Screenshot of the new items from Teespring.com..
(photo credit: SCREENSHOT FROM TEESPRING.COM.)
US-based clothing design website Teespring, which sparked outrage on Sunday for selling T-shirts and sweatshirts branded with swastikas as a “symbol of love and peace,” has replaced them with anti-swastika designs.
The original items, created and sold on the site by KA Designs, displayed the large Nazi-associated symbol in rainbow colors with the words “Peace,” “Zen” and “Love.”
“Here at KA we explore boundaries. We push them forward,” the company wrote as a description for the products.
“Let’s make the Swastika a symbol of Love and Peace.
Together, we can succeed.”
The new designs, which were added to the site on Monday, look very similar to the KA Designs tees, but each of the swastikas on them is crossed out in red. They do not include a description.
Before being used by the Nazi regime, swastikas were commonly known as an ancient sign used by Hindus and Buddhists carrying positive associations such as auspiciousness and good fortune.
KA Designs is attempting to relate this now negative sign to its origins.
The company even made a promotional video claiming the Nazis “took the swastika, rotated it 45 degrees, and turned it into a symbol of hatred, fear, war, racism, power.”
“They stigmatized the swastika, they won, they limited our freedom, or maybe not?” the video said. “The swastika is coming back.”
But on some of the t-shirts sold by KA Designs, the swastika remained turned by 45 degrees, similarly to the Nazis’ use of the symbol.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Executive Director of the Israeli-Jewish Congress Arsen Ostrovsky said it was “obscene and disgusting” that Teespring were “seeking 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’.”
“This is not only highly naïve, but grossly offensive,” he later told The Jerusalem Post. “What’s next, using ISIS symbol to promote gender equality?” Following the product swap on the site, Ostrovsky said: “Although it is welcome the original obscene swastika designs were withdrawn, the fact the company is still seeking to profiteer from this, albeit amended design, is still unacceptable.”
“Nazi symbols, in which ever way, shape or form, should not be used for commerce,” he added.
Teespring and KA Designs have not responded to requests for comment.