Spain-based retail company Zara just wanted to make some children’s pajamas that recalled images of the American Old West. Instead, their pajamas brought back horrific memories of a less-fondly remembered historical era.
Their new line of pajamas sparked an immediate controversy when people pointed out the printed star recalled the yellow Stars of David Jews were forced to wear under Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. That image, plus the garment’s striped pattern, might easily call to mind disturbing images of Nazi concentration camps.
Of course, there was a predictable and justified outcry, accusing the company of insensitivity and anti-semitism.
The company has since recalled the pajamas, claiming that the star was meant to represent a sheriff’s badge. Apparently, none of the officials at Zara who approved the design had any historical knowledge whatsoever. On various social media sites, and in several languages, they apologized for their massively insensitive flub.
@eylanezekiel We honestly apologize, it was inspired by the sheriff’s stars from the Classic Western films and is no longer in our stores
— ZARA (@ZARA) August 27, 2014
They even vowed to destroy any extra stock of the shirts. We’ll see how this affects the company’s image in the future.