A Huffington Post article today questioned the judgement of a former Disney star for wearing a shirt with a logo they felt resembled a swastika. We feel it is better not to compare the logo to a swastika, but the overall design to a Nazi flag.
The shirt in question is that of an “Offendid” shirt, which features a logo inside a white circle and red box, sold by the retailer UNIF Clothing. The article claims this logo is an “optical illusion of a swastika.” There has been debate as to whether the two letter F’s resemble a swastika, but to place it inside virtually the same placeholder as existed on the Nazi flag is perhaps where the more striking similarity is created.
You can see the shirts posted in their blog entry from mid-2011.
Take a look at the “Offendid” shirts compared to a Nazi flag:
There is considerable debate whether a symbol resembling a swastika should be considered offensive, as the symbol itself predates the Nazi movement. There are, of course, swastika-like symbols dating back thousands of years in Hinduism and Buddhism which are religious symbols.
So a better question to raise is not whether the “F” symbol was meant to resemble a swastika, but if the entire design was meant to resemble the Nazi flag.
The UNIF description of the shirt reads: “Boot a racist in the dome in this super soft 50%/50% Cotton Modal dirty white crew neck…” So here we have a direct reference to racism in the product description itself. Their “boot a racist in the dome” reference implies this could be an attempt at anti-racisism, though this is debatable.
The UNIF blog and online catalog includes images of upside-down crosses, along with the UNIF logo, which could be claimed to resemble a masonic image. There are also several explicit or suggestive logos and sayings in their catalog of merchandise. These elements show that UNIF is attempting to present an “edgy” and perhaps controversial body of merchandise, perhaps in part for its shock value.
Due to the nature of their overall catalog and the “racist” reference in their product description, we feel that the similarities of the Offendid shirt and the Nazi flag are more than just coincidence, though it’s not clear what statement they are attempting to make with this design.
What do you think?
Do you feel this shirt is meant to resemble a Nazi flag? If so, what statement do you think they are trying to make? Are this company, its designs, and the actress who wore it deserving of the attention they are receiving?
Filed under: Current Events