KA Design Presents..The Swastika T-Shirt

In what I can only guess seemed like a good idea at the time (that time perhaps being when the people involved were under the influence of hallucinogens), a group called KA Design is selling a Swastika t-shirt via the Teespring platform.

The US-based clothing design website Teespring is selling tee shirts and sweatshirts branded with swastikas, aiming to make them a “symbol of love and peace.”

The designs, created by KA Designs and sold on the site, all display large swastikas in the front. One shows the Nazi-associated symbol in rainbow colors with the word “Peace,” another one with the word “Zen,” one reading “Love” and a third design, in black, shows a spiral of swastikas. They range in price from $20 to $35.

“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.”

Before being used by Hitler’s Nazi regime, swastikas were recognized as Buddhist and Hindu signs carrying positive associations like harmony and good fortune. KA Designs is attempting to relate the now-negative sign to its more amicable origins.

The company even made a promotional video claiming that 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 continues. “The swastika is coming back.”

On some of the tee shirts sold by KA Designs, the swastika remains turned by 45 degrees, identical to the Nazis’ use of the symbol.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Executive Director of the Israeli-Jewish Congress and Israeli activist Arsen Ostrovsky called the shirts “obscene and disgusting.”

“It may have been a symbol of peace,” he wrote. “That most certainly is not what it is primarily associated with today.”

Ostrovsky also pointed a finger at Teespring for 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.’”

“They are not unique in this however, with a disturbingly growing pattern in recent years of other clothing companies seeking to do similar,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “This is not only highly naïve, but grossly offensive.

https://www.facebook.com/ka.art.designstudio/videos/101318353845753/

KA Design describes itself as “Questioning boundaries.” I would suggest they have crossed the boundary of decency, good taste and common sense.

But they clearly think these t-shirts will sell. And given its rainbow colors, I am guessing they might sell quite well in Chicago.

You can join me in registering your complaint to KA design by emailing them at ka.art.designstudio@gmail.com.

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media