Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday tweeted a picture of the "Betsy Ross" American flag after Nike encountered controversy for using the design on a shoe earlier this week.
McConnell tweeted a picture of the flag Thursday morning, with the caption "Happy Fourth of July!"
Nike had planned to release a shoe celebrating the holiday this week, but canceled it after Colin Kaepernick, activist and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who was the face of a recent Nike ad campaign, told the company not to use a design that represents a time when slavery was legal in the United States, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper also notes the early flag has been appropriated by extremist groups that are opposed to the country's increasing diversity.
McConnell criticized the move in comments to reporters while in Kentucky on Tuesday.
"If we're in a political environment where the American flag has become controversial to Americans, I think we've got a problem," he said, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.
"I hope Nike either releases these shoes or some other shoe maker picks up the flag, puts it on a pair of shoes, and starts selling it. I'll make the first order," McConnell added.
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