A design company has received a wave of criticism after attempting to "reclaim" the swastika as a symbol of "peace, love and freedom."
The firm is called KA Design and has released a line of T-shirts adorned with a swastika on a rainbow background. Amid popular outrage, Jewish groups have criticized the merchandise.
Ranging in price from $20 to $35, the shirts were offered for sale internet site Teespring, before the retailer withdrew them and offered its apologies.
Despite the criticism, KA Design was unrepentant about the T-shirts in a recent interview with British style magazine Dazed.
"There is nothing new in the designs we have created. At the same time, they're totally innovative and original. The originality of the designs is caused by the unexpected association of meanings. People have never seen the colours from the peace flag (or from the LGBT community) and a Swastika (especially the one rotated by 45° used by Nazis) together. The final result is eye-catching and it is the cause of our campaign going viral," the clothing company said.
We're so sorry!— Teespring (@teespring) August 7, 2017
Teespring does not support or allow hate speech on our platform. We are most certainly taking care of it.
KA Design revealed that is based "somewhere in Europe" and that its employees have no experience of the fashion industry but are "highly interested in aesthetics and in the cult of beauty."
They didn't even do enough research to see what the original peaceful swastika looked like. pic.twitter.com/Yj1uW9HthC— raph (@majinrapha) August 8, 2017
"We don't consider ourselves as skilled fashion designers, but more as artists and free thinkers in general."
However, after millions of people were systematically killed by the Nazis under the swastika flag, the symbol become associated with genocide and fascism and is banned in several countries, including Germany.