The Taiwanese-designed Winnie the Pooh patch is flying off shelves, as people start wearing it as a middle finger to Chinese President Xi Jin Ping!
Winnie the Pooh Aviation Suit Patch Goes Viral!
Aviation suit patches designed by Taiwanese artist, Alec Hsu, have gone viral, after the Taiwanese military news agency published a photo of a Taiwanese pilot wearing the patch on his suit.
That particular aviation suit patch shows Winnie the Pooh – a reference to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), getting socked in the face by an angry Formosan black bear!
The poor bear is often used to mock Chinese President Xi Jinping. So often that Chinese censors not only actively target all mention or postings of the lovable bear, China even banned the release of 2018 Christopher Robin movie, and the 2023 slasher movie Winnie-the-Pooh : Blood and Honey!
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may not like it, but the Taiwanese are really loving it, with a surge in demand for the patches.
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Winnie the Pooh patch is a middle finger to Xi Jinping!
Alec Hau Fu-yu (徐福佑) designed and started selling the patches last year at his Taoyuan shop, Wings Fan Journal. But they didn’t go viral until one appeared on the suit of the Taiwanese pilot who was inspecting his fighter jet.
Hsu, who served in the Air Force during his mandatory military service, said that he created the badges of his own accord, and that they have nothing to do with Taiwan’s military.
I wanted to boost the morale of our troops through designing this patch.
After his badges went viral, he ordered more of them to be made to meet the increased demand. He noted that sewing such patches onto military jackets is a long-standing practice to commemorate different missions or tasks.
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There appears to be at least two versions of the Winnie the Pooh patch, with a red or a blue background.
Both red and blue versions depict an angry Formosan black bear holding a Republic of China flag in its left hand, while punching Winnie the Pooh, who is dressed in its signature red shirt while holding onto a honey pot with the 5 stars from the Chinese flag engraved on it.
Both versions also have the slogan, Scramble! – referring to the act of quickly sending military aircraft to intercept hostile aircraft. In recent years, Taiwanese pilots have had to often scramble to intercept Chinese aircraft entering Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ).
The red version has the slogan, WE ARE OPEN 24/7; while the blue version has the slogan, FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.
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These patches went viral during a time of great tension between China and Taiwan, after Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen returned to Taipei after meeting US House of Representative Speaker Kevin McCarthy. China reacted by launching 3 days of military exercises called Joint Sword a day later, simulating attacks and a blockade of Taiwan
The “scramble” for these uniquely Taiwanese badges goes to show just what the Taiwanese people think of how China has behaved. These patches are a symbol of their defiance and resistance to Chinese aggression.
Buying and wearing these patches is perhaps their way to show their middle finger to Chinese President Xi Jinping, while not targeting China the country itself.
For its part, the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) say that it does not “particularly encourage” its members to wear the patch as it is not part of their uniform, but it “will maintain an open attitude” to anything that raises morale.
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