The designers of the swastika T-shirts that sparked outrage after being sold on the site Teespring.com, defended the items as a “manifestation of the victory of humanity” in a response to The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
“The aim of this project is to make people think. What is true peace? What is true love? What is true freedom?” the company, KA Designs, wrote. “Our project wants to express the victory of true love against hatred and Nazism in particular.”
The response continued, stating that, "This project was intended to be innocent and peaceful. We were sincerely trying to convey an extremely positive message. But as soon as people saw the swastika, they became violent and aggressive. That's why we want to forgive and ask forgiveness. Thank you and sorry."
The original garments, created by KA Designs and sold on the site, displayed large swastikas in rainbow colors with the words “peace,” “zen” and “love.” The company said it seeks to “explore boundaries” and “make the swastika a symbol of love and peace.”
Before Adolf Hitler’s regime employed swastikas in Nazi Germany, they were commonly known as ancient signs used by Hindus and Buddhists. They carried positive associations, such as auspiciousness and good fortune. KA Designs said it attempted to revert the now negative sign to its origins.
The shirts, first discovered on Sunday, sparked immediate outrage from Jewish groups and leaders, who called them “obscene and disgusting.” On Monday, they were removed from the site Teespring.com and replaced with anti-swastika designs by another company.
“We are not neo-Nazis in any possible way, “ KA Designs said. “However, our campaign seems to have brought up the worst in people. We understand and accept this kind of response, and we feel truly sorry about it.”
“We understand and accept every criticism. However, we didn't expect so much hate from people. Our project goes strictly against Nazi values and doesn't in any way support them. But a large number of people called us Nazi,” they continued. “We forgive everyone. And we hope to be forgiven.”