A clothing company has stirred up controversy for creating clothing that use a swastika. The shirts are created by KA Design, and feature a rainbow swastika symbol with the words, “peace, love, respect, and freedom.”
The clothing company claims that the design choice was made in order to “reclaim” the symbol and to represent the LGBTQ community. The company’s main objective is to “celebrate freedom.”
The company’s description states the following:
“We want to explore our boundaries, and push them forward. We love humanity, love and peace. We are KA.”
While the intention behind the clothing wasn’t to promote bigotry and hate (and the swastika does have its roots in other cultures) it’s primarily known as the symbol Adolf Hitler used for the homophobic, racist, and xenophobic Nazi party during World War II.
In an attempt counteract any accusations, the company created a promotional video for the product, trying to align the fashion choice with the company’s philosophy. The video states:
“They [the Nazis] stigmatized the swastika. They won. They limited our freedom. Or maybe not? The swastika is coming back together with love, peace, respect and freedom.”
The New Swastika.BUY OUR NEW MERCH: https://goo.gl/8cWXe2
Posted by KA design on Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Despite their attempts to shield themselves, KA Design received tons of backlash on social media. Many of the comments questioned why the company even attempted to make a profit off a symbol deeply-rooted in hate.
— Richard Ferrer (@richferrer) August 7, 2017
— Andrew Getraer (@AndrewGetraer) August 7, 2017
Despite the backlash, KA Design stands by its decision to use the swastika in their clothing. During an interview with Dazed, the company further explained why they chose the 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.”
The shirts were originally sold on Teespring, but were removed on earlier this week on Monday. As of right now, the shirt cannot be bought online anywhere.