Ex-Marine gets a Betty Ross flag tattoo as a protest against Nike pulling shoes bearing the design

Ex-Marine gets a Betty Ross flag tattoo as a protest against Nike pulling shoes bearing the design

The debate over the Betsy Ross flag, an earlier design of the American flag that was flown as early as 1777, has heated up and one marine decided to show just how close the symbol is to him by getting it tattooed.

After Nike decided to pull a set of shoes bearing the Betsy Ross flag design after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick objected to it, ex-marine Johnny “Joey” Jones was so infuriated that he decided to tattoo it on his arm as a protest.

"You don't get to control the narrative on everything that is a symbol to this country," Jones told Fox & Friends while talking about his tattoo on July 6.

Jones reportedly got the tattoo done on his bicep because he “couldn't think of a better symbol than the Betsy Ross flag”, which flew during the American Revolutionary War.

"Colin Kaepernick presented this opportunity to me on a silver platter," Jones said.


Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Nike’s decision to pull the sneakers was influenced by Kaepernick saying he felt the Betsy Ross flag was an offensive symbol of an era when slavery was accepted.

Johnny Jones getting the Betsy Ross Flag tattooed. (Twitter/@AONTATTOO)


Pop Culture Sports reports that Kaepernick merely pointed out the use of the flag by radical organizations like Identity Evropa, an avowed white supremacist group, to symbolize a time when slavery was legal.


Kaepernick reportedly warned Nike privately that the Betsy Ross flag was already being turned into a racist symbol by radical organizations. But, as the story has spread online, it has been allegedly distorted to portray Kaepernick himself as having decided that the flag was now offensive.

The former quarterback is already a controversial figure for his protests during the NFL, which has been interpreted by many as anti-police, anti-military and anti-American. Being linked to Nike’s decision has only invited more controversy and hate from certain groups in the country.

The legend of Betsy Ross has fascinated Americans for generations. While she is widely credited with having made the very first flag, that part of the story is a point of contention. She is believed to have been responsible for adding the 13-star symbol on the first flag, which is the design that has come to be known as the Betsy Ross Flag.

"That flag is absolutely a symbol,” Jones told Fox & Friends. “It's a symbol of what people can do in this country. Even in times when they feel oppressed, they can rise above, have a direct impact."


Share this article:

 retired marine protests nike betsy ross flag tattoo