searching it out for themselves. I’m not going to give a history lesson, but for those who ACTUALLY know their history, they know that what has been appearing in the news is incorrect. 

Just as the cross is a symbol of the Christian faith, our flag is also just a symbol of our nation. However, the act of dishonoring and disrespecting our flag is also symbolic, symbolic of the hatred that these people have against the same country that my son died for, the same country that ALLOWS them to earn millions of dollars at the expense of what? Garnishing some publicity that serves to fire up more hatred out of people that I still fail to comprehend or understand? This hurts. It hurts not only to watch and hear about these multi-millionaires adding to the hatred that already permeates our nation, but also the positive responses that they receive in return. And I unfortunately have no doubt that self-professed Christians are also joining in.

Our first flag, deemed the “Betsy Ross Flag” was created as a symbol of freedom – our freedom as states, not colonies controlled by England. The only difference between our first flag and the flag we use today is that stars have been added to represent the states that have joined this wonderful union. Whether it’s the Betsy Ross flag or our current flag we use today, it still represents one thing….FREEDOM! Throughout our 240 year history, MANY, many, many, people’s lives have been lost representing that flag….whether it was back in 1776 when the flag was added or this year.  And these people have the audacity to desecrate and demoralize those lives.

In this recent case, Mr. Kaepernick believes that he has the moral high ground, that his actions and beliefs are somehow going to institute some form of utopian movement by bringing attention to issues that, to this day, still are not clear. However, what he has done, is bring added attention to an ever expanding divide that is weakening our nation. There is nothing in his action that has, or will, make this country better. We are an imperfect nation and it is because of actions like that of Mr. Kaepernick and others, that continue to add to our imperfections rather than fixing them.

That same American flag that is draped over my son’s casket in the photo, is the same flag that others, to include Colin Kaepernick (I am calling you out Colin since you started this and brought it on), have continued to disrespect by kneeling instead of standing for….and his reasons don’t even have anything to do with the flag, which makes the disrespect even more vile and disgusting. The Betsy Ross flag, that began this debacle, is the same flag he is inaccurately quoting from in history. He has disrespected both flags and has blinded and misguided others to do the same.  It appalls me when I see somebody who refuses to stand for the flag and national anthem, or even worse, when they abuse the flag in any way. Some say it’s freedom of speech they are exercising. I say, as a Gold Star mother, that they are spitting on my son’s grave.

Galatians 5:13 says, “….don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead use your freedom to serve one another in love.” John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  My son made pennies laying down his life and dying in the military for freedom. It appears Colin Kaepernick has laid down his life for selfish personal gain and feels the millions he’s making from Nike speak louder. (Personally, I feel he needs to take those millions and use it to go back to school, educate himself, and relearn our true and accurate history.) 

Furthermore, shame on Nike for falling for Kaepernick’s inaccuracies and rubbish.  I happen to own a pair of Nike shoes. I will never again buy another pair of Nike shoes or any other item from that company for that matter. Part of me wants to go buy some American flag patches from the craft store and sew them over the Nike symbol on the shoes that I already own. (Who knows, maybe the next time you see me, I just might be sporting my newly-created shoes!). I now find the Nike symbol to be offensive and filled with hate.

My one saving grace is the power of forgiveness. For Jesus tells us that if we forgive one who has sinned against us, then the Lord will also forgive us. Therefore, Mr. Kaepernick, I forgive you and the others that commit the same atrocity as you have, not only for your recent actions but for the future actions that history has shown you are surely to do. But neither will I forget. I will pray for you Mr. Kaepernick, that you wake up to the reality of what you are doing and that you set the record straight for those that you have negatively influenced. I pray that you wake up to the wrong you are doing to our nation and work towards positive steps of helping our nation heal from the hatred that you, and others, have wrought. Finally sir, I pray that you recognize the hurt that you are causing and the wounds that you are opening, that you yourself can heal from whatever wounds you have suffered in the past causing you to behave in the fashion that you are. I do pray this, in Jesus Name.

So, who is representing the flag and its freedom the most accurately? The soldiers who have spent over 200 years dying for it and those who really know what it stands for? Or is it the people who continue to dishonor and mistreat it with disrespect and/or misrepresenting it by incorrectly quoting history?  I just pray that Americans wake-up and see how their symbol of freedom is being portrayed. It’s value just might be stolen from you while you sleep.