Nike 'Betsy Ross flag' sneakers sold for $2K each on resale market

Leaked pairs of Nike’s “Betsy Ross Flag” sneakers are selling for massive sums on the resale market after the sports apparel giant nixed a planned launch following criticism from former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

At least 12 pairs of the Nike Air Max 1 USA, the sneaker’s actual name, sold for $1,000 or more on resale marketplace StockX since news of Nike’s decision went public. A size 8 pair of the sneakers sold for $2,500, according to the website. Bidding on several other pairs had exceeded $1,000 as of 11:30 a.m. ET.

Prices for some pairs approached $3,000 until StockX CEO Scott Cutler said the site had ended sales because the product did not align with company values. A landing page for the sneaker now displays an error message.

The sneakers, which featured a so-called Betsy Ross flag with 13 stars that dates back to the Revolutionary War, have a retail value of $120.

The sneakers had already shipped to Nike’s retail partners when the company asked for them to be returned ahead of a planned release this week. Kaepernick, who is a Nike endorser, told company officials that the flag was offensive to some because it was associated with an era during which slavery was legal in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NKE NIKE, INC. 158.07 +0.38 +0.24%

“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag,” the company said in a statement.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NKE NIKE, INC. 158.07 +0.38 +0.24%

Nike’s decision prompted Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey to withdraw financial incentives for a manufacturing plant the company had planned to build in the state. State estimates suggest the plant would add more than 500 new full-time jobs.

“Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism,” Ducey tweeted. “It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it.”


Nike shares were flat in trading Tuesday.

This story has been updated.