A Georgia-based clothing company owned and operated by veterans is releasing a new line of shirts featuring the Betsy Ross flag design and calling for a boycott of Nike after the latter company nixed plans to feature the early American flag on sneakers.


Nine Line Apparel unveiled the limited-edition shirts featuring the Ross flag, and others with the words "Just Stand" written in an approximation of the iconic Nike "Just Do It" font, an apparent dig at former NFL star Colin Kaepernick who in 2016 became the first player to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

“In Greek mythology, Nike was the goddess of victory, symbolized as a divine charioteer, flying over the battlefield to reward the victors,” Nine Line Apparel wrote online. “When it comes to symbolism, is there a more quintessential representation of the American Spirit than the Betsy Ross flag?”

Nike had planned to release the Air Max 1 USA sneaker featuring the early design from Ross with a circle of 13 stars for the 13 colonies this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. But the company reportedly scrapped those plans and pulled the product from stores when Kaepernick, who is sponsored by Nike, voiced concerns about how the symbol was offensive and connected to an era of slavery.

“We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services. Nike made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday," Nike said in a statement to The Hill.  

Nine Line Apparel wrote that it was “disgusting” that Nike “would be so easily swayed into a false narrative that an iconic patriotic symbol of America’s independence now somehow — over 200 years later — holds racial and divisive undertones.”

“The social commentary that Nike is trying to impose on this symbol just shows how dismissive they are of the principles that our country was founded on and how out of touch they are with the values of the American public,” it continued.

The company called for customers to say “#NoToNike," part of a trend this week to boycott the sportswear brand.

Prominent conservatives including Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz takes aim at Alabama vasectomy bill: 'Yikes' 'Medicare for All' will turn into health care for none Cruz 'impresses' his daughter with Chris Evans meeting MORE (R-Texas) and Fox News host Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamTrump holds White House 'celebration' for impeachment acquittal Fox's Laura Ingraham calls on Romney to resign: 'Ultimate selfish, preening, self-centered' politician Trump asks 'what the hell has happened' to Fox News after interview with Democratic senator MORE vowed to never buy Nike products again after the July 4 sneaker was canceled. 

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced that he would ask the state's chamber of commerce to pull financial incentives for Nike, which he said getting ready to make a "major" investment in Goodyear, Ariz.