Participants wear shirts with the logo of the London 2012 Olympics during the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium
Participants wear shirts with the logo of the London 2012 Olympics during the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium August 24, 2008. The stadium is also known as the Bird's Nest. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez (CHINA)

It may have taken Iran four years to find racial imagery in the London 2012 Olympics logo but the logo is no stranger to controversies and objections. Designed by Wolff Olins, the logo representing the 2012 Olympic Games in London has in the past been compared to a swastika, and has inspired few to see sexual imagery while the animated footage of the logo triggered seizures.

The latest objection to the 2012 Olympics logo comes from Iran as it threatened to boycott the London Games. The country claims that the logo for the games resembles the word Zion. Zion is a biblical term referring to Jerusalem. But to Iran, it refers to the enemy, Israel.

Iranian Olympic President Mohammad Aliabadi has shot off a letter to the International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge on the revolting 2012 Olympics logo. Aliabadi has reportedly argued that the logo spawned out of racist spirit. He also warned that the logo would affect the participation of several countries, especially like Iran which insists on following principles and values.

Iran has not shied away from making its anti-Israel stance clear even in the field of sports in the past. It can be recalled that at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Iranian swimmer Mohammad Alirezaei withdrew from the men's 100 metres breaststroke competition citing illness, while it was widely claimed that the real reason was the participation of Israeli swimmer Tom Be'eri.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the International Olympics Committee (IOC) responded to Iran's accusation stating: The logo represents London 2012 and nothing else.

Seizure-Causing Logo Footage

Iran's objection is the latest in the long list of controversies that the logo has sparked over the years since its unveiling in 2007.

In June 2007, the London 2012 Olympics organizing committee withdrew animated footage promoting the launch of the logo, after it triggered seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.

A spokesperson had said back then, We have been notified of the problem and we have taken immediate steps to remove the animation from the website. We will now re-edit the film.

People alerted the charity Epilepsy Action on the seizure causing powers of the animated logo footage, a section of which showed a diver jumping into a swimming pool, leading to the pool turning into a moving multi-color pattern which would then be displayed for close to six seconds.

Swastika and 'The Simpsons' in Sex Act

Just two days after the rollout of London Games logo, people started seeing swastika in the logo besides a comical sex act between characters from 'The Simpsons.' The logo, which is a composition of graffiti-like, jagged-edged cutouts denoting the year 2012 in pink and yellow, prompted a protest petition. Close to 35,000 signatures were gathered seeking the change of the logo.

The logo looked like a Swastika due to the four-square-corners rotating around a center. There were some bloggers who even raised questions if the designer was a Neo-Nazi on the argument that the logo seemed to have been consciously turned so that it was more square than diamond.

There were other objections based on some people seeing Lisa Simpson and Bart Simpson from 'The Simpsons' in a sexual act.

Besides all the controversy stirred by the logo's looks, many people simply said the design was not good enough.

Websites, tabloids, advertising networks and news and radio programs discussed the logo, which cost £400,000 to produce and took nearly a year to design, vociferously. As per reports dating back to June 2007, as many as 3,300 people sent messages to the website of the BBC's 606 sports program questioning the logo.