Swastikas & Disputes About The Swastika Symbol

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That said, banning it is not the way forward. Ban a symbol and it goes underground, or is replaced by something else less obvious.
It's more fundamental than that. Banning something on such subjective grounds opens the door to the use of opinion as a reason to ban. You'd end up with tyrannical censorship in a figurative trice.

Hitler and the Nazis were evil.)
'Ol Joe Stalin was worse. By some millions.
 

AlchoPwn

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A fascinating and difficult subject, made more complex by some deeply embedded inaccurate assumptions and entrenched attitudes. The Nazis used only one version of the swastika. It was not, as many people have said, "reversed".
Very true. The Swastika is originally a symbol of the sun, and it is supposed to run clockwise, like the sun. The Nazi Swastika runs anti-clockwise or "widdershins", and it has been suggested that this is symbolic of a black sun that makes time move backwards; a very reactionary symbol that implies turning back time. There was an interesting analysis of what the Nazi Flag stood for. The red being blood, as in the communist flag (perhaps representing the blood of the communists? jk), then the white disc being symbolic of purity, and the black spider of the swastika crouching within the heart of that purity. The angularity of the Nazi swastika is there to imply dynamism. Interestingly, anthropologically, black (darkness) white (purity and cleanness) and red (blood) mean the same thing in all cultures, except China where white originally meant purity but due to its use in funeral practices has come to mean death.

In various cultures, the swastika has been used right handed, and in other cultures, left handed. The Wikipedia article shows one illustration of two mirrored swastikas, one being associated with Buddhism, the other with Hinduism and Jainism. Apart from their direction, they are otherwise identical.

The Isle of Man flag, with its 3-legged symbol has some of the characteristics of a swastika..
I must disagree. The 3 legged symbol is called a triskelion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triskelion and carries meanings quite distinct to those of the swastika.

We now have an insane situation in which an ancient symbol with generally positive meanings has been ruined by its abuse by one political party in one country for one terrible but very short period of time. As someone said upthread, we don't ban crosses because the KKK use them.
To be fair it was a pretty major abuse, but, we also didn't ban the use of the hammer and sickle. As to the banning of crosses, lol, what a good idea.

That said, banning it is not the way forward. Ban a symbol and it goes underground, or is replaced by something else less obvious. Far right groups use "18" (as in Combat 18) because Hitler's initials were the 1st and 8th letters of the alphabet. The Valknut has also become a symbol of the far right, but its superficial similarity to Celtic knots means that the ordinary person in the street may not realise what they are seeing.
There are plenty of other symbols too. Here is an article about the use of 14 and 88, but many more symbols are alluded to.
http://www.spiegel.de/international...ecret-meaning-of-neo-nazi-codes-a-770820.html
Within the NeoNazi movement these are used as a rallying point, so that people know where to find fellow NeoNazis, without alerting the authorities. These become the visual language of a violent secret society/subculture. I don't want to dehumanize the NeoNazis completely, as many of them have very tragic personal stories, but the "answer" they have chosen is extremely antisocial, and heaven forefend they become more popular as a movement. I don't like censorship in any form, but an organization that is explicitly anti-democratic and that will actively dismantle democracy if it comes to power is a force that a democratic society has a necessary interest in protecting itself from.

Society and the media are also hypocritical about Hitler, Nazi symbolism and uniforms. It is wrong to go to a fancy dress party in a Nazi uniform, but perfectly acceptable to dress as Julius Caesar, or Attila the Hun, or Napoleon. In many countries you can no longer call your child Adolf (a once respectable name) but you can call your child Joe, Joseph, or Josef (as in Stalin).
(For the avoidance of doubt or misunderstanding: I am not in any way advocating the far right. Hitler and the Nazis were evil.)
I agree that Communism was ultimately a greater evil than Nazism, at least in the form it played out in Eastern Europe, China and Indochina. My family history has been marred by both sides of the same totalitarian coin, and I am not playing favorites. I suspect that Communism failed to attract the same complete social censure that the Nazis experienced as (a) they fought the Nazis bitterly (b) their iconography is less distincitve and less threatening (c) Communist party membership was always proportionally a larger part of the community than the Nazis in most of the West (d) Banning Communist symbols would have been inflammatory during the Cold War years. As to the Atilla, Napoleon etc. The distance of history and the very different attitudes towards warfare in the past have lent those names a certain critical distance that makes them less threatening.
 

Mikefule

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Very true. The Swastika is originally a symbol of the sun, and it is supposed to run clockwise, like the sun.
This depends on how you apply the word "swastika". If, as is common practice, we apply the word to all icons of a broadly similar design, then various cultural examples are the same way round as the Nazi version. In some cases, it can be drawn either way. If we apply the word solely to the "swastika" as in the Hindu symbol of the sun, then the Nazi version is not a swastika, it's a hakenkreuz. We can't have it both ways.


I must disagree. The 3 legged symbol is called a triskelion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triskelion and carries meanings quite distinct to those of the swastika.
You are disagreeing with something that I didn't say. I made no comment at all about the meaning of the triskelion.

It was clear from context that I was talking solely about the geometry of the shape. Similarly, I was not suggesting that the CTC "winged wheel" shared any symbolism with the swastika, only that it shared some aspects of the geometry. In both cases, identical bent/curved/asymmetrical arms radiating from a centre.
CTC_winged_wheel_ca.1927.jpg

...we also didn't ban the use of the hammer and sickle. As to the banning of crosses, lol, what a good idea.
An interesting example. The specific combination of hammer and sickle has a very clear meaning. It's not banned, but I'd be cautious where I wore it in the USA! As two separate items, they are merely a hammer, or a sickle.

I agree that Communism was ultimately a greater evil than Nazism, at least in the form it played out in Eastern Europe, China and Indochina.
Whoa! You are "agreeing" with me about something I never said. Whether communism was a greater or lesser evil than Naziism is a totally separate debate into which I have no desire to be drawn. I merely mentioned that "Adolf" is a banned forename in many countries, whereas the names Josef/Joe/Joseph are not banned. This is an inconsistency in our attitudes to two people from the same historical period who were each brutal on a massive scale. (Note: I wouldn't normally object in quite such direct terms, but please, don't ascribe a political view to me. There are people out there who would interpret "Communism is worse than Naziism" as a tacit support for Naziism — and vice versa.)
 
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Jim

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The swastika on a diagonal, in a red, white and black colour scheme - is that design specific to the Nazis?
Well, exactly.

All arguments about the use and misuse of the swastika symbol aside, in the case of BNK48 the band are wearing late pattern Nazi era Reichskriegsflaggen (minus the peripheral Schwarze Kreuz, if anyone wants to get anal about it); they are not wearing something which is generally about swastikas, but something that is precisely about Nazism.
 
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CarlosTheDJ

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Well, exactly.

All arguments about the use and misuse of the swastika symbol aside, in the case of BNK48 the band are wearing late pattern Nazi era Reichskriegsflaggen (minus the peripheral Schwarze Kreuz, if anyone wants to get anal about it); they are not wearing something which is generally about swastikas, but something that is precisely about Nazism.
Thought so, cheers for confirming my suspicions :twothumbs:
 

AlchoPwn

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I remember reading a pretty interesting analysis of the Nazi flag, but I can't remember who it was by. The analysis went like this...

The base color of the flag is red, the same as the communist flags, which represents blood, but also communism. In the middle of the red is a circle of white that represents purity, also white racial purity, adrift in a sea of blood and communism. Then in the middle of the white purity sits a black spider, the swastika. The swastika is a sun symbol, and it normally runs clockwise, but the Nazi swastika runs counter-clockwise or widdershins, indicating this dark sun wants at its heart to turn back the clock.

I suppose that the same might be said of the Soviet flag, that the gold of the hammer and sickle represents elitism, and how under the pentagram, the apparent unity of the hammer and sickle may actually also represent their clash, and the outcome is a sea of blood that threatens to marginalize and overwhelm all three symbols.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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I worked in Basingstoke some 16 or 17 years ago and would sometimes spend an interesting lunch hour at the Willis museum. It specialised in depicting the history of the local area from Stone Age until post WW2. The entrance hall used to feature a slab of stone, unearthed somewhere in the locality, featuring a small but distinct swastika carving. I believe it was dated from the Neolithic (or possibly Bronze age) and claimed to be one of the oldest known depictions of the swastika.
I went back to the museum a couple of years ago and the stone was no longer there.
 

skinny

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So that's where Ade got his hard on for the bendy cross. I thought it was from a halucinatory vision he had on the BC bud he and I used to throw down during our days at Vancouver U, but no - ze fraus. Whoda thunkit? Where's Eva?
 
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