It is not a copyright issue, rather one of political correctness which pushed the British Ministry of Defence to prohibit a patch with The Punisher’s skull. The patch, which is worn on plate carriers and helmets, is awarded to members of G Squadron upon achieving their first kill but now squeamish officers are afraid that the skull on it might resemble that of the Nazi SS divisions.
The order has not been well received at the headquarters of the Regiment in Hereford. One source told the Daily Star: “[The SAS] are professional killers – that’s the job. So what if they wear a skull on their uniform. We have been told that it could be upsetting to other units, disrespectful to enemy forces and could encourage war crimes by some of the foreign troops the SAS works with, such as Afghans and Iraqis. (…)The Punisher patch is “not a celebration of taking a life” but for putting himself “in a position where his own life has been put at risk,” the source added.
The skull was reportedly adopted for the first time on a combat zone by Charlie Platoon of the US Navy SEAL Team Three during their operational deployment in Ramadi. Members of the unit had started spraying the skull on their plate carriers, and they soon got to be known as The Punishers. As it appears evident from the photo in this page, the Punisher’s skull hardly resembles the one which used to be worn by the Nazi SS.