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The History of the Swastika

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posted on Oct, 14 2003 @ 09:28 AM
(I don't know if this fits in on the boardm but oh well)

The History of the Swastika

The swastika ( ) is an ancient symbol. Dating back 3,000 years, the swastika predates the ancient Egyptian symbol, the Ankh (). Approximately 3,000 years ago (1000 BCE), the swastika was commonly used; swastikas have been found on many artifacts such as pottery and coins dating from ancient Troy.

During the following thousand years, the image of the swastika could be found in many cultures around the world, including in China, Japan, India, and southern Europe.

By the Middle Ages, the swastika was a well known, if not commonly used, symbol but was called by many different names:

China - wan
England - fylfot
Germany - Hakenkreuz
Greece - tetraskelion and gammadion
India - swastika
Though it is not known for exactly how long, Native Americans also had long used the symbol of the swastika

The word "swastika" comes from the Sanskrit svastika - "su" meaning "good," "asti" meaning "to be," and "ka" as a suffix.

Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck.

Even in the early twentieth century, the swastika was still a symbol with positive connotations. For instance, the swastika was a common decoration that often adorned cigarette cases, postcards, coins, and buildings. During World War I, the swastika could even be found on the shoulder patches of the American 45th Division and on the Finnish air force until after World War II.

In the 1800s, countries around Germany were growing much larger, forming empires; yet Germany was not a unified country until 1871. To counter the feeling of vulnerability and the stigma of youth, German nationalists in the mid-nineteenth century began to use the swastika, because it had ancient Aryan/Indian origins, to represent a long Germanic/Aryan history.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the swastika could be found on nationalist German volkisch periodicals and was the official emblem of the German Gymnasts' League.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, the swastika was a common symbol of German nationalism and could be found in a multitude of places such as the emblem for the Wandervogel, a German youth movement; on Jrg Lanz von Liebenfels' antisemitic periodical Ostara; on various Freikorps units; and as an emblem of the Thule Society.

In 1920, Adolf Hitler decided that the Nazi Party needed its own insignia and flag. For Hitler, the new flag had to be "a symbol of our own struggle" as well as "highly effective as a poster." (Mein Kampf, pg. 495)

On August 7, 1920, at the Salzburg Congress, this flag became the official emblem of the Nazi Party.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler described the Nazis' new flag: "In red we see the social idea of the movement, in white the nationalistic idea, in the swastika the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work, which as such always has been and always will be anti-Semitic." (pg. 496-497)

Because of the Nazis' flag, the swastika soon became a symbol of hate, antisemitism, violence, death, and murder.


posted on Oct, 15 2003 @ 04:05 AM
That's quite interesting actually, what I knew about the Swastika was quite vague, something along the lines of Indian gods or something.

posted on Oct, 15 2003 @ 07:38 AM
It's sad how they stole symbols and signs from other cultures and destroyed them. They also used Mjlnir (Tor's hammer) from Norse mythology. I have numerous times been asked if I was a nazi when wearing Mjlnir around my neck (Yes, even in Norway people are that ignorant.). The nazis also used the Norse S, for instance in the WaffenSS logo. Nazi organisations in Norway are also still using names from Norse mythology. I listen to a lot of black metal and am involved in a few projects myself; hence Im often attending concerts and other things happening in the Norwegian black metal scene. I always experience bands being harassed by people for being nazi, just because they use Norse runes or have a name inspired by Norse mythology. Ngha, #ing irritating.

posted on Oct, 15 2003 @ 08:01 AM

Finnish airforce Swastika used from 1918 to 1947..

And only reason it isnt still used as the Soviets said: 'dont use it..' it is a swastika..

posted on Oct, 15 2003 @ 12:39 PM
Good post Infinite !

Really interesting stuff. I knew that the swastika cross was way older than the Nazi, but I really didn't knew # about it's origins,etc etc...

Like someone esle said, it's sad that they litteraly "stoled" the symbol, because now (for the majority of people) it only represent the Nazi reign.

I didn't knew the symbol was THAT old though. It's amazing how can some stuff survive through ages and other disapear in a mather of no time.

Antisystem, yeah, I bet you and your pal must sometime have a hard time explaining why you use such symbols to the common mortals.

posted on Oct, 15 2003 @ 12:42 PM

most racist parties/groups use symbols, which have been used throught history. Celtic cross is used by neo nazis as well

posted on Oct, 16 2003 @ 03:10 PM

Originally posted by infinite

most racist parties/groups use symbols, which have been used throught history. Celtic cross is used by neo nazis as well

HELL NO they will not take my heritage and destroy it. Ill kill anyone i see missusing the Celtic Cross. (incase you cant tell im Irish) I knew that the Swastika was an ancient symbol and that it was four Ls connected for four distinct things but never that it was known in so many countrys. Yes the Lightening SS symbols were also stolen along with many symbols and tradition. The Nazis did this because they wanted the best of all people to make one superior race. IE Aryans.

posted on Oct, 16 2003 @ 03:14 PM
im half irish too man,
btw i hate to break this to you thou

Although not explicitly a racist symbol, the Celtic cross is often used by people in the white power movement, especially skinheads. The cross pictured here is one most often used by racist groups. Occasionally, the cross will be made from Celtic knot work.

posted on Oct, 16 2003 @ 03:25 PM
Thank you for bringing to light something that is mired in ignorance. The swastika itself is actually a very beautiful symbol. It was a symbol of the sun, whoich to the ancoent Aryans and Indo Europeans, was the source of all life and creation, the symbol of life, purity, good fortune, and health. It wasnt until the Nazis used it it became so demonized.

But yes, I go to chinese and Korean and japanese cemetaries and see swastikas on thier gravestones ongraved there. Ancoient aryan burial sites had them to give good luck to the dead and to bring the energy of the sun to them so they would be reborn into a favorable state of being.

And yes, people are ignorant. The SS runes used were forms of the swastika, the S rune was the Sowulo rune, which symbolized lightning and the sun, the two sacred elements to ancient people.

The S rune and the swastika were symbols of nature worship and the forces of nature that were so vital to the ancients, the sun, which brought warmth and made the plants they ate grow, and the lightning, the thunderstorms that hearalded spring and summer.

Very complex symbology, and very beautiful, its a shame you cant admire the hidden past anymore behind them without being harrassed and called a nazi.

posted on Oct, 16 2003 @ 03:34 PM

its a shame you cant admire the hidden past anymore behind them without being harrassed and called a nazi.

I no its a powerful symbol
, but most people think of the Nazi party when they see the swastika because of the holocaust and WWII.

posted on Oct, 17 2003 @ 11:28 PM
The directionality of the swastica is also interesting to find out about. Often in ancient uses, the direction as well as the axis it was on had to do with its meaning.

posted on Oct, 17 2003 @ 11:48 PM
Recently at an auction I picked up an old bronze coin minted in 1910 with a big swastika on it. It's a good luck medallion, other symbols printed on it are a horseshoe, a wishbone, and a few others that are hard to make out.

It's still used as a good luck symbol in China. There have been a few cases where cheap plastic toys with swastikas on them have made their way to the states or Canada in Christmas crackers or fast food kids meal toys.

Maybe time will someday wash the NAZI taint from this once happy symbol and people will no longer be reminded of hate and violence when they see it.

posted on Oct, 17 2003 @ 11:52 PM
Good thread infinite! I knew that it was an Indian symbol, but I didn't know that it was used by all those other cultures as well.

posted on Oct, 17 2003 @ 11:53 PM
Interesting thread Infinate. GOod info.

posted on Oct, 18 2003 @ 03:12 AM
you can draw it the good way, and the bad way

Which one do you think Hitler used?

posted on Oct, 18 2003 @ 03:17 AM
Wow, that was some great information. If I had anymore votes left for my month, I would have voted for Infinite, but I don't.

I also heard that the Swastika backwards meant a good thing. Not sure if that was stated in Infinites post, since I skimmed through it.

Great post!

posted on Oct, 18 2003 @ 03:23 AM
Hitler was gonna use a few other a symbols, but the swastika represents power and thats what Hitler needed and wanted

posted on Oct, 19 2003 @ 01:40 AM
I think we should bring back the swastika!

posted on Oct, 19 2003 @ 01:53 AM
Damn that hitler, he ruined a perfactly good symbol. Forever on the symbol will be despised.

posted on Oct, 19 2003 @ 03:26 AM
in the modern world that symbol now represents evil and hate.

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