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Merchandise celebrating the October commissioning of the USS Detroit is available online.

The commissioning committee selected Ferndale-based Unique Expressions as the official licensed distributor to design and make a trademarked line of shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, hats and accessories for the event that marks the inauguration of the ship into the U.S. Navy. The merchandise is available at USSDetroitWebstore.com, and a percentage of sales will go to the Navy’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund to benefit active-duty sailors.

USS Detroit’s wearables debuted in June during the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, said Beverly Bantom, president and CEO of Unique Expressions. They will be available at other events in Hart Plaza and the city through October. A tent will also be selling them on the Riverwalk at the commissioning on the Detroit River.

“It is typical (to sell merchandise at ship commissionings),” said Gordon Cole, chairman of the public relations committee of the USS Detroit Commissioning Committee and retired Navy Reserve captain. “But folks don’t usually go so out as Beverly did.”

Several designs are available, including pictures of the ship, its coat of arms and its name. T-shirts start at $21.95 and sweatshirts at $34.95.

Bantom said her designs are inspired by the ship, Detroit’s comeback and the history of a former USS Detroit ship. During World War II, it was a light cruiser that was one of a few ships able to escape the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

“It shows the strength and resilience of the city,” Bantom said. “It’s a great opportunity to have that Detroit pride in its ship and the city coming back. It goes hand in hand.”

bnoble@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2032

Twitter: @RightandNoble

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