North Link Ferries lambasted for Nazi symbolism
North Link Ferries have launched their new branding, starring Magnus the Viking, who apparently embodies "dynamism, power and pride" according to the company.
However, it also happens to symbolise Hitler and his Nazi party according to one German tour operator, urging the ferry firm to have a bit of a rethink. Worse still is that academics had already warned the company about the logo earlier this year.
If you didn't know, Viking imagery was used by the Nazis as a symbol of Aryan heritage and cultural pride and there, as you can see, this new logo shows a rather proud looking Magnus with his arm in the air.
Peter Storm, who runs Hamburg-based tour operators Britain Travel, said: “We saw the logo for the first time and we immediately thought of the imagery used at the time Hitler was in power in Germany. It is not even the arm pointing in the air but the whole figure is associated with Viking propaganda symbols from that period.”
“They need to move away from the Nazi symbolism. NorthLink is not on a crusade or looting expedition and this Viking symbol could upset Germans.”
Dr Victoria Whitworth, a lecturer in Nordic Studies based in Orkney, said concerns had been privately raised to Serco NorthLink ages ago, and she said: “There is an Aryan element associated with the Vikings. We didn't feel Serco NorthLink had perhaps projected the image they were intending. The artistic style they have chosen is very much of that early 20th-century aesthetic. They could perhaps have consulted more widely.”
"This could also be a problem for Scandinavian visitors, given their complex relationship with that ideology. They are very much a target audience for tourism in Orkney.”
A spokeswoman at NorthLink isn't having any of it, saying: “Launched in January, the Magnus icon forms part of our wider campaign to attract more visitors to the Northern Isles based on their unique history, landscape and visitor experience. The logo has received excellent feedback from passengers and the tourism industry.”
The Nazis didn't listen to criticism either.