Can the swastika be redeemed?

Actually a movement that’s been around for awhile, but I only just became aware of it. Apparently a lot of people, traditional hindus as well as others, are protesting laws that automatically consider the swastika to be a Nazi symbol. Here’s one link:

(I just loved the female hockey team’s swastika emblems!) :smiley:

I think the swastika ought to be rehabilited, but do you think it can be, at least so “soon” after the Nazis?

Here we go again .

So we did this only three months ago. :o
Moderator, you can close this thread.

Hey, before it meant Hitler it meant Coca-Cola!

Nah, the topic is interesting. If the potential participant base is tired of it, it will die on its own. No need to kill it in case new folks want to comment.

Never. Period. Full stop.

Just to speak up for Coke: It does not actually dissolve human teeth overnight.

I didn’t read the other thread. But anyway, here in New Mexico, the swastika is a fairly common Native American decoration. It faces the other direction from the nazi one, but otherwise looks pretty much the same.

I hope the movement gains speed, spreading news of the benign origin of the symbol. I’m tired of giving lectures where I show the logo of the American Scenic & Historic Preservation Society, and have to explain that, No, that broken cross in the outer ring does not mean that the society’s members were not Hitler lovers. (The symbol was used to denote the field of archeology, btw.)

~ **stuyguy **
(…whose mom bought towels with prominent swastika-shaped trim when I was a kid. Those babies drew a few questions from my friends when we’d go the beach, let me tell you. Mom loved a bargain and I assume she got them for a song at the local discount store. Wonder why…)


I meant “…that broken cross in the outer ring does not mean that the society’s members were Hitler lovers…”


My work building (circa 1998) has a swastika carved into a decoration in a fountain. There’s a discrete plaque explaining the history of the symbol (placed perhaps 20m from it, quite out of the way). I’m not aware it’s caused any ruckus whatsoever.

The Nazi swastika displays at a 45 degree angle. The points of the figure are down, up, right, left. A traditional swastika displays plumb; the sides point down, up, right left. This was a conscious decision on the Nazi propagandists’ part, because the 45 degree version is a much more ‘active’ (read: aggressive) looking symbol. (Try it out, draw one, and then look at it both ways, the Nazi swastika looks like it’s rolling forward, to crush the enemies of the Volk. Then crush it up real quick so no one can see you’ve been drawing swastikas, Mr McLaren.)

If there’s interest in reclaiming the symbol, it seems that’s a distinction its supporters should hammer on. (And pull off…the hammer of the gods…new lands…you get the idea.)

In my culture the swastika is a sign of unspeakable evil. Would you take that away from us? Have you no respect for my cultural heritage?

No problem, Alessan. When the Buddhist folks are hanging out in your culture, they can recognize that the Nazi swastika is a symbol of horrible evil. And when you’re hanging out in their culture, then you can recognize that the swastika is a representation of the ultimate caring for your fellow person.

Feel free to consider “hanging out in their culture” to include “observing the jewelry they happen to be wearing on their own persons.”

But you should also be respectful of where you are. For instance, in many Asian cultures showing people your bare feet is a huge insult. I often walk around barefoot at home, and have to problem putting my feet up on the table, but I’ll avoid doing when travelling to certain places abroad.

We have plenty of Buddhists here in Israel, usually foreign workers. I’ve never sen any of them wear a swastika, and I assume they’re acting out of respect for local customs. I respect that immensely.

Unlike America, most places around the world HAVE local customs and taboos.

Paging Mr Ozymandias. Is there a Mr Ozymandias in the auditorium?

You’re not serious, are you? I can assure you that we have our own customs and taboos just like every other group on the globe.
I imagine after enough time passes the swastika won’t be a big deal any more. A lot of time. Heck, the Confederate flag means different things to different people. To some it is a symbol of while supremacy, to others it is a symbol of southern pride, and to people like me it’s a symbol of royalty. The Dukes of Hazzard County. (da da da da da da da da da da da da yeee-haw!)


On the off-chance that you are actually serious, I shall reply to you in seriousness.

No kidding. And you should also respect people’s choice of religion. AFAIK, Israel is one of the counties that actually does that, unlike certain of its neighboring countries. A number of Buddhists wear a swastika as a reminder to them of the Compassionate Buddha, just as a number of Christians wear either a crucifix or a cross to remind them of the love of God. Next thing you’ll be telling me is that Christians shouldn’t do that either and all the churches in Israel should tear down their crosses and crucifixes.

I, for one, would appreciate my guests not putting their feet on my table. And I’m not Asian, either.

You respect something you’re assuming? Mind boggling, completely mind boggling.

Would you care to confine your “I hate America” comments to an appropriate thread where it would have some actual relevance to the issue?

BTW, America does have local customs and taboos.

And do you respect them?

As previously said the US has plenty of local customs and taboos. Too damned many IMHO I think many of the problems in the US can be related to local conflict regarding customs and traditions. Hell we had a civil war over customs/traditions (there were several other factors of course).
Can the swastika be redeemed? Not in places that remember the holocaust. Not as long as the idiots keep waving it in public as their symbol of bigotry.
I know there’s more to the swastika than the Nazi hate that was imposed on it. I also understand why some people despise the Confederate flag. I own a rebel flag, I had ancestors die in the civil war, I respect this part of my history. Doesn’t mean I approve of slavery does it? Of course not.
But I have enough respect for those whom this symbol is one of degradation, humility and disrespect. Why would I want to stir up those feelings in another human being if I can avoid it? Because I have the legal right to do so? That’s pretty damned selfish and inconsiderate IMHO. What’s so important that I have to fly the stars and bars where I know it is offensive to the folks around. Arrogance, that’s what.

At home, if you want to hang a swastika, a rebel flag or a crucufix upside down, then screw anybody that doesn’t like it. Although, I still respect my friends enough to NOT want to cause any stress between us. I have a lot of black friends, always have, I’m not gonna make them feel uncomfortable at my home by pulling out my old confederate flag and waving it in their face. It just wouldn’t be right. If you don’t know the difference between right and wrong on such a simple thing then I don’t know what else to say.

The same goes with any of my Jewish friends… WTF kind of friend am I if I walked up with a big damned swastika pasted on front of a t-shirt?
How about that crucifix upside down? Not in these parts buddy, I live in the “bible-belt” and practically all of my family and friends attend church.

Should there be laws against any of these symbols? of course not