PacSun Pulls Upside-Down Flag T-Shirt From Stores, Online After Complaints

shirtupsideRetailer PacSun found itself at the center of a Memorial Day controversy on Monday, after a customer snapped a photo of a mannequin wearing a T-shirt featuring an upside-down American flag on the front. The ensuing backlash on social media has led to the chain apologizing, and removing the shirt from its shelves both in physical stores and online.

After a shopper in Alabama reportedly posted the first photo of the shirt, many others followed, writing on PacSun’s Facebook page on unrelated posts and leaving one-star reviews of the shirt on the site, as well as protesting on Twitter with the hashtag #boycottpacsun. That includes the actor James Woods, who urged all his followers to boycott the brand:

The design was apparently created in collaboration with musical artist A$SAP Rocky, notes ABC 7 news, with a right-side up design also for sale.

An upside-down flag is a sign of distress, according to the U.S. Flag Code which says flags are only mean to be flown that way “in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

PacSun decided to pull the T-shirt Monday afternoon, issuing a statement on Twitter and Facebook:

“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.”


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