Spanish fashion company Zara has withdrawn an entire line of handbags from stores after a British customer complained that swastikas were stitched into the corners. Zara officials said the original design did not include the offending symbols and they were unaware that they had become part of the handbag. The purses were manufactured in India, where the swastika is an ancient Hindu symbol.
"After the return of one bag we decided to withdraw the whole range," said a spokesman for Inditex, which owns Zara. A teenage buyer in Britain returned the bag when she discovered the swastikas. "The shop assistants were quite shocked," she said. Predating the Nazis by centuries, the swastika has been a symbol for many religions, variously representing the sun, strength and good luck.