There are two dominant conspiracies behind the London Olympics logo, which, if you ask Iranians and Simpsons enthusiasts, is trying suspiciously hard to be just ugly blocky numbers spelling out the year "2012." The Lisa Simpson and "Zion" theories, as well as a swastika interpretation, emerged when the logo was first revealed — about four years ago. But Iran has only now officially denounced the design, perhaps with the help of this and other animated YouTube videos, on the basis that its interpretive spelling of "ZION" is pro-Israel, racist, and offensive.

According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official letter of complaint to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) states that "[t]he use of the word Zion in the logo by the Olympic logo designer is a very vicious act and against the Olympics' moral slogans...which can affect the presence of participating countries in particular countries like Iran which insist on following [moral] principles and values." The letter was signed by Mohammad Aliabadi, the head of the country's National Olympic Committee, and by its secretary, Bahram Afsharzadeh.

The IOC's response was succinctly dismissive. "The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else," said an official, and a spokesman from London's organizing committee added, "It was launched in 2007... We are surprised that this complaint has been made now." We ask the offended parties to move on with the consideration that this may simply be another case of a perfectly ugly logo that we can all agree to hate in unity. Just like the Oscars.

Iran claims London 2012 Olympics logo spells the word 'Zion' [The Guardian]