Hawaii Missile T-Shirts Go On Sale Days After False Alarm Sparks Mass Panic

A day after Hawaii sent out a false alarm that a ballistic missile was inbound toward its chain of islands a shop in Honolulu began selling T-shirts commemorating the scare.

A tweet from the state’s capital on Sunday by Alastair Gale‏, The Wall Street Journal Japan editor, captured an image of the shirts, which come after state officials said a worker at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accidentally sent out the alert early Saturday.

The worker is being re-assigned, according to a state official that spoke with Fox News. A separate alert stating the initial warning was a false alarm didn’t go out for 40 minutes after the first message reached millions of cellphones on the island, causing widespread panic.

01_15_HawaiiTshirt A paddle board rider surfs at sunset on New Year's Eve at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, December 31, 2011. Jason Reed/Reuters

A public feud between President Donald Trump and North Korea's authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un over a series of ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests last year have contributed to heightened tensions on Hawaii and the U.S. territorial island Guam in the North Pacific. 

Stores, including Amazon.com, have begun capitalizing on Saturday's false alarm with merchandise.

“I Survived the Hawaii Ballistic Missile,” reads the T-shirt being sold in Honolulu. At least 27 T-shirts and other clothing with graphics and various slogans on the theme are already listed on Amazon.com, including ones that say: “I survived ballistic missile day,” “I survived the ballistic missile alert,” and “worst ballistic missile attack ever.” They range in price from $17.95 to $38.99.

Others were hawking shirts as well. “ Choice of colors: Blinding White, Brilliant Orange Flash, VeryVery Hot Pink, or Glow In The Dark,” read the description of shirts being sold on Craigslist in Honolulu.

Read more: Trump thinks it's "terrific" Hawaii took responsibility for the false missile alert

Some on the island were even asking where they could buy the items. “Can i get my ‘survived hawaii’s ballistic missile attack’ shirt?” wrote Honolulu-based Twitter user @yubibimbap.

The false alarm in Hawaii is not the first time that vendors have rushed to capitalize on a fake event in its immediate aftermath.

In early February 2017 senior advisor to the president Kellyanne Conway accused the media during an interview on MSNBC of failing to cover “the Bowling Green massacre,” a false event that Conway said was perpetrated by two Iraqi refugees.

Conway tweeted the following morning that she was, in fact, referring to a foiled plot two Iraqis were arrested for on terrorism charges in 2011.

Her claim drew mocking criticism and sparked a rush online for sarcastic T-shirts and other merchandise claiming “I survived the Bowling Green massacre.”