Our crewneck is an homage to the NYC punk rock band The Ramones and the designer of the shirt, Arturo Vega, who was considered to be the 5th Ramone.
He modeled his shirt design on the US Presidential seal, changing some key elements:
1. The arrows held by the eagle were replaced by a baseball bat
2. The olive branch was replaced by an apple tree branch
3. E Pluribus Unum in the banner was replaced by “Hey Ho, Let’s Go”
4. The stars above the eagle’s head were replaced by arrows
5. The red, white and blue shield was replaced with a square of arrowheads, a remembrance of the Native Americans perhaps.
6. The circle around the seal was changed to include the names of the four band members: Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy.
The Ramones shirt debuted in 1976, and hasn’t stopped selling. Many who own the shirt couldn’t even tell you the name of a song by the Ramones.
The idea for the Broome Street Temple shirt came from my friend Kaustubha Das, who co-founded the Wisdom of the Sages podcast and was a board member and pujari at the Broome Street Temple. The changes he made to the Ramones design were:
1. Replace the baseball bat with a temple bell
2. Replace the apple tree branch with the temple fan used in puja
3. Replace the words in the banner with “Tat Kurushva Madarpanam,” from the Bhagavad Gita, which means “Everything I do is done as an offering to You (Krishna)”
4. Replace the band member names with Radha, Damodara, Shiva and Ganesha, the deities that were in our temple
The design was actually shown to Arturo Vega before he passed away, and he liked and approved the design, so in a way we have the blessings of the Ramones and the legendary fifth Ramone for our design! This shirt has been a staple of our Yoga school and temple since 2003, and has helped to fund the many projects of the Broome Street Temple.
Printed in NYC by Works In Progress.