What does this badge make you think of? ( Non-Nazi Swastika usage).

Discussion in 'General' started by Owen, May 25, 2006.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I know what this sign is so it doesn't need to be IDed.
    What do you think it is when you first see it?

    edit: attachment lost in forum transfer.

    edit in 2014: 8 years on from starting this thread I'll repost the image concerned.
    I asked the question back in 2006 as a chap on The Great War Forum had a website about the British 21st Division in WW1 & some people mentioned the divisional insignia to modern eyes suggested a Nazi link.
    I don't think it did but was asking on his behalf what others thought.

  2. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    My first thought on seeing it was that it should be for a unit that has 777 in it's title. Why, what is it supposed to look like?
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Does it make you think it has any Fascist conotations?
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Does have a slightly 'Nazi-ish' look though doesn't it? or maybe the Isle of Man. 21st Division or something?
  5. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    Does it make you think it has any Fascist conotations?

    I did have an idea that that is what you were getting at. I don't however agree. As you have pointed out, this badge dates from the 1st World War, a few years before the rise of facisum [in a PM]. More to the point, most of the emblems and runes used by Fascists groups in the last century adopted symbols that were in use for many of thousands of years before their adoption. They were used for far from sinister uses for all that time, luck, health, fertility and religious meanings.

    To see a symbol and automatically associate it with facisum overtones rather than assuming that there may be another historical meaning, is in my opinion putting the cart before the horse and perpetuating that lobsided perspective of perfectly innocent symbolisum.
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    In other words, there's no accounting for other peoples ignorance.
    Have you seen the attempts to reclaim the Swastika?
    eg: http://www.manwoman.net/swastika/
    Bit 'new-age' and likely doomed to failure but I can sort of see what they're getting at.

    this Postcard from The Swastika is from turn of the century America, not Nazi in origin at all, amazing the power a symbol can gain:
  7. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    Personally the badge reminds me of the Legs of Mannanan (Isle of Man). What is it Owen?
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    It is the British 21st Division sign from WW1..........3 x 7=21.
    Someone on GWF wanted to wear it in memory of that unit.
    He was worried it it might be misunderstood as a Fascist badge.
    I felt like asking others if they thought that too.
  9. Marina

    Marina Senior Member

    Isle Of Man emblem?
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  11. newagekid

    newagekid Junior Member

    looks like a swastica to me...
  12. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    But it could be mistaken for this.


    "Looks like" but it's not. Just because a symbol is similar or looks like, doesn't mean it has the same meaning. To do so plays into the hands of the people who want certain symbols to have the meaning of recent years rather than the meaning of the many years that the symbol was used before.

    If you see a five pointed star what does it mean? Without colour it could be the red star of communism or the white star of the Unted Stated of America. Both valid but also at different ends of the spectrum.

    By saying "It's similar" or "It looks like" you are just perpetuating the pedjudice. Sort yourselves out!
  13. spidge


    Owen knows what it is, you know what it is, I know what it is however if it is worn and construed as looking like something else that is offensive.

    There was a chap on the "DiggerHistory" forum in Australia calling for the cross to be banned as a symbol on medals as it is repugnant to Muslims.

    PP is right inasmuch as they meant/represented something totally different 100 to a 1,000 years ago however that was then.

    The minorities have the loudest voice these days.
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    The US 45th Division had to change their Insignia thanks to The Nazis.

    For the first 15 years of its existence, members of the 45th Infantry Division proudly wore on their left shoulders an ancient American Indian symbol of good luck, most commonly referred to as the swastika. The insignia served as recognition of the great number of Native Americans proudly serving in the 45th Infantry Division. The yellow swastika on a square background of red symbolized the Spanish Heritage of the 4 Southwestern states that made up the membership of the 45th—Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona. A similar symbol was adopted by the Nazi party in the late 1920’s, and as the N.S.D.A.P. rose to power in 1933 the symbol became so closely associated with fascist socialism that it had to be abandoned as the insignia of the 45th Infantry Division.


    I was curious as to why the 45th Division members used shoulder patches with Thunderbirds on them to identify themselves and I quickly learned why. The 45th Division was, at one time, the National Guard unit of both Arizona and Oklahoma. As populations grew, the 45th Division became the Oklahoma National Guard under control of the Oklahoma governor. A majority of the division's guardsmen were of Indian descent and, for this reason, they adopted an Indian sign, the swastika, as their emblem. When Hitler began the use of the swastika to identify his Nazi organization, the 45th Infantry Division immediately changed its emblem to another Indian sign, the Thunderbird.
    I found it very interesting that there are two Indian swastikas, one of which is the reverse (mirror) of the other. One is the good luck sign and the other is bad luck. The 45th Division had used the good luck sign but Hitler, without knowing anything about Indian lore, chose the bad luck sign of the Indians.

    Attached Files:

  15. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    This web page is worth a read....


    After reading that you'll know that for a very short time in history it has had negetive meaning and for the rest of recorded history it has meant very much the positive.

    That said, and as has been pointed out on other threads, how can a society that removes pictures of pigs in order not to offend another 'alien' culture, even try to appreciate that the swastika's bad press should only a 'blip' on the time line of history. That bad reputation is only perpetuated by society's own ignorance.
  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Following a link from that PP I got here.

    By Chirag Badlani

    During a religious holiday of mine, my mother and I went to the store, Staples, to make color copies of a few Gods to give to our temple. On one of the pictures, there was a very religious Hindu symbol, resembling a Nazi swastika, yet the arms faced the opposite direction.

    When we went on line to pay for the copies, the people behind us, not noticing the differentiation between the two signs, starting talking to each other, saying that my mother and I were Nazis. Quite appalled, my mother turned around and calmly explained to them that it was not a Nazi symbol, that the symbol first belonged to many different cultures before the Nazis adopted it. She explained the religious meaning and the people behind us said they were sorry and stated, "Oh, I never knew that."

    This is what I'm getting at. We know what things mean but that doesn't mean everyone else does.
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I used to live on the same street as a Hindu temple where the centrepiece of the elaborate stone fascia was a large Swastika, it really did have overtones of the reichstag about it but I always thought it quite cool that they hadn't allowed their long-standing symbol to be overshadowed by it's temporary use (or abuse) by the nazis'.
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I used to live on the same street as a Hindu temple where the centrepiece of the elaborate stone fascia was a large Swastika, it really did have overtones of the reichstag about it but I always thought it quite cool that they hadn't allowed their long-standing symbol to be overshadowed by it's temporary use (or abuse) by the nazis'.

    So would a Hindu Temple in Germany or Austria be allowed to do that?
  19. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Not just the Germans that have occasional problems with past symbolism:

    Hammer & Sickle.
    Edit: four years on - link dead.

  20. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    The Hammer & Sickle was very much in evidence in last year's Moscow 60 (well, 61) years Victory Parade, together with plenty Hero of the Soviet Union gold stars, Orders of Lenin, Orders of the Red Banner, etc etc.

    Together with Putin retaining the 1943 National Anthem (even if with yet another version of the lyrics, desovietised and russified instead) this is no surprise at all.

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