Newly elected Welsh councillor defends decision to wear swastika T-shirt in old photo

Councillor for town of Briton Ferry says she wore the T-shirt as a 17-year old thinking it was "provocative and anti-establishment."

Tags: UK Wales Swastika
Dan Verbin ,

Swastika
Swastika
Flash 90

A newly elected councillor for the town of Briton Ferry in Wales is defending a two-year old social media photo of her wearing a T-shirt with a swastika on it, reported WalesOnline.

She posted the photograph to her Facebook page in May 2019.

Rosie Diamond was elected as an independent councillor with 101 votes, 17 more votes than her Labour opponent Gareth Rice. The turnout for the election was 19 percent of the electorate.

She told WalesOnline that the T-shirt was a "piece of official merchandise" for punk band the Sex Pistols that she received as a gift when she was 16-years old. The photo was taken when she was 17.

She said she was "not associated with Nazism in any way” and that she had learned about Nazi Germany in high school and university and today “completely [understands] the history that the swastika carries and would never display that top.”

"I wore this particular T-shirt maybe two or three times before displaying it on my bedroom wall for a few weeks as I thought it was provocative and anti-establishment,” she said. "I don’t even have it anymore. In this context, the swastika has not been used with hate, I wore it only for the reason that it was punk as it was the image I was going for.

During the seventies, the swastika became synonymous with certain fashion styles of the UK punk movement. Designer Vivienne Westwood's controversial “Destroy” t-shirt, featuring the symbol, was worn by punk icons on multiple occasions during that era.



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