Western apparel maker John B. Stetson has pulled its products from a Nashville hat store after it sold ‘Not Vaccinated’ patches styled on Star of David badges Jews were forced to wear by Nazis.
Demonstrators gathered outside HatWRKS in Nashville on Saturday and condemned the hat store for selling stick-on yellow stars featuring the words ‘Not Vaccinated’.
The hat store announced that the offensive patches were on sale in a post shared to Instagram last week.
‘Patches are here!! They turned out great. $5ea. Strong adhesive back… we’ll be offering trucker caps soon,’ the post – which has since been deleted – read.
On Saturday, the shop shared on Instagram: ‘In NO WAY did i intend to trivialize the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people. that is not who i am & what i stand for. my intent was not to exploit or make a profit.
‘My hope was to share my genuine concern & fear, and to do all that i can to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again. i sincerely apologize for any insensitivity.’
The products are modelled on the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied Europe during the 1930s and 40s. Those yellow stars were used to identify, isolate and humiliate Jewish people.
A demonstrator outside Nashville hat store hatWRKS carried a sign that read: ”Nashville condemns hatWRKS!’ on Saturday
A ‘No Nazis in Nashville’ banner (pictured) was hung on the front of Nashville hat store hatWRKS on Saturday in protest of Star of Davis patches that said ‘Not Vaccinated’ being sold at the store
On Saturday demonstrators gathered outside the store with signs that read ‘No Nazis in Nashville’ and ‘Nashville condemns hatWRKS’
A demonstrator has carries a sign that reads; ‘The Holocaust is not a joke’ in front of hatWRKS in Nashville on Saturday
A demonstrator carries a sign that reads: ‘Please don’t appropriate Jewish pain for your profit’ in front of hatWRKS in Nashville on Saturday
On Saturday demonstrators gathered outside the store with signs that read ‘No Nazis in Nashville’ and ‘Nashville condemns hatWRKS,’ WSMV.com reported.
‘We’re here to protest hate and ignorance with regard to what she’s doing in selling yellow stars that are a symbol of the greatest atrocity the world has ever seen, which is the loss of 6 million human beings,’ Nashville resident Ron Rivlin told WSMV on Saturday outside the hat store.
‘I think I understand what she was trying to do, but the way she did it was just, she doesn’t understand how offensive it is to the Jewish community and to everybody,’ Rivlin added.
‘It’s a terrible idea. It’s a terrible thing,’ Roger Abramson, an attorney from Brentwood, Tennessee, told WSMV. ‘There’s no way you could reasonably associate choosing to go without vaccinations for COVID…and assuming that you’re in the same spot as a Jewish person in Nazi Germany.’
‘To me, it’s willful ignorance,’ Abramson added. ‘The information is out there. People are willfully ignoring facts, information and history because it doesn’t fit what they want to believe or it doesn’t fit some narrative they have.’
Western apparel maker Stetson announced it was no longer in business with the store following the social media post promoting the patches.
‘As a result of the offensive content and opinions shared by hatWRKS in Nashville, Stetson and our distribution partners will cease the sale of all Stetson products,’ the company said on Twitter.
‘Along with our distribution partners, Stetson condemns antisemitism and discrimination of any kind,’ the company tweeted.
‘Patches are here!! They turned out great. $5ea. Strong adhesive back… we’ll be offering trucker caps soon,’ an Instagram post from hatWRKS- which has since been deleted – read
HatWRKS was blasted by a number of public figures on both the left and the right.
‘I am ashamed to know that I’ve given these people business in the past; I’ve sent people there. This is vile and repulsive. They trumpet that they’re proud to ‘Stand Up Against Tyranny’ Well, I am proud to say GO F**K YOURSELF. I’ll purchase my chapeaus elsewhere,’ actor W. Earl Brown wrote.
Republican commentator Ana Navarro concurred, writing: ‘I could not believe this could be for real. I like to think such stupidity, insensitivity and ignorance in America cannot be commonplace. It’s real.’
Elsewhere, former Senior Advisor to Donald Trump, AJ Delgado, said that the products were ‘beyond disgusting’.
Ivo Daalder, the former US Ambassador to NATO, wrote: ‘As a young school girl in Holland, my mother was forced to wear a yellow star by the Nazis to identify her as a Jew. It’s beyond grotesque to sell this evil symbol to proclaim one’s not vaccinated. Where does this end?’
The Nashville hat stores ‘Not Vaccinated’ stars appear to have been inspired by a recent reference Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene made comparing Covid-19 guidelines to the Holocaust.
‘Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,’ Taylor Greene wrote on Twitter earlier this week.