Amazon Is Selling Nazi Flags Online (Eek!)

OMG 29

swastika on helmetAmazon has certainly earned its reputation as the biggest online marketplace, the go-to online shopping destination for, well, anything you could possibly want. My boyfriend and I have frequented it for everything from nutritional supplements to tools and puppets (yes, puppets ... that's a whole different story for another day). So have you probably. But would you continue to do biz with the Internet giant if you knew that they were selling offensive materials? Like ... Nazi flags?

Jezebel ran a story yesterday explaining how Amazon recommended that one of their readers buy Nazi flags as possible additions to his yard. He says he's a history teacher and, thus, a recent Google search for pictures seemed to suggest to Amazon that he might be interested in swastika-laden memorabilia. Turns out the flags are just the tip of the iceberg.

You can also hunt down Nazi armbands ("for theatrical purposes only"), an SS "Death Head" hat, and a German Flying Eagle Neck Knife that sports a swastika for sale on the site ... mostly sold through third parties. But, still, anyone can access them -- for, let's be honest, any purpose, not just theatrical -- via Amazon. What the hell?

This really doesn't seem to gel at all with Amazon's list of policies for their third-party sellers, which prohibits "offensive material," and "Amazon reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of listings posted on our site." How on EARTH something like an SS "Death Head" hat is deemed inoffensive is beyond me.

It's possible that their rationale for allowing the sale of these items is historical value or some such. (That's actually what my boyfriend suggested when I told him I was outraged by the news.) But I'm not sure that's a good enough explanation. The site could and should be doing a better job policing their sellers when other sites like eBay seem to have enforced stricter policies on Nazi paraphernalia across the board.

Amazon may be the biggest catch-all spot on the web to find the best price on anything you could possibly need, but something as tasteless and bizarre as this is enough to make a slew of people click away. With a web full of other options, Amazon better act fast. Seems fair to think that an apology and prompt removal of Third Reich materials are in order -- ASAP.

Do you agree with Amazon allowing the sale of these items?


Image via Thomas Quine/Flickr

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nonmember avatar lindsay

i totally agree with the author. amazon. com is repulsive in every way! i personally have had a ton of problems with them and i've seen with my own eyes how they leave racist comments from people on their site (like someone calling blacks gorillas) and when i left a comment about how disgusting this was and asked why in god's earth amazon would not erase a comment like this MY comment was erased! they pick and choose what is "offensive " and as long as it's directed to non-whites, it's okay. not only that, there was a person that was ripping off amazon's customers that i warned them about repeatedly no less than 50 times and they did...absolutely nothing! this person (despite having almost 100% bad feedback was allowed to sell on their site for another year) in this person's feedback, amazon customers were absolutely disgusted and wondered why amazon would allow this person to keep selling despite supposedly "monitoring" the feedback. amazon is a scandalous, racist company and i won't spend another dime with them as long as i live. it's not like i'm missing anything either-ebay, ioffer, etsy,, bonanza and a million other places have everything amazon has and more!

nonmember avatar Nikka

Didn't Hitler take this symbol from Indian Culture? He took it knowing fully that it was originally the symbol of peace. I see this symbol a lot during celebrations in Japan. Celebrations of peace and luck. So this symbol is not evil in the least. Some people may only know it as the symbol Hitler used on his flags and warbands. But the symbol itself is not evil at all.

Daniel Pose

It is important to educate your readers that German socialists did not call it a swastika, they called it a hakenkreuz (hooked cross) and used the altered version to represent crossed S-letters for "socialism." See the work of the symbologist Dr. Rex Curry.

They also did not call themselves "nazis" they called themselves socialists.

The USA's Pledge of Allegiance (1892) was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior, adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party. Again, see Dr. Curry's discoveries.

The stiff-armed gesture resulted because Francis Bellamy’s initial gesture was a military salute that was then extended outward to point at the flag. Bellamy was a self-proclaimed American national socialist, as was his cousin Edward Bellamy, and they influenced German national socialists, their dogma, rituals (robotic chanting in unison on command with Nazi salutes) and symbols (swastikas used as crossed S-letters for socialism). The gesture spread to Adolf Hitler via Ernst Hanfstaengl, a Harvard grad and an intimate of Hitler.

godde... goddess99

Well it is a part of history. I would never buy anything like that though.

Madel... Madelaine

Wow...sounds horrible...

slw123 slw123

Free enterprise, that's what built this country.  Do I want one?  NO!  But it's not my place to say if anyone else should have one or what their intentions are.

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

I'm not surprised people will try to profit from anything. I don't personally think they should be sold.

Bmat Bmat

I wouldn't want them to pop up on my recommended for you page,  but I suppose they have the right to sell what they want. If they are restricted from one thing, then this opens the doors to other things.... which actually might not be a bad idea sometimes.

nonmember avatar Andy

Amazon CAN sell what they want but THEY DON'T HAVE TO and that's the point. The Nazis would have taken away the families of most of the people writing in here. And poked out their eyes. Then burned your little brother. Alive. Used the skin of your little sister. Draw a line, folks.

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