The symbol that Dave King created in 1977 made its first appearance in Penny Rimbaud's impassioned manifesto, "Christ's Reality Asylum." It then went on to become the logo for Crass, who defined anarcho punk for decades to follow.
In the intervening years, the symbol has been reproduced countless times, and become the basis for mashup, homage and reinterpretation.
Recently, a UK fashion house decided - like many others - to repurpose the logo for their clothing. They have reportedly claimed ownership of the symbol, despite 35 years of prior use. They also have a line of clothes called "Whore Wear" which, in their words, is "glam and chic yet bordering on trashy."
It is fitting that such an uninspired ripoff surrounds an anti-authoritarian symbol with a chain.
See the show "Symbol" and original unchained logo in person. It will remain on display at Goteblüd through March 4, 2012. Hours are Saturday/Sunday 12-5pm, located at 766 Valencia, San Francisco.
- Free the Crass Symbol!