After less than one month on the shelves, a storm of criticism has led KA Design to stop selling its ill-conceived line of clothing emblazoned with a rainbow colored “Swastikas of Peace”. Their euphemistic motto, “Wear the Freedom”, sounds vaguely patriotic but makes one wonder if their millennial generation version of freedom includes other aspects of Nazi ideology that are perhaps less fashion oriented but decidedly more genocidal.
The inauguration on July 12 of the KA line of tee-shirts sold through TeeSpring was accompanied by a deeply disturbing video that described the 5,000-year history of the ancient symbol that is now infamous for being adopted by the Nazi party in Germany. Within the first few seconds, the video claims ingenuously that the swastika was originally a symbol of peace, love, luck, infinity, and life. The video shows ancient statues of Buddha engraved with Swastikas.
Though the swastika was indeed a mystical symbol from the Indian subcontinent, when the Hitler adopted it as the icon of his fledgling Nazi Party, he chose it as a symbol of racial purity. In doing so, he significantly reversed the direction of the arms of the cross and rotated the symbol 45 degrees.
The video laments, “But one day Nazism … they stigmatized the Swastika forever. They won. They limited our freedom. Or maybe not? The Swastika is coming back.”
“Introducing the new Swastika,” the video proudly announced, displaying a mind-boggling array of rainbow colored Nazi symbols mismatched with the words ‘Peace’, ‘Love’, and ‘Zen’.
Using the swastika in fashion is in undeniably bad-taste and, in several countries including Germany, is decidedly illegal.
In an interview with Dazed and Confused Magazine, an anonymous representative of KA Design defended the company’s resurrection of the icon of ultimate evil. After admitting that no one associated with the design company had any experience in fashion, he noted that the rainbow swastika was “the first step in [their] master plan”. The representative of the fledgling company was quite proud that the video on their Facebook page had gone viral, garnering over 2.5 million views.
“Our dream is to feel free to use this symbol without any kind of limitation, however we prefer,” the representative said. “Us and them, we are on the same side, fighting for the same ideals.The new meanings given to “our Swastika” wouldn’t make any sense if not based on the previous ones.”
KA Design may be chagrined to know that their rainbow version of the Nazi symbol was strongly endorsed by those who still embrace the ideologies of the black and red version. The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi supremacist website that proudly touts itself as “the most genocidal … website”, heartily praised the rebranding of the swastika as a symbol of love.
“I have been trying to do this for years,” wrote Andrew Anglin, the site’s founder. “I am thankful that hippies are finally getting on-board with that particular project. After all, the Swastika always was a symbol of love, was it not?”
“It isn’t just love reclaiming the Swastika, but also Nazism reclaiming the rainbow,” he continued. “What’s next is gas chambers… of love.”
Apparently, the Jewish survivors of old-school Nazism were less enthusiastic about this new-age approach to fashion. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) tweeted an angry response.
— ADL (@ADL_National) August 6, 2017
The Israeli Jewish Congress (IJC) was even more strident in their response.
“It is obscene and disgusting that TeeSpring would seek to profit of this in the name of art, trying to turn this irredeemable Nazi symbol of hate and murder into a symbol of ‘Love and Peace’. They are not unique in this, however, with a disturbingly growing pattern in recent years of other clothing companies seeking to do similar. This is not only highly naive but grossly offensive.”
“What next? Using the ISIS symbol to promote gender equality?” the statement concluded.
Apparently, the idea is even distasteful to people less personally devastated by the Holocaust. A representative for Teespring told Fox News that KA Design is not affiliated with and in no reflects the views of the company. “The moment Teespring was made aware of the design, it was removed from the site. No t-shirts were sold to consumers and Teespring did not profit from this design in any way.”
The company is making a donation to Yad Va’Shem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum, as a symbol of their regret for being involved in such an ill-conceived concept.