On Sunday, Seasalt & Co., a graphic design company, placed the following post on its Facebook page—which it removed around 2:15 p.m ET on Monday:
Comments and shares started pouring in—including those from people who were offended at the imagery of a noose hanging from a tree, which has become synonymous with racial terror and the lynching of black people in U.S. history. Many user comments had been removed from the Facebook post; the first that appeared from the company itself was a reply thanking a supporter “for thinking outside the box on this. Being hung wasn’t designed just for one race of people. There is a long standing history and more to what is being seen in this advertising image. It represents so much more.”
It’s unclear how big the company is or where they’re located, although an interview with “sole owner and designer” Brittany Davis from June 2013 indicates they may be in Tampa, Fla.
The product, which is described as a “Creative PS/PSE Action Collection” appears to be a set of Photoshop actions that company has developed.
Tweets made by thousands of Twitter users admonished the ad, and Seasalt & Co. weighed in with a Facebook response today, which it also removed after about three hours:
Ostensibly due to the federal holiday, the company sent Colorlines an automated e-mail today in response to a request for comment:
We’ll try to reach the company again on Tuesday.
Seasalt & Co.’s advertisement came out just days after the Equal Justice Initiative published a report, researched over the course of five years, showing that more than 700 lynchings had occurred than were recorded in 12 states the South—especially in places that have fought against commemorating racial terror and have chosen instead to memorialize the Confederacy.