Adding fuel to the fire, the shirt’s designer, Mark McNairy, tweeted “MANIFEST DESTINY. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST” last Friday in response to customer complaints. He quickly deleted his tweet, but not before a screengrab of it was widely circulated, and then he followed up—three days later—with an all-caps semi-apology.
“Unfortunately, the meaning of my ‘Manifest Destiny’ T shirt has been misconstrued and the sentiment behind it grossly misunderstood,” McNairy posted on Twitter on Tuesday, blatantly disregarding his “survival of the fittest” quip. “I first learned of Manifest Destiny in American History in Junior High School. To me it has always meant that one could set goals, work hard, and achieve their dreams. Having the opportunity to design for the Gap was the realization of one of my dreams. This phrase and they way I used it was in no way meant to be offensive or hurtful, and I apologize to those who might have interpreted it in that manner.”