Tiki torch maker says product should enhance backyard gatherings, not white supremacist rallies

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 August, 2017, 3:04pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 August, 2017, 3:04pm

A manufacturer of garden torches of the kind used for parties and family gatherings said it was saddened to see its products used over the weekend at a white supremacist rally in Virginia that turned violent and deadly.

For many in America such torches evoke horrible memories of Ku Klux Klan events in which members of the southern-based racist group carried torches during marches, cross-burnings or lynchings of black people.

On Friday evening in Charlottesville, white supremacists raised many an eyebrow by carrying Tiki torches as they marched across the campus of the University of Virginia.

On Saturday at a white nationalist rally in the same town, one woman was killed when a car driven by a suspected Nazi sympathiser ploughed into a crowd of people. Another 19 people were injured.

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“Tiki Brand is not associated in any way with the events that took place in Charlottesville and are deeply saddened and disappointed,” the company said in a statement. “We do not support their message or the use of our products in this way.”

“Our products are designed to enhance backyard gatherings and to help family and friends connect with each other at home in their yard,” the company said.