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December 21, 2014 12:56 pm

Hallmark Rightfully Pulls Swastika Gift Wrap

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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The Swastika wrapping paper. Photo: NBC News.

The holiday season is well underway, and we are all wrapping up 2014. You can call it smooth sailing, right? Well, what a Hallmark customer didn’t expect to celebrate was a peculiar blue and silver gift wrapping paper with offensive designs embedded on it.

The design appeared to many as patterns of swastikas, and with a closer look, it is quite challenging to perceive anything else.

The wrapping paper has thus brought controversy to Hallmark, with the Kansas City, Missouri, headquartered corporation, responding through statements that deny any ill will or intent behind the images. According to Hallmark, the mistake was a complete oversight on the manufacturer’s part, as they had no perception that the patterns of lines etched on the gift-wrapping paper could be seen as offensive – let alone as swastikas.

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Rightfully, the popular card maker has removed the particular wrapping from all stores, shipping, and merchant lines abroad. Hallmark’s spokesperson, Jullie Elliot, spoke out quickly, and noted, “We apologize for the oversight and apologize to anyone who was offended. That obviously was not our intent. It was an oversight on our part to not notice the intersecting lines that could be seen as a swastika pattern.”

Not everything is sinister – I don’t believe for a minute that this could have been purposeful. Sometimes, mistakes are indeed oversights – and a mountain shouldn’t always be made out a mole-hill.

On to the next one.

Ronn Torossian is the Founder of the Ronn Torossian Foundation and is CEO of 5WPR . A lifelong New Yorker and author of bestselling public relations book “For Immediate Release,” Torossian is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Business Insider, The Observer, and Wired Insights.

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  • rulierose

    unfortunately, there is a definite swastika pattern in some “Greek key” patterns, a very popular design throughout the ages. and you’re right: once you see them you cannot un-see them.

    I work at a university with a building done in the classical style and there are Greek key patterns on the columns. we had to pull a brochure once because someone noticed the “swastikas” before we went to press. but yeah–this was for sure not intentional.

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