About a month ago, in the sports world, F1 star Kimi Räikkönen was found to be wearing a face mask for protection against the coronavirus, which in addition to his name had his driving number seven and a cross.

There was a heated and even heated debate about whether using a pattern like the iron cross in Räikkönen's mask was problematic and tasteless.

Some disapproved of the mask, such as Hazel Southwell, a reporter working on the Formula E series, because he saw Nazi reflections on the cross.

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The Iron Cross is originally a German badge of honor, which is said to be based on the cross symbol used by the German Knights.

The Iron Cross was introduced as early as the early 19th century, long before the Nazi rule in Germany.

Later, the Nazis used modified iron crosses as badges, which were also patterned with swastikas.

In Finland, the uproar does not seem to have had at least a negative effect on Räikkönen, 40, 's image, at least not on the basis of his fan sales of face masks.

According to the company responsible for importing them, a record number of soot masks have been traded in recent weeks.

- Oddly enough, Kim's masks are torn from our hands.

And so, despite the fact that we haven't even marketed them, we only made a few postings, says Riku Routo, who is responsible for Räikkönen's West Coast Choppers sales in Finland.

- People have found their way to these masks themselves.

The Kimi phenomenon is still pulling.

In Finland, the collective sales of all types of face masks and respirators have multiplied with the acceleration of the corona epidemic, but still the leading figure of Ace Cafe Lahti seems surprised by the strong demand for booster masks.

- There is already talk of selling thousands of masks, and the pace seems to be accelerating all the time.

The uproar certainly had its own effect on this.

Kimi Räikkönen photographed at the F1 depot in Sochi. Photo: HANDOUT

According to Roudo, known as the founder of the Lahti Motorcycle Museum, customers have not asked about the symbolic meaning of the cross found in the mask.

"No one has seen that the pattern found in the mask has anything to do with the Nazis or anything vague," Routo says.

IS also more broadly surveyed the current overall sales situation for corona guards.

The retail trade of face masks has accelerated rapidly in Finland.

- Our sales of various respirators have quadrupled or even quintupled in the last month.

I can't give exact readings, but several tens of thousands of them have been sold, says Janne Paananen, the S Group's selection manager.

- The strongest peak in demand hit us in early August, when there was an active discussion about the use of face masks.

Since then, demand has leveled off, but their sales have still risen considerably compared to last spring and summer, says Jenni Moisanen, Kesko's Grocery Purchasing Manager.

Various specialty masks, such as those used by Räikkönen, are widely available in the large retail market.

For example, the S Group now sells masks with the Apulanta band's logo, and their sales have also been high.