Swastikas go on sale in Hull clothes shop

A military memorabilia shop which sells swastikas and replica Nazi items has been criticised by the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women.

Combat Clothing Company offers shoppers the chance to buy Nazi flags, swastika armbands and Iron Cross medals.

Lapel badges featuring a swastika are also on sale alongside British wartime medals at the store in Hull, east Yorkshire.

Perris Coupland, chairman of the Hull branches of both Ajex and the Royal British Legion, said: “It’s disgraceful. More than 1,350 people were killed in the air raids in Hull. People have not been educated enough.

“It’s an insult to the city to think swastikas are being sold right there in the centre. It makes me sick. I thought we had seen the last of such things.”

Mr Coupland, who served in Germany during the war and took part in Remembrance Sunday events last weekend, said: “I went to the shop to get my medals polished and re-set two years ago but I did not see any Nazi memorabilia. It is only a couple of hundred metres from the Cenotaph.”

Store owner Mike May defended his right to sell the items. He said: “We are a military memorabilia shop. They are hardly on display. We have six flags on a hook, so you cannot even see what they are. There’s a couple of armbands and about eight badges.

“I’m sure it does upset people but this is history. You cannot erase it. What the Germans did was terrible, but Germany was part of the war. We do not flaunt the items and I do not agree with what the Germans did.

“If some moron wants to wear a badge in the street I cannot stop him. They are not the people we are aimed at; our customers are collectors of military memorabilia.”

A number of heritage railway groups have banned members from wearing Nazi outfits and memorabilia to Second World War re-enactments in the past year. They have encouraged enthusiasts to stick to Allied clothing.

    Last updated: 5:28pm, November 12 2009