Patriotic “Never Forget” T-Shirts with Eagles on Them: A Historical Retrospective

When tragedy strikes, vendors of every age pull out their screens, dust off a few patriotic slogans and start printing t-shirts.

[Political humor today from this guest writer. Want to trivialize tragedy through commerce? Never forget… to suggest your own patriotic t-shirt in the comments.]

Throughout history, enterprising men and woman have taken advantage of tragedy and despair to turn a quick denarius, pound, shilling and dollar. When tragedy struck, vendors of every age pulled out their screens, dusted off a few patriotic slogans and started printing t-shirts. And for some reason there were eagles on them.

The art of patriotic eagle t-shirt printing began in the last years of the Roman Republic, when vendors near the Capitol set up their tents and started selling black and white SPQR caps and these fashionable tunics.

More shirts through the ages after the jump.

After the fall of the western Roman empire, t-shirt printing was preserved only in Irish monasteries throughout most of the dark ages. A Celtic monk would work for years to illuminate a single patriotic t-shirt, but they imparted their wisdom to a number of royal ladies to commemorate and commercialize the Norman invasion. These ladies embroidered the famous Bayoux T-shirt.

4 Comments on “Patriotic “Never Forget” T-Shirts with Eagles on Them: A Historical Retrospective”

  1. ActualButt #

    The RNC had been a printing a shirt for awhile now that said “Never Forget, John Edwards is the Father!” and it worked!

    However, their “Never Forget, his Middle Name is Hussein” shirt has proven to be less effective.


  2. S75 #

    I wouldn’t so much speak of already forgotten as much swetp under the rug (but I don’t seriously see how that can be possible), clearly not the same.
    I remember watching a porn flick that, instead of credits or titles, faded in with an Old Glory and the (apparently now standard) “never forget”. Not knowin’ what to make of it at the moment (I still don’t) and not having any stake on the validity / sincerity of such display decided to take it as a serious thing, but I couldn’t help to think that at some point we’d get to see ads exploiting such patriotic trends. It makes me wonder what would Bill Hicks (or Lenny Bruce for that matter, certainly there are many whom I’d like to hear say something on the subject) have to say about that.
    But milk ad has to be a joke.


  3. lee OTI Staff #

    8/29/97 – NEVER FORGET

    Or wait…is it

    7/24/04 – NEVER FORGET

    Darn those time travel paradoxes.

    (Don’t get it? Look it up.)


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