Hat Shop Gives Weak Apology After Selling ‘Not Vaccinated’ Star Of David Patches

by Madison Vanderberg
WSMV Nashville

HatWORKS in Nashville slammed for offensive “not vaccinated” patches that look like yellow Star of David badges

A hat shop in Nashville, Tennessee is under fire for selling patches that look like the yellow Star of David badges that Nazis forced Jewish people to wear during the Holocaust. Even worse still, the badges that the hat shop is selling say “NOT VACCINATED.” After protests outside the store and a barrage of threats online, the hat shop issued a weak apology for selling the badges and equating anti-vaxxers with the plight of Jewish people during the Holocaust.

The store, HatWRKS, advertised the badges on their Instagram saying, “patches are here!! they turned out great. $5 ea.” They also added that they would be making trucker hats that say “not vaccinated” as well. Also, the store’s owner — who The New York Times identified as Gigi Gaskins — compared having vaccine cards to the Nazi practice of requesting “your papers,” in another Instagram post.

According to the Holocaust Memorial Center, the Nazis forced Jewish people in Europe to wear badges and facilitate their “separation from society and subsequent ghettoization, which ultimately led to the deportation and murder of 6 million Jews.” Anti-vaxxers not being able to go to a stadium event or travel without showing their vaccine card is absolutely not the same thing as the persecution of Jewish people in Nazi Germany.

The internet slammed the hat shop online and protestors gathered outside the store with a sign that read, “No Nazis In Nashville.”

“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 (via CNN). “She doesn’t understand how offensive it is to the Jewish community and to everybody.”

The tone-deaf hat shop owner has since apologized and removed the post with the badges, but in a subsequent post seemed to double-down on her anti-science and whackadoo vaccine misinformation, saying that she was just trying to push back on “government overreach” and claimed that the store is a “victim of the mob.” The hat shop’s entire social presence is very Q-Anon inspired with many mentions of common far-right conspiracy theories. The store also recently advertised that they offer “mask-free shopping.”

Stetson, a major hat maker, and a key brand sold at HatWRKS, recently said they would no longer do business with the store.

“Stetson condemns antisemitism and discrimination of any kind…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 brand said online.

Also, the fact that this is all going down at a HAT SHOP, of all places, is absolutely insane.

“It’s a terrible idea. It’s a terrible thing,” an attorney at the protest 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.”

Well said.