Hats sold as part of official Harry Styles merchandise caused much protest earlier in August after they were accidentally put on sale with HH (a shortened version of "heil Hitler" that was used in World War II) embroidered on the back of them.
i’m sorry i woke up to see harry styles merch says hh which is a dog whistle for heil hitler… pic.twitter.com/rkqLgwpcEX— alex ✡︎ (@jewishsharks) August 18, 2022
The initials in this case were clearly an abbreviation of Styles' new album Harry's House, and their inclusion on the hats were not meant to be antisemitic, but the symbol was disturbing to many people who know of its Nazi-related meaning.
The hat got a new design
A few days after the release of the hat, the design was changed in response to complaints from Styles' fans so that Harry's House was fully spelled out instead of appearing in the initials that many found upsetting. At the time of this article's publication, the hat could not be found at all on the official Harry Styles website while other designs were available to purchase.
Neither Styles nor any individual from the merchandise team responded to the mistake aside from changing the design.
HH was used in WWII to mean "heil Hitler," and variations of it are still used today among white supremacists around the world. The most common variation is the numerical code 88 since H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
Styles is not Jewish, however he seems to have a connection to Judaism as he often sends celebratory messages for Jewish holidays, and he has been photographed wearing a cross necklace with a Star of David on it. The error in design did not stem from antisemitism but from a lack of awareness as to the symbol's meaning.