Sean Hannity, the popular host at Fox News, is challenging the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). He reported that the committee is right now in the early stages of a plan to redesign the American flag on the logo it uses. They plan to replace the 50 stars with 5 new stars and also change the stripes.
Hannity reported that the U.S. Olympians and Paralympian associations were asked on June 6 to fill out a survey originated by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. The survey included the proposed change to the Stars and Stripes as an item in the enclosed materials.
“The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee have actually been considering a redesign of the American flag for all of their official documents and promotional materials,” Hannity said on Monday. “If they approve this design, that would strip the U.S. flag – or the flag of at least most of the stars and stripes.”
A spokesperson for the Olympic committee, Kate Hartman, was reached out to by Fox News. She admitted that they were in the early stages of a redesign. “We are in the very early stages of potentially exploring new brand executions for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee,” the spokesperson for the committee said in a statement to Fox News.
The statement continued, “It is common practice in creative development to share a variety of concepts with stakeholders to elicit reaction and feedback that will then be used to determine next steps. What has been sent to you is just one of dozens of ideas shared in this brainstorming and surveying process.”
Sean Hannity was not happy with the proposed plan, and he had a message for the stakeholders.
“Here is my message – stop wasting your team’s time and money with a redesign of the American flag – it’s an awful idea,” the Fox News host declared.
Hannity had even more to say, “Our stars and stripes should be the only flag representing our country at the Olympics and the Paralympics – there are so many amazing athletes and champions we are all so proud of.”
The USOPC obviously heard Hannity, they quickly put out a statement after his report saying that they had no intention of changing the American flag that flies above the podium at the Olympics.
They replied, “We want to be clear that we love our country and respect the American flag. We do not have any intention, not to mention the authority, to change our country’s flag that flies above the podium when a member of Team USA achieves Olympic or Paralympic greatness.”
Hannity is not alone in his sentiments regarding our flag. Former Olympic athletes tend to agree with the Fox News host. Gary Hall Sr. and Gary Hall Jr., Olympic swimming medalists, will join with Hannity so that they can express their disapproval of the potential changes.
Gary Hall Sr. said, “The greatest honor of my life was in Montreal in 1976 when I was selected to carry the American flag for the U.S. Olympic team leading into Montreal Stadium.” He continued, “And the American flag is iconic. It doesn’t just represent the greatest country in the world. It represents and symbolizes millions of Americans who have worked hard, who have sacrificed, some of them, with their own lives.”
“No one has the right to change that other than U.S. Congress, and to me, it’s disrespectful to even consider changing the American flag,” Hall Sr. concluded.
The elder swimmer, Gary Hall Sr., was a silver medalist at 1968, 1972, and 1976 Olympic Games. His son, Gary Hall Jr., won gold medals at 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic Games.