A Nashville hat store's stance on anti-vaccination prompted them to sell merchandise that has drawn protests from across the country and in music city. A since-deleted Instagram post the store made set anti-Nazi and Holocaust survivors into a frenzy.
The badges and other merchandise the store was selling featured a gold star of David to show people others that they were not vaccinated against the coronavirus. That same gold star was used to mark Jews to Germans during the holocaust. Many believe that anti-vaxxers were comparing their own situation to that of the killing of millions of Jews during World War II.
“In NO WAY did I intend to trivialize the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people,” read the Instagram post from the store after a national uproar and the threat of national brands cutting ties with the Nashville store.
Gigi Gaskins, owner of the store, ignited a firestorm of controversy online after the store advertised the $5 anti-vax badges. HatWRKS also had prior controversy for saying COVID-19 vaccine documents (passports) to the Nazi system of requiring Jews to show “your papers”. They also claimed furthered debunked conspiracy theories that the covid vaccine contains microchips on its Instagram page.
The attention of the star of David badges has caused major distributors to sever ties.
Before the store posted it's apology, it posted a very defiant statement.
“[P]eople are so outraged by my post … but are you outraged with the tyranny the world is experiencing?”
“[I]f you don’t understand what is happening, that is on you, not me. [I] pay much more respect to history by standing up with the fallen than offering silence & compliance,” the statement said. “[T]hat is the worse [sic] crime. [I]t was then & is now. [I] will delete your disgust and hope you put it where it belongs.”