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Mango, the Spanish clothing design company, quickly recalled a blouse from its European market after many claimed its design looked like the SS symbol from the Nazi era.
The dreaded motif was used by the German secret police during the 30s and 40s. It’s shaped in the form of two lightning bolts – the design chosen by the popular retailer.
The storm of criticism started and ended online, especially among German users.
On Monday Mango issued an apology, saying the resemblance was "unfortunate."
"The RAYO blouse belongs to a collection inspired by mini-motifs. In the range there are two other models which feature hearts and stars," Mango told The Local in Spain. "This design shows one of the designs. Mango regrets the unfortunate association that has come about because of this design."
The SS, which stands for Schutzstaffel (which roughly translates into Protection Corps), was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Just a few months ago, Zara, another Spanish company, withdrew a children’s shirt that outraged many because it conjured up memories of the Holocaust. It had horizontal dark stripes and a six-pointed yellow star on the left side of the chest, a clear reminiscent of the clothes worn by Jews in Nazi concentration camps.
"It was only on sale for a few hours, only online, it didn't hit the stores" said a spokeswoman with Inditex, which owns the chain Zara where the shirt was sold. "It was withdrawn this morning."
Inditex said the shirt was designed to be part of a Wild West clothing theme and the star was intended as a sheriff's badge and had "nothing to do with the second world war."
"But obviously we're aware of the sensitiveness of the issue and that's why we have withdrawn it," said the spokeswoman. She spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with company policy.