The Swastika and Politics Today

There are few icons in modern history as instantly recognizable as the swastika. For historians, it evokes images of massive Hitler love-fests such as the Nuremberg Rallies and the drawing power of Hitler. The swastika represented a National Socialist party, led by Adolph Hitler, and it represented the state of Nazi Germany, which together would march in lockstep as they tried to take over the world. The ensuing World War would expose the atrocities of Nazi Germany and forever taint this symbol.

For those not well-versed in history the swastika is ingrained in our culture as a symbol of unequivocal evil even if the background is less well understood. Want to piss someone off? Call them a Nazi. Have a mean mom? Clearly she’s a Nazi. Unhappy with the government? They are a bunch of Nazis! Invoking the swastika to make your point only reinforces the effort.

The recent healthcare debate has drawn out artists of all stripes, some of whom are using the Swastika as a symbol to make their point. But are these citizens using the swastika as a protest symbol to show that they don’t want to be part of the big rallies and blind devotion, or are they carrying swastikas to show that they themselves are evil and vile citizens? I guess it depends on your worldview.

[I originally published this at the blogging site GreatHistory.com]

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~ by greathistorydotcom on August 12, 2009.

One Response to “The Swastika and Politics Today”

  1. Sadly, the Swastika invokes oppression and disrespect of other people’s boundaries.

    Personally, I think any sign in and of itself is free from meaning. People give symbols meaning, and by their actions they will be made known.

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