Conservative actor James Woods and an army of outraged Americans attacked California-based retailer PacSun Monday over a T-shirt sold by the clothing giant featuring an upside-down American flag.
Because some things just need to be said.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) May 26, 2015
The upside-down flag, of course, is a symbol of distress, used by military units in extreme peril or at political rallies by liberals and conservatives to indicate fears for the country’s future.
What it’s not is a fashion statement to be used lightly by ignorant clothing designers looking for an “edge.”
Stung by the apparently unexpected backlash, PacSun found itself pulling the shirt from the shelves to trying to contain the controversy.
A statement on the company’s Facebook page tried to explain;
“As a retailer grounded in youth culture, PacSun values artistic and creative expression through the brands that we sell in our stores. Out of respect for those who have put their lives on the line for our country, we have decided to stop selling the licensed flag t-shirt and are removing it from our stores and website immediately. We thank the men and women in uniform for their extraordinary service.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the controversy started in Foley, Ala., when a female shopper snapped a picture of the ignorant emblem. As word and image spread, so did the outrage.
It being Memorial Day didn’t help the company either.
To the “grounded in youth culture” PacSun, the upside down flag might have looked cool. But to Americans who have an ounce of sense, the upside down flag is a symbol of extreme distress. (It’s overused as a political statement, but the geniuses at PacSun probably didn’t even know that.)
In any case, Twitter users weren’t buying PacSun’s excuse – or its shirts.
@latimes it was not a mistake. We should keep in mind how they really feel…
— Darnell Carruthers (@DarnellCarruthe) May 26, 2015
— Allen J. Wilson (@AllenJWilson) May 26, 2015
@ABC7 “as a retailer grounded in youth culture” pretty much says it all IMO. The majority of today’s youth have no respect for the flag
— Kevin (@kevinhandvfx) May 26, 2015
@WhenIsIt2Late Disrespect IS disrespect! You can’t call it anything else.
— Belle Nuno-Connolly (@IsabelleNC) May 26, 2015
That one pretty well nails it.
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