Black Gothic text on white background.
The phrase, “thou shalt not hassle,” came into the popular American lexicon somewhere between the 1960s and 1980s. It is often presented as an additional biblical commandment, sometimes noted as the 11th, 12th or 13th commandment. This is exemplified in a print poster housed by the Library of Congress that states, “The 12th Commandment Thou shalt not hassle.” This poster was gifted to the LOC by Gary Yanker, a collector of political and social propaganda and agitation posters.
The visualization of the slogan “thou shalt not hassle” with a bold, gothic font has been embraced and proliferated by the clothing brand Heavy. Heavy Clothing grew out of Zac Doom’s Blogspot that was started in 2009. Heavy has strong ties to biker culture, and frequently imposes the phrase over images that could be considered provocative, such as police officers admonishing bikers, mug shots, marijuana etc.
Heavy [@heavyclothing]. (n.d.) Posts [Instagram profile]. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.instagram.com/heavyclothing/.
Library of Congress. (n.d.) Posters: Yanker Poster Collection. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/yan/.
Library of Congress. (n.d.). The 12th Commandment Thou shalt not hassle. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2015648067/.
Show Class Mag (Producer). (2017). HEAVY Clothing’s very own Zac DOOM [Youtube video]. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqyJYWQG3I0.