Oops . . .

Here’s a poster seeking to raise funds for the World War One effort. As you can see, the symbol chosen was a tad ahead of its time and, given that it was for the British war effort, it was so far ahead of its time that it was decided not to use the same symbol even twenty years later when they were trying to raise funds for World War Two.

 

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jtfsoon
jtfsoon
9 years ago

The swastika is an ancient Hindu religious symbol. It was around for probably thousands of years before Hitler ruined it. I believe Customs House in Sydney still has swastikas adorning its front entrance (assuming it hasn’t been painted over since I was last there).

From wikipedia:

The use of the swastika was incorporated by Nazi theorists with their conjecture of Aryan cultural descent of the German people. Following the Nordicist version of the Aryan invasion theory, the Nazis claimed that the early Aryans of India, from whose Vedic tradition the swastika sprang, were the prototypical white invaders.

john r walker
john r walker(@annesanders)
9 years ago

The nazis actually reversed the swastika. The nazi swastika was left handed, in Latin ‘sinister’.

Gwyn Buckley
Gwyn Buckley
9 years ago
Reply to  john r walker

The Latin for right handed is dexteris

Tel
Tel
9 years ago

You see the same symbol in Buddhist temples, always laying on a flat side like above. Sometimes it is in mirror-image, but I’ve seen it cut into a fence so that it shows both in positive and in mirror depending on which side of the fence you stand.

The Nazi tradition was for the symbol to sit on a corner with a zig-zag “S” showing through the middle, which was also linked to “Sieg” and, and to the SS moniker (also depicted with same zig-zag “S”).

Their iconography was not of course historically contiguous with any particular culture, but it served as a focal point to emphasize the power of the state and drum into the minds of the citizens the obedience to a higher power. The certainly achieved a level of brand awareness that the Hindus were unable to equal.

john r walker
john r walker(@annesanders)
9 years ago
Reply to  Tel

lightbulb

Tel
Tel
9 years ago
Reply to  john r walker

I might further point out that if you put that symbol on a flag (such as the five colour flag of Jain for example) then by necessity you display both the right handed and left handed version (i.e. mirror image) depending on which way the wind blows with respect to the observer. That’s just what flags do.

We all know that the officially approved heraldic wind blows from left to right across a flag, but it can at times be difficult to explain this to whatever wind happens to show up on the day.

John J
John J
9 years ago

In ‘Jew Town’, Cochin, India, where there is an ancient Jewish settlement, I saw decorative swastikas next to Stars of David. Obviously, there was no Nazi connection but it did look strange.

john r walker
john r walker(@annesanders)
9 years ago
Reply to  John J

John J
The Cochin synagog is on land next to the Sultans palace , in the palace there is a beautiful painting of (I think) Shiva, on the palm of Shiva’s upturned hand is the Star of David……. Quite a place Kerala, when were you there?