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Brands dropping products from hat shop that offered 'not vaccinated' Star of David patches

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Posted at 8:18 AM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 10:18:39-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Several hat companies are now distancing themselves from Hatwrks after the owner of the Nashville hat shop posted on Instagram that the store was selling patches shaped like the Jewish Star of David that said, "not vaccinated."

Companies include Tula Hats, Stetson, Kangol Headwear, and Goorin Brothers.

"It's so disgusting," said Rabbi Saul Strosberg, Congregation Sherith Israel. "It's a shame that people would think that way and manufacture or buy these inexcusable symbols."

Many took to social media to condemn the patches.

On Saturday, protesters gathered at the store with signs saying things like, "No Nazis in Nashville."

It recognizes how many Jews were forced to wear similar badges by Nazis during World War II.

The owner of Hatworks in Nashville did issue an apology.

She said in part: "In no way intended to trivialize the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people. That is not who I am, and what I stand for...."

She also posted, saying this: "It has 100 percent been fighting the totalitarian march and power grab we are seeing play out across the globe."

Eric Stillman, CEO of the Jewish Federation & Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, says the apology posts are not enough.

“There’s no excuse to use Holocaust imagery or symbols in any other context,” said Stillman.

Stillman believes education is key.

"Unfortunately, the owner of the store has clearly not learned the lessons of the Holocaust because if that person had learned those lessons, then the person would know that it's so inappropriate to use Holocaust imagery or symbols for any other purpose whatsoever,” said Stillman. “And I really would like the owner of the store to sit down with a Holocaust survivor, to sit down with a Holocaust educator and learn the lessons that really need to be taught.”

This story was originally published by Seena Sleem at WTVF.