A design firm that said it was attempting to "rebrand" the swastika as a symbol of peace and love has removed its items from an online store after receiving intense backlash on social media.
According to a video on its Facebook page, KA Design wants to “reclaim” the swastika by rendering it in bright colors alongside words like “peace,” “love” and “zen.”
“This is a swastika,” a video on KA Design’s Facebook reads. “It’s 5,000 years old; it’s a symbol of peace, love, luck, infinity, life. But one day: Nazism. They took the Swastika, rotated it 45 degrees, and turned it into Hatred, Fear, War, Racism, Power. They stigmatized the Swastika, forever. or maybe not?”
“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,” an unnamed person with the company told the Dazed and Confused magazine. “This project only represents the first step of our ‘master plan,’ and we are excited about what the future will give us.”
The group put its designs on T-shirts, mugs and other items and sold them through Teespring, an online retailer that allows artists to sell their work through custom-made orders.
But while KA Design was attempting to bring about love with its project, it has received its fair share of hate on Facebook. Users have bombarded the KA Design Facebook page with negative reviews.
As of Tuesday morning, KA Design's page had an average rating of 1.4 out of 5 stars, with more than one thousand 1-star reviews to its name.
On Monday, KA Design removed its items from the Teespring store and posted the following message on Facebook.
According to the Washington Post, a representative with the company did not wish to reveal any information about the company before “a public launch,” which would come soon.
It is true that the swastika has its own history before Nazi Germany. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the swastika even remains a “sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Odinism.”
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.