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Americans always have celebrated the Fourth of July in a big way, as well they should. It’s a day to have some fun while also appreciating the steps some patriots took in the 1770s to establish a nation based on principles that were new at the time. Unfortunately, they have not become universal, even in today’s modern world.

It’s a day when cold weather never spoils the fun, although the heat in some areas, including Pinal County, can be oppressive. Nevertheless, holiday activities are plentiful.

This year comes with a surprising controversy generated by footwear giant Nike, which decided to pull a new shoe with a Betsy Ross flag logo after the objections of none other than controversial former football player Colin Kaepernick. The man who started a trend damaging the NFL by kneeling during the national anthem now has decided that the historic flag should not be celebrated, reportedly because slavery existed during the nation’s founding. The fact that slavery persisted long after the United States came into existence is indeed an embarrassing and troubling thing. But saying that America’s founding cannot be celebrated is an extreme view that few Americans can support.

Nike, which apparently operates under a guideline that no publicity is bad, went too far in blocking the flag during the week of Independence Day. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey entered the fray by announcing the state was withdrawing incentives to build a Nike factory in Goodyear. That is a pretty unusual stance for a governor to take, but it is the correct one. Perhaps Nike will actually get the message.

Meanwhile, celebrating America’s birth is a great thing and can be enjoyed in communities all across our great nation. Pinal towns and cities are no exception. As just one example, Casa Grande has swimming events at the city pool during the day and various games, contests and fireworks at Paul Mason Sportsplex in the evening. Happy birthday, America!

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