A fashion brand is under fire for a recently released line of shirts and sweaters that show off rainbow swastikas.
The company behind the fashion line, KA Design, called the look the “new swastika.” But after a firestorm of criticism (including from mainstream news outlets like BBC News and Newsweek), they have pulled the line.
— Richard Ferrer (@richferrer) August 7, 2017
Describing the designs, the company wrote the following:
They stigmatized the swastika. They won. They limited our freedom. Or maybe not? The swastika is coming back together with love, peace, respect and freedom.
“We really like the symbol in its shape and aesthetics,” KA Design told Dazed Digital. “And we would love to share the beauty of this symbol detached from the hatred associated with it.”
While the swastika was a symbol of peace in Asian countries like India, it is of course mostly widely known as a symbol of the Nazi Party.
According to Dazed Digital, KA Design “stuck the swastika against a rainbow background, which they say symbolizes the LGBT movement”. Given that the Nazis targeted the LGBT community, this explanation has been received as being particularly insensitive.
“People have never seen the colors from the peace flag (or from the LGBT community) and a Swastika (especially the one rotated by 45° used by Nazis) together,” said KA Design. “The final result is eye-catching and it is the cause of our campaign going viral.”
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) August 7, 2017
KA Design also came under fire for selling shirts emblazoned with the phrase: “Hitler did nothing wrong ever.” The company also sells a number of T-shirts comparing President Donald Trump to the Nazi leader, with one referring to the Republican as “Orange Hitler.”