- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A European clothing company has sparked outrage after trying to reclaim the swastika as a symbol of peace and love.

KA Design recently unveiled clothing featuring a rainbow-colored swastika as the “o” in the word “love.” Other shirts and sweatshirts said “zen” and “peace” under the Nazi symbol.

“The Swastika is 5,000 years old, it’s a symbol of peace,” the company said in a promotional video on its Facebook page. “It’s a symbol of love, it’s a symbol of life.

“But one day, Nazism. They took the swastika, rotated it by 45 degrees, and turned it into Hatred, Fear, War, Racism, Power. They stigmatized the swastika forever. They limited our freedom,” the video continued. “The swastika is coming back, together with Peace, Love, Respect, Freedom. Introducing the new swastika.”

The rainbow-colored swastika on KA Design’s clothing is still rotated by 45 degrees, like the Nazi symbol, instead of more closely resembling the sauwastika used in Buddhism and Hinduism.

Shirts and hoodies with “the new swastika” were originally being sold by the San Francisco-based custom clothing platform Teespring, which deleted the merchandise from its website on Monday. KA Design is still featured on Teespring’s website, but no merchandise from the company is currently for sale. It’s unclear where else KA Design is attempting to sell the clothing.

Meanwhile, KA Design’s video has gone viral, racking up more than 2.2 million views and receiving condemnations from the Israeli Jewish Congress and Auschwitz Memorial Museum, the New York Post reported.

KA Design defended the new swastika in an interview with U.K.-based Dazed magazine.

“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. This project only represents the first step of our ‘master plan,’ and we are excited about what the future will give us,” the company said.

“Freedom is a human value that should be equally shared by everyone. Considering the reactions to our campaign, we notice that people feel unsecure and even offended by our products,” it continued. “We understand every single one of these people. They don’t want to break the strong bond between the symbol and the atrocities committed by Nazism. They all think we want to completely erase from the minds of everyone these facts.

“In reality, we want to do the opposite. 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. We want to promote love and peace to remind everyone that mankind can be better that what it currently is and was in the past. It’s not in our interest making everyone forget about this past.”

The company specified in a Facebook post Monday morning that “Teespring has nothing to do with our project.”

Teespring has yet to comment on the issue.

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