The Tokyo Olympic Games may be coming at the end of the month. But what’s happening off the field and track continues to dominate headlines. So far, there’s been a couple of hot-topic issues revolving around the games such as athlete Gwen Berry’s protest and Sha’Carri Richardson’s ban.
Now, two former Olympic swimming medalists are commenting on potential plans to redesign the American Flag logo. Reportedly, the U.S. Olympic Committee considered redesigning its logo of the United States flag. And neither Gary Hall Sr. nor his son Gary Hall Jr. is happy about the rumor. The two appeared on the Fox News broadcast show “Hannity” to air their displeasure at the idea.
“Old Glory doesn’t need rebranding,” Hall Jr. said on the show. He believed that the USOC should use both their time and resources for other avenues. Hall Jr. won Gold medals in several events he competed in such as the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, 2000 games in Australia, and 2004 Olympics in Greece.
He condemned the Olympic organization for potentially spending funds on marketing rather than putting those funds towards the athletes.
“What irritates me out of this whole thing is that there is some marketing or branding firm out there that has already been paid a lot of money for these drafts even and these resources, couldn’t they be better applied by supporting our athletes or giving it to an anti-doping agency to catch cheaters?” he asked.
Olympic Committee Responds to Flag Redesign Rumors
Like father, like son. Olympic medalist Gary Hall Sr. also has some words regarding the rumored change. He mentioned his nephew, a Navy Seal, killed in 2016 while serving in Iraq. Hall Sr. said one of the greatest moments of his life was carrying the American Flag. Hall Sr. is a silver medalist, winning in 1968 Mexico, the Olympic Games in Germany in 1972, and in 1976 as well.
“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,” Hall Sr. said. “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.”
The USOC officially responded to the medalists and the rumors in a prepared statement. According to spokesperson Kate Hartman, the USOPC considered many different concepts for their rebranding. According to Hartman, the organization cannot change the American flag.
“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,” Hartman said.