A T-shirt company has been lambasted for trying to change people’s perceptions of the swastika – by placing the hate symbol used against Jews and homosexuals on a rainbow background and including the words, “peace”, “zen” and “love”.
The swastika – adopted as the symbol of the Nazi party – is still synonymous today with the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and racial hatred.
But clothing company KA Design believes it can rebrand the symbol back to its original roots as a 5,000-year-old good luck symbol used in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.
In a video posted on the company’s Facebook page “introducing the new Swastika”, KA Design said it wanted to rid the “stigma” of the infamous symbol.
The company added: “We celebrate freedom. We want to explore our boundaries and push them forward. We love humanity, love and peace. We are KA.”
Since it was first posted on 12 July, the video has been viewed 1.8million times and attracted 15,000 comments.
One viewer wrote: “You cannot turn the symbol of the murderous Nazis, the symbol under which my grandparents and aunts and uncles and countless cousins were murdered, back into a sign of peace and love. You cannot rewrite history. This is an obscene idea. Please stop in the name of the murdered millions and their descendants.”
Another commented: “With all the design options out there, why choose one that is so stigmatised and SO HURTFUL to a population who lost family due to the profound hatred surrounding this symbol. It doesn’t matter if you turn it diagonally, colour it with rainbow colours or adorn it with smileys. It will always have a negative connotation…Please consider dumping this hideous symbol.”
Online retailer Teespring, which had been stocking the t-shirts, revealed today they are no longer available for purchase.