A window sign in a store on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park lead to a minor dispute with the landlord which in the end turned into more business for the store owner.
Manager of Rebel Supply Co., Abby Arscott, said the sign, which states, NO HATE, NO KKK, NO FASCIST USA had been hanging in the window for about four years when suddenly the owner of the building, Sackman Enterprises, asked that the sign be removed because it violated a city code regulating the maintenance of the historical look of buildings.
Arscott said the store owners agreed to take down the sign, but delayed.
This week the landlord again asked them to take down the sign, which was put up following an incident involving anti-semitic flyers circulated downtown.
The shop posted on its Facebook and Instagram accounts that the sign, which had been up for four years, would be coming down.
The reaction from customers was immediate, Arscott said.
“There was a flood of feed back telling us to keep it up,” she said. “It’s not a political statement, it’s just decency.”
The statement are lyrics from a M.D.C song, “Born to Die.”
Sackman Enterprises was also inundated with protests about the sign coming down and relented.
However in the meantime, Dogwig Printing, a tee shirt company from Manasquan, saw the post about the sign coming down and called Rebel Supply, Co. The company agreed to expedite a supply of tee shirts inscribed with the lyrics and have it to them the next day.
Arscott said when the shirts arrived they put them on two mannequins in the store window.
Then Sackman said the window sign could stay and they kept that up as well.
“We’re very pleased our landlord stood by us…we’re very happy here on Cookman,” Arscott said adding that throughout the controversy they received “positive feedback” about the sign from the city and the community.
Arscott said a percentage of the sale of the tee shirts will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization they make a yearly contribution to.
She also said on Tuesday she had shipped out 20 tee shirts, at $20 each throughout the United States including Hawaii, California, Ohio and Texas.