Walmart Nazi Tshirt Watch: Week 62

Compare Walmart’s Nazi Tshirt with original Nazi symbol

Just when you thought all of the Walmart tshirts bearing the exact replica of an infamous Nazi symbol were recalled, or sold to a discount store and burned, a Walmart in Palmdale, California has them on sale for $3.00 a pop. 62 weeks after Walmart pledged to remove the shirts from its shelves, and 50 weeks after getting a letter from Congress demanding the shirts removal, they’re still out there. If they can’t get rid of a simple tshirt, how good are they at recalling toys, defective merchandise, and dangerous food?

(Thanks to Ronald!)

Comments

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  1. KingPsyz says:

    They have them here at several Wal Marts in Vegas and at a few ross stores too. I see them occasionally, but not often since the story broke.

  2. bsalamon says:

    what do you expect from wal-mart. its not like they are advocates against racism.

  3. headon says:

    No matter how hard they try to improve their image they will always be the epitome of suckage

  4. cuiusquemodi says:

    @bsalamon: Not advocates against racism? What does that even mean?

  5. jrdnjstn78 says:

    Does anyone really think that a company who treats their employees so poorly is going to care about taking some shirts off their shelves.

    Obviously these shirts are getting shipped to some Wal-marts and the employees just put them on the racks.

  6. KingPsyz says:

    Well considering the ammount of white trash I see when I do venture inside I wouldn’t be suprised if there wasn’t a backhanded purposeful effort to put these shirts out.

    When they get caught they appologize up and down and put them in a different stone a week later.

  7. lalala1956 says:

    totenkopf nicht so schoen

  8. yawn

  9. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Why should what Congress wants or demands enter into anything.

    Seriously.

    Why?

    I agree that they should remove them and that they are in the worst possible taste, but Congress has less than no right to demand anything and can cram it six ways from Sunday.

  10. TechnoDestructo says:

    They ARE removing them from the shelves…by attrition.

  11. Trauma_Hound says:

    That’s a nazi symbol?

  12. castlecraver says:

    Let me guess… isolated incident, communication failure, blah blah.

    Screw your profits and economies of scale. If you’re too big to implement a critical corporate and/or congressional directive throughout your organization… YOU’RE TOO BIG.

  13. Trauma_Hound says:

    @marsneedsrabbits:

    I agree with you there, I still don’t get how this is a nazi symbol it looks like a cross skull & bones to me. I have one on my pirate flag.

  14. Trauma_Hound says:

    WTF you crack heads, I just looked at the wikipedia page and it doesn’t look anything like it.

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  15. officeboy says:

    [en.wikipedia.org]
    It’s based on the skull and crossbones but it IS different.

  16. ionerox says:

    Are you blind TRAUMA_HOUND? It’s the same damn skull. Doesn’t take a forensics analyst to see it either.

  17. ConnerC says:

    As the first link in the story shows, it’s an EXACT replica of an SS badge.

  18. dorianh49 says:

    read the wikipedia article linked above, and right here:

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  19. officeboy says:

    Of course we’ve been here before. [consumerist.com]

  20. Maurik says:

    Hahaha “Since 1978″ that’s a classic right there.

  21. Vitalis says:

    I have the perfect solution for this “problem”; if you don’t like the Tshirt, don’t buy one. Common sense?

  22. Tzepish says:

    @Vitalis: Of course that’s common sense! And that’s why we need things like Consumerist to alert us of stuff like this, so that we can make informed decisions.

  23. Osi says:

    @ Vitalis: Perfect sense.

  24. barfoo says:

    @Vitalis: That’s a reasonable response, but isn’t it upsetting that a company that publicly acknowledged that it was an offensive product and that it intended to stop selling it within a matter of days (see the linked article above from NOVEMBER OF 2006) but has not done so after more than a year? As the original post suggests, this bodes ill for the effectiveness of, say, a future Walmart recall of tainted meat or radioactive Barbies. The more reasonable response might be to avoid shopping at a retailer that so willfully misrepresents itself.

  25. lalala1956 says:

    How dare you interject common sense into this debate Vitalis. How dare you!

  26. coan_net says:

    Did the person try to buy it?

    From what I understand, since Wal-Mart inventory is usually a mess, and who knows where things are packed at – from what I understand, if you try to buy the shirt – the computer is suppose to stop the sale and not allow it to be bought. Just because it had been found and stuck back on the shelve by an employee which knows no better.

  27. DallasDMD says:

    Don’t like them? Then don’t buy ‘em.

  28. benjimandodd says:

    @vitalis

    that’s a great idea. let’s use that “common sense” and put the swastika on a shirt for germans who want to buy it. don’t like it jewish people? don’t buy it. it doesn’t matter it represents the people that killed millions of you. just don’t buy it.

    how about the ku klux klan symbol? for those southern people who think it’s historical for something wierd reason.
    don’t like it african americans? don’t buy it. it doesn’t matter they tortured you and killed you. just don’t buy it.

    i totally support congress and their ordering wal mart to take it off the shelves. some things need to be taken care of at the government level to actually get it done.

    but apparently that doesn’t work with wal mart.

  29. Rando says:

    I think you guys should really stop Q_Qing over a stupid shirt. It’d be different if it were a swastika.

  30. cde says:

    5 + s/h for who ever buys me that shirt! /srsly

  31. edjusted says:

    “If they can’t get rid of a simple tshirt, how good are they at recalling toys, defective merchandise, and dangerous food?”

    Apparently the answer is, “not good at all.”

  32. DallasDMD says:

    @benjimandodd: free speech. its your right to socially pressure them to stop carrying it, but the government cannot force them to take it away.

    you were being sarcastic, but your reasoning was correct. if you do not like it, do not buy it.

  33. DallasDMD says:

    @cde: yeah dude, I think I’d totally wear it just to piss off the readers here, especially if there is ever a big consumerist meet up ;D

  34. benjimandodd says:

    @rando

    why would it be different if it was a swastika? both the group that the swastika stands for and the group that this symbol stands for killed jews. why is one worse than the other?

  35. DallasDMD says:

    Don’t forget that the swastika is actually an ancient symbol that predates the NSDAP’s use of it in Germany. You can find the swastika all over europe, india, and Asia. Lets ban history too huh.

  36. lalala1956 says:

    So by your reasoning benji then we can never fly the american flag or show patriotism because the US persecuted and massacred native americans?

  37. Alvis says:

    Symbols != ideas. Grow up, consumerist.

  38. BrockBrockman says:

    @lalala1956: And by your logic, it IS okay to fly a nazi swastika despite the holocaust?

  39. spinachdip says:

    @DallasDMD: You’re missing the point. Expression isn’t the issue here – Wal-Mart acknowledged that it was in bad taste and promised to remove the item. If they can’t follow through on the promise, it’s hard to think they could, say, pull recalled cans of chili off the shelf in a timely manner (and they couldn’t).

  40. valthun says:

    62 weeks of not caring, if you didn’t tell me it was related in some way to a Nazi battalion or whatever that committed really nasty war crimes, I would just go with it being a pretty cool skull and crossbones image. I read up on their history just to know what you were talking about. So does that mean you are in the job of teaching history? If it were a black t-shirt I would probably buy it if I saw it on a shelf, of coarse I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, so that is a different story. Gotta love that you can purchase a t-shirt that says Fuck You You Fucking Fuck. But a skull and crossbones has to be banned by congress because some consumers take offense at the image. I can almost gurantee that whoever chose the image, thought it was cool, and in no way related it to anything that had to do with WWII.

  41. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Since when did Wal-Mart get wood/laminate floors? I guess the piss-stained tiles got old?

  42. DMDDallas says:

    @spinachdip: Understood. My point is that a store has a right to sell whatever type of clothing it wants. Some people here think that the government should step in, and I totally disagree with that. It compromises the principle of free speech.

    My suggestion is that, instead of complaining, people should concentrate on creating symbols/speech they think are better alternatives instead of trying to impose their ideology on everyone else.

  43. karmaghost says:

    In their clothes sections they have them. I guess it’s an attempt to class up the joint.

  44. StevieD says:

    How do we even know that this a current photo taken at Wallyworld?

  45. goodkitty says:

    Wow, a tee for only $3! *Buys two*

  46. atarisuicide says:

    So, uh, anyone else recognize this shirt??

    [www.stltoday.com]

    Thought it was funny. :)

  47. lizzybee says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: If you read the Consumerist post about the Congressional letter, you’ll see that about twenty or thirty Congressfolk signed a letter requesting WalMart to remove the shirt. This is hardly “Congress” demanding anything. If anything, the Consumerist’s statements in the above post are something of a distortion. The concerned Congressfolk are merely employing their right to freedom of speech, which is even a right our legislators are entitled to.

    Nonetheless, I’d like to think these Congressmen have something better to do than to worry about some stupid t-shirt being sold at a retailer that carried, until now, a relatively obscure symbol. I’m also of the camp that says, “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.” Until I read the first Consumerist post about the shirt, I just thought it was some skater punk skull thing ;-)

  48. Logan26 says:

    Still dont see what is Nazi about them

  49. JHoward88 says:

    As an associate with Wal-Mart, I can point out what exactly can make this happen.

    Often large amounts of overstock accumulate in the back room where they more or less forgotten about until someone runs across them and decides to reorganize the bins. A system wide recall on a product isn’t as simple as just removing the items necessarily, and it really isn’t surprising to see a few of the items continue to appear even after a figuratively long span of time.

    I personally would also like to point out that Wal-Mart as a global retailer wields a large amount of consumer authority. For this reason I tend to support the idea of leaving what we sell in the hands of the consumers who desire (or do not desire) it.

    Realistically, if one were to point fingers at anything in the consumer market, would it not be wiser to complaign about explicit video material? I could carry on to some length here.

  50. EtherealStrife says:

    Damn if it were closer I’d stock up. Every time I find myself in walmart I search the clothing section for these. :- Cool design.

  51. astrochimp says:

    @Logan26: See Schutzstaffel. Do you also have a problem figuring out why a swastika has connotations of Naziism?

  52. forgottenpassword says:

    @Logan26:
    Here are a couple of nazi pics with the emblem on the uniforms….

    [farm2.static.flickr.com]

    [forum.axishistory.com]

    Same emblems as in the walmart shirt

  53. spinachdip says:

    @DMDDallas: Fair enough. It looks like some people are confused about congressional action and congresspeople expressing their opinions (speaking on non-legislative matters on behalf of their constituents *is* part of their job description, but a letter does noa congressional action make), and offensive speech/imagery versus threatening speech/imagery, which is to say, you can’t legally stop the KKK from marching through your town, as they have the right to free expression and assembly, but they can be prosecuted for burning a cross in someone’s front yard – not because it’s offensive, but because it is a signal of impending violence (at least that’s what SCOTUS has ruled).

    The only issue here is WalMart’s inability/unwillingness to maintain control over its stores. You might not care about the T-shirt (I don’t either), but you should care about the lack of instutional control.

  54. edrebber says:

    Where is the ACLU to defend the right to sell nazi t-shirts?

  55. Vitalis says:

    @ BENJIMANDODD

    Give me a break, this whole bitchfest about an “offensive” Tshirt for sale at Walmart is just ridiculous. If people want to buy and wear a Tshirt that stands for “hatred”, let them. It will be easier to spot the people you don’t want to be around (or in your case maybe it will identify the people you need to “educate” about love and tolerance).

    It’s disturbing that Walmart lied about removing them but seriously, can’t we keep the Government out of it? There are things that are actually IMPORTANT that they could be dealing with.

  56. cde says:

    @DallasDMD: Actually, while I’m all for doing stuff in spite of people, I’m a big skullduggery type of guy. In fact, I’m wearing a skull shirt while typing on my skull emblazoned ibook and listening to Queens of the Stone Age. I am not kidding.

    That, and I’m also into wearing shirts with obscure meanings. :P

  57. cde says:

    @Alvis: Symbols most definitely do signify ideas. Most quickest way to signify yourself as nazi? Swastika on red. American? American Flag. Anarchist? The Anarchy @. Puppy killer? Peta. Emergency Medic *MEDIC!*? Red Cross. By wearing those symbols, you present yourself as believing in the idea behind the symbol. Hence flags/uniforms/logos/symbols are all representations of an idea.

  58. Trai_Dep says:

    Well, it is Palmdale. And at least Wal-Mart is nice enough to position the Totemkampf shirts next to the racks holding the KKK robes and hoods.

    Although it is annoying that the Palmdale Wal-Mart has the wooden crosses and the lighter fluid on opposite sides of the store.

    PS: ye boneheaded individuals, substitute “lead toys”, “poisoned pet food” or “date-rape drugged childrens’ toys” for “Nazi shirt” and recognize the scope and nature of the problem. Jeezus: brains – they’re not just for eating!

  59. cde says:

    @trai_dep: Drug-rape? ….. Brains, they’re not just for being a hypocrite…

  60. redkamel says:

    to sum up both arguments with two pertinent, and true, examples I think most people would agree with:

    The swastika, which used to be a pretty cool symbol, is basically ruined by the nazis. I cannot use a swastika because everyone thinks on nazis when they see it…it doesnt matter what mean by it, all the eastern uses be damned.

    Most people buying the shirts dont know its associated with nazis. So no matter what they mean by it, it is still a symbol of a hate-group…made worse, and the symbol more popular, by the fact that people wear it unknowingly.

    while these two examples are contradictory (its the public interpretation of the image vs the makers intent, that defines the meaning) when it comes to a symbol that represents systematic hate and murder in modern times, even if most people dont recognize the symbol, I think the one of the largest retailers in the country should exercise a little common sense.

    I am sure Wal-mart does not sell shirts with the symbol of the Taliban either.

  61. redkamel says:

    oops I guess now I now how to turn italics on…sorry. where the italics turn on I meant an emphasized I

  62. Trai_Dep says:

    Bet when Wal-Mart PR is contacted regarding this screw-up, they say, “We’ve fixed the recurring issue comprehensively. In fact, we’ve reached a Final Solution for this.”

  63. Vitalis says:

    haha, Final Solution, yea the Final Solution is to “cleanse” all the crazies who get offended by a Tshirt from our society ;)

    Really, Week 62 of a pseudo-nazi Tshirt watch, WOW!

    Ohhhh yes, let go all the way and have Congressional Hearings on this important subject! Where will this madness end?

    Calling for the removal of these Tshirts sounds like something a German National Socialist would do back in the 1930s and 40s.

    Stop looking for things to be offended by, God knows a lot of people will always find something…

  64. Vitalis says:

    BTW, I plan on doing some painting around the house soon and don’t want to ruin any of my shirts with paint, so $3 for a shirt sounds like a good deal, unless they were made in China and are full of lead…

  65. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Hooray, the Totenkopf shirts are back! It’s just like the old days on Consumerist, except with even more baseless whining from commenters who think the PC Police are hiding under their beds!

    I mean, never mind that these shirts’ continued existence exposes a massive failure in Wal-Mart’s inventory system that could someday expose millions of people to already-recalled toxic merchandise… nah, let’s complain about how we can’t wear swastikas anymore because people are “too sensitive.” Being oppressed is hard, y’all.

  66. A_Random_Me says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but – if they’ve intended not to sell the product, how does a store keep a stack of these for a year and then stumble across them to put out for sale? Surely that’s a monumental failure in all sorts of inventory management processes. What else do they have shut in those storerooms? The ark of the covenant perhaps?

    Alternatively there’s a warehouse still shipping them out, ancient orders turning up, or someone actually ordered more, none of which inspire confidence either.

  67. whirlybird says:

    Perhaps, just maybe, they actually spend their time recalling *dangerous* items, like unsafe or lead-filled toys, and not so much time on t-shirts, that don’t actually *harm* anyone (except for the whiny-ass knee-jerk liberal crybabies who complained to begin with). I think this shows that they have their priorities in order.

  68. yukonrye says:

    Ummmm….. Walmart can’t even remove cheese products with huge patches of mold growing on them that are visible from several feet away. I won’t even start with expiration dates.

  69. bentcorner says:

    Wow… the ironic thing about this is that though I now live in Maryland, I’m originally from the Palmdale area. There is something almost poetic in this.

  70. DMDDallas says:

    First off, I would like to point out that my previous account was banned because I took an unpopular stance on Wal-Mart’s freedom of speech* in this thread. Good job moderator(s), whoever you are!

    Secondly, if this were a shirt with the profile of Marx, Che, Lenin, or Stalin, or a hammer-and-sickle, would there be as much outrage in this thread? I am willing to wager a bit fat NO! The soviets killed far more people than the Germans were ever alleged to have.

    * Yes, if Wal Mart promised to remove them and they didn’t, I agree, it exposes a problem, but my argument right now is that people need to “get over it” when it comes to unpopular forms of expression.

  71. no.no.notorious says:

    yes, most of your customers are rednecks that love this stuff, but when alot of your employees are mexican, this doesn’t make them feel appreciated.

    i bet if they had a shirt that said ‘Jesus is my savior’ people would flip out

  72. veraikon says:

    @DallasDMD: Thanks for pointing this out. Also, what the Nazis did was terrible. But they were hardly the first people in history to pull world-domination mass-killing crap. The Communists ruled Russia and most of Eastern Europe for much longer than the Nazis were in power, and they were just as bad as the Nazis. Anyone here heard of Katyn Forest? Yeah, didn’t think so. But it’s still okay to collect Soviet kitsch.

  73. davidc says:

    Who the heck cares? I certainly don’t care if a store sells something of this nature. It’s not the stores fault this stuff is in demand.

    Personally, I am tired of the “nanny state” mentality. Adolf Hitler was a bad man … he is dead … get over it.

  74. Trai_Dep says:

    @no.no.notorious: You raise a good point. Imagine the Red State whining that would erupt of the Wal-Mart shirt said,
    Jesus killed more people than Hitler.
    Which, y’know, is true, y’all.

    Umm. Yeah, I’d buy one. In a humanist, Darwin-loving, New York second.

  75. The Count of Monte Fisto says:

    Sorry, but Ben lost all moral cache on this topic when he implied in an earlier post that frequent Wal-Mart shoppers are Nazi sympathizers.

  76. DMDDallas says:

    The cross is a symbol that is used by Christians -

    Christians who in history killed, tortured, and conquered. Does Consumerist go after stores that sell products bearing Christian symbols like the cross?

    Really, we can come up with probably hundreds of examples. Our American flag is being flown by our military – a military that done some rather not nice things. Does Consumerist attack the American flag now?

    If you can’t come up with a rational response, feel free to hit the ban button once more.

  77. deadlizard says:

    I wonder if I can still find Wal-Marts selling the Today Sponge and Hydrox cookies.

  78. Ben Popken says:

    @dburba: Um, what? Citation please.

  79. The Count of Monte Fisto says:

    In this post [consumerist.com] we find the line “After suffering recent image setbacks, is the retailer circling the wagons to appeal to its core constituency?” From that one infers that you believe Wal-Mart’s core constituency is the kind of person (people?) that buy Nazi paraphernalia. If I’m misunderstanding, feel free to correct me; I’m just saying that’s how it comes off, and from the top comment in the post, I’m not alone.

  80. awesomerobot says:

    Can someone ship one of these to me?

  81. Ben Popken says:

    @dburba: Looks like I did make such an offhand and angry remark. It’s not what I really believe.

  82. Trai_Dep says:

    Yeah, Ben. Everyone knows Wal-Mart’s core constituency isn’t Neo-Nazis.

    It’s trailer-park, gap-toothed manufacturers of crystal meth. :P

  83. donatj says:

    If I have to play Devils Advocate here, freedom of speech?

  84. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @trai_dep: Who just happen to be fans of the Confederacy and think that Hitler guy was a real smart feller! But that doesn’t make them racists.

  85. The Count of Monte Fisto says:

    @Ben Popken: Fair enough; I was pretty sure (hoping) that wasn’t the real you.

  86. M3wThr33 says:

    @donatj:
    But Wal-Mart already said they recalled all of them. They admitted it was in bad taste once they figured out what it was.
    The image itself is NOT the problem anymore. The problem is that they can’t recall a simple shirt OVER A YEAR later.

  87. amirman says:

    EVERYONE READ THIS BEFORE POSTING!: This is not a freedom of speech issue, this is not about the t-shirt being offensive. here are the facts:

    *legislators signed a letter to wal-mart ASKING them (not demanding them) to remove the shirts from their stores. they were merely using their influence, there was no law or order involved.

    *Wal-Mart agreed to remove the shirts from all stores.

    *They failed to remove the shirts from all stores even after 62 weeks.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with the shirt being offensive. The point being made by this article is that after 62 weeks wal-mart has been unable to remove a product from their stores. If that was something that was a health hazard this would be a serious problem.

  88. amirman says:

    @no.no.notorious:
    They sell plenty of jesus shirts at the wal-mart i go to. and yes i shop at wal-mart and i’m not a gap-toothed redneck with a love for the confederacy. I’m Poor!

  89. cde says:

    @trai_dep: Jesus killed 0 people. God killed countless. And no, you can’t use jesus=god.

  90. Philscbx says:

    The facts are, if you never said a thing, no one would of noticed and they would of been ground up for headliners in new cars. Too many whiners on the planet with too much time on there hands. I’d be willing to bet $10,000 with that shirt in hand, and shown randomly to people on the street, they wouldn’t have a clue what it represented. Get a Life! Now everyone what’s one…

  91. cryrevolution says:

    Holy crap, people, get OFF the meaning issue. It’s a NON issue now, we’ve already went over it in posts past, when this whole Nazi shirt watch started. The ISSUE now is the fact that they promised to REMOVE the shirt & haven’t lived up to the promise. This ties into if there was a massive food recall (as there has been) or a toy recall (as there has been). Lets moooove on from what it might be about & onto the issue at hand.

  92. evilhapposai says:

    SEIG HAIL DAS WALMART! HAIL! HAIL! HAIL!

    Seriously….62 Weeks? Makes you wonder abouyt everything you would buy there. Recalls for safety or even the expiration dates on food items.

  93. EmperorOfCanada says:

    Okay, if the issue is truly “OMG Walmart has no control over their stock!” then take out the meaning of the symbol and any emotions and opinions people have based on what was on the shirt, and yes; Walmart has a problem controling their inventory. This surprises who exactly?

    Secondly, this is one Walmart.. I am going to pull numbers out of my a** to prove a point here but.. how many Walmarts are their in the US.. now how many in North America, now how many Worldwide..? Now assuming it was just this one Walmart that had the shirt turn up after this length of time would anyone care to even guess the % of Walmarts that DID successfully remove this product from their inventory? 99.99?

    Mistakes are made every day by nearly every big retailer on the planet, and most small ones as well. Get over it.

  94. EmperorOfCanada says:

    @EmperorOfCanada

    Good spelling douchebag… =P

  95. CPC24 says:

    @deadlizard: Actually, I read somewhere that the Today sponge is back in production.

  96. Mariallena says:

    @cryrevolution:

    Has anybody’s health been compromised by these t-shirts?

    I didn’t think so.

    Who cares if they remove them or not?

  97. batsy says:

    I honestly would not have connected that symbol with Nazis.. I assumed the shirts would have a swastika on them or something. So many groups use so many symbols, how can we possibly ban all of them that have something to do with a hateful group?

    Also, my friend wore a skirt once that had little swastikas all over it, in some kind of “design”. I pointed this out to her and she was appalled, she hadn’t noticed. Symbols get into our daily lives in so many ways, it would be impossible to police them all.

  98. Anonymous says:

    Almost every Hussar, Light, even Heavy Cavalry unit in European history has used this symbol, just because the Nazi’s used it doesn’t back date it. Guess native American’s must be Nazi’s to for coming up with the symbol. Can anybody even read anymore and look into the history of anything. Why is it if a theme isn’t a 30 second ad its to much to understand.

  99. jcargill says:

    You just can’t make up this kind of irony.

  100. TomTheHand says:

    @VitasAluminoid:

    The skull and crossbones are said to date back to the Knights Templar and have been used by many different organizations over the centuries, with many minor variations. However, this t-shirt exactly replicates a design of skull and crossbones used by the SS. Can you show us an example of THIS EXACT DESIGN pre-dating the Nazis?