A t-shirt company is looking to reclaim the swastika symbol for “love and peace” and to shake the stigma of the Nazi Party’s 20th Century appropriation.
For centuries, the swastika was a positive Hindu, Buddhist cultural symbol and ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent . It would later be twisted and appropriated by the Nazi party to symbolize Nazi Germany in the 1920s-1945. While the ancient symbol once meant good luck, it is now inextricably linked to the oppressive regime of the Nazis who attempted to create an Aryan race and perpetrated the Holocaust on European Jews. One t-shirt company, however, appears to think they can get the symbol back.
The company, KA design, is selling t-shirts and sweatshirts online through Teespring, an online custom clothing retailer, depicting a white swastika on a rainbow background with the word peace below. Another design spells out the word love in white on a rainbow background with the ‘o’ replaced by a swastika.
The company’s tag line is “questing boundaries” and on their Facebook posted a video explaining their idea.
“They took the swastika, rotated it 45 degrees and turned it into hatred, fear, racism and power.
They stigmatized the swastika. They won. They limited our freedom. Or Maybe Not?” the video reads. “The swastika is coming back together with love, peace, respect and freedom.”
The symbol is still banned in Germany after it was used during World War II by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. In the United States, the swastika is considered a hate symbol.
“We really like the symbol in its shape and aesthetics, and we would love to share the beauty of this symbol detached from the hatred associated with it,” said a representative from the company to Dazed Magazine Saturday. “We hope to be able to extend our Swastika line to new design concept and colors, while keeping our current peace message. Our dream is to feel free to use this symbol without any kind of limitation, however we prefer.”
The Facebook page of the company is filled with people who are not fans of what the company is trying to do.
“I don’t know why it seemed necessary to try and “reinvent” a symbol that caused so much pain and is still so painful for so many,” said one commenter on Facebook. “Please do not buy this disturbing product. You can not erase the evil this symbol embodies and is a reminder…