Popular clothing company PacSun found themselves in the middle of a national controversy over a t-shirt that depicted an upside down American flag.
The shirt, a black tee with the image of an upside down American flag in white positioned over the chest, was part of a Memorial Day display at PacSun stores nationwide over the weekend. It was originally part of the store’s A$AP Worldwide collection and has been available for purchase since last year.
Customers were quick to criticize the product on social media, leading to a boycott from many who were offended by the depiction.
“I’ve served our country and seeing that, I can’t explain the feeling, it’s terrible,” one customer, Charles Garcia, said. The hashtag “BoycottPacSun” began trending on Twitter and created a large amount of backlash against the store.
“There are repercussions to your free speech. I will never spend another penny there,” one Twitter user wrote.
The company subsequently released a statement on their Facebook page following the controversy, stating that they would be removing the shirt from their collection effective immediately.
“As a retailer grounded in youth culture, PacSun values artistic and creative expression through the brands that we sell in our stores,” the statement read. “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.”
Read more at Opposing Views