As a few people protested outside, a Nashville hat store stayed firm in its sale of a yellow insignia in the shape of the Star of David imprinted with the words “NOT VACCINATED.”
Hatwrks appeared to explain its usage of an anti-Semitic, Nazi-affiliated insignia as a remark on modern vaccination efforts in an Instagram post showcasing the item and advertising impending “trucker hats” with similar ornamentation that was no longer active Saturday.
Saturday, it was said on Instagram, “Unvaccinated persons will be separated from the rest of society, marked, and required to wear a mask. So, what’s next?”
The hat store stated, “There is a historical link to fascism to be made.”
Hatwrks did not react to a request for comment right away.
According to one tweet, a shop principal was present at the Jan. 6 Capitol disturbance, where pro-Trump demonstrators sought to impede legislative certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory.
Hatwrks asked on Friday if people who were outraged by its yellow patch were also “outraged with the tyranny the world is experiencing,” presumably in reference to government efforts to get people vaccinated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed nearly 600,000 people in the United States.
In Nazi Germany, yellow badges in the shape of a Star of David were used to identify Jews.
Under pressure to terminate relations with Hatwrks, Western hat maker Stetson announced Saturday afternoon that it will no longer ship items to the site.
“Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazis compelled Jewish people to wear a gold star,” U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, tweeted Tuesday about a grocery store chain that enables inoculated staff to go maskless while wearing vaccination badges on their name tags.
Many people, even Republicans, were outraged by the analogy. In a statement, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, said, “Marjorie is incorrect, and her willful decision to equate the atrocities of the Holocaust to donning masks is disgusting.”
Rabbi Laurie Rice of Nashville told NBC station WSMV in response to Hatwrks’ yellow star, “For me, there’s no question, getting immunized means putting the community first.”
She stated that she would be interested in discussing history with the business owner.
The patch also lighted up certain online corners. “Repugnant as hell,” tweeted Rick Wilson, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, a group opposed to far-right ideology and Trump.