Gooooooooo, Swastikas!

October 16, 2007


Don’t worry, they’re not nazis.

I love some of the comments on the site…

“It’s a bit sad that the swastika in mainstream (sic) is now considered a symbol of evil due to the Nazi’s (sic).”

Yeah! Those darn Nazis! Hopefully soon everyone will forget about them and we’ll be able to put swastikas on chocolate wrappers, cereal boxes and so on. Maybe we could even wear them on our arms and march about!


  1. They look like they could give somebody a nazi injury.

  2. Haaaaaa!

  3. How about this comment: “Yeah, it’s very sad. The symbol has been around for such a very long time … and then some Nazi bitches have to go and fucking ruin it. It’s a damn shame if you ask me.”

    Yeah such a damn shame they ruined a symbol… Nearly ranks up there with the genocide and stuff…


  4. Is that princess Di in the background?

  5. Wow, I think that beats the Swastika Laundry in Ballsbridge – when told about that, a non-Dubliner friend of mine refused to believe the laundry ever existed. She had heard of it before but thought it was some weird Dublin joke. Actually, the first time I saw it as a kid I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I can’t really blame her.

  6. I found a postcard that said “To My Friend” and had flowers and such and a gold swastika on the front!! It was from the early 1900s.

  7. There’s a small town in northern Ontario called Swastika. They were there before Hitler went and wrecked toothbrush mustaches and swastikas for everyone.


    Word has it that attempts have been made to pressure officials into changing the name, but they’ve refused.

    Kitchener was once called Berlin, but the name was changed.

    No word if the hamlet Hitler Mustache ON will change their name to Toothbrush Mustache ON.

  8. I have Indian relatives who would probably find this thread annoying, as do I. Yes, the swastika generally has one powerful negative association in Europe and the West, but it’s a strong positive symbol in Hindu religion and other areas. Swastikas do still appear in many aspects of modern Indian culture, and in many other cultures. Would you like to wipe them out? Perhaps you could prevent all Indian swastikas in Britain?


    Sorry Graham, I find your original comments slightly parochial. It’s almost like you’ve trolled your own site.

  9. Yes, Happy, but I live in the West, where the negative associations are (eleven million people killed will do that to a symbol).

    Also, something being a strong positive symbol in any religion doesn’t really impress me, as I think all religion is bunk. But don’t worry, I won’t be trying to prevent Indian swastikas in Britain. I’m just too darn busy!

  10. Okay. It’s a cross-cultural thing. Nuff said.

    I’m an atheist too, by the way. I used to get angry about religion until I realised it was the human application/misuse/misintepretation of it that I hated. I respect the power of belief though, whether it’s in a God, the non-existence of God or the benefits of a good cup of tea and a biscuit.

  11. I agree with you, Happy. I’m not entirely sure what Graham’s point is. The picture is… funny, but his comments…?

    I’d much rather that there wasn’t a symbol associated with the Nazi movement at all, so that there wouldn’t be anything simple for fascists/racists to rally around. So that there wouldn’t be a symbol that could cause so much unhappiness with just one flash.

    Mel Brooks, for example, has been trying for years to reduce the power of the Nazi image by mocking it as much as he could.

    It would be a better world if the negative power attached to the swastika could be taken away, and the first steps in making that happen is remind people that not everyone who uses it is a Nazi and that it’s an ancient symbol that got its “meaning” horribly perverted.

    Promoting ignorance of this fact isn’t likely to help anyone.

  12. Hmmm… yes. Do we strengthen the negative image of a symbol or do we attack that negative image? How do we defuse it?

    Can you take the swastika in Western society and do what lesbians did to the word ‘dyke’? They defused it by using it themselves. They adopted it and killed the power of the word. It is still an insulting word because it carries a history of hate behind it, but it is certainly less so that when it was only ever an insult.

    Is the same thing happening to the Union flag? The BNP use it and there is some stigma behind flying it overtly these days, and it’s our national flag! Do we stop flying that because it has some negative associations, or do we fly it more and dilute the negative impact?

    There’s no denying that symbols carry emotional context, and I wouldn’t go out tomorrow and use that symbol overtly, because I’m sensitive to the fact that it will anger and hurt people (my grandfather died of mustard gas poisoning in World War II, so I have my own negative associations). As Graham says, 11 million people dead is one hell of a negative context. Can the symbol survive that? Or should we box it up and bury it?

    And when you have a blog that is published globally, how much of a local view can you luxuriate in? What sort of responsibility does your freedom of speech and expression carry? Do you care if you insult the beliefs of tens of millions of decent, normal people? Or would you never say anything for fear of offending anyone?

  13. All due respect, Hap, I have nothing but contempt for ‘the power of belief’. It is the power that powered both planes into the WTC, and the troops into Iraq. It enables the Catholic Church to deny condoms to HIV-stricken countries, and…well, you get my point. What else is there, other than the ‘human application’ of belief? The cat application?

    Johnny, I too think “it would be a better world if the negative power attached to the swastika could be taken away.” I also think it would be a better world if someone would just give me a million quid. But we live in the actual, real world, where things have meanings that are outside our control. And a very important part of not going crazy, is accepting that fact.

    I posted the picture because it was sad, and funny, and because it meant something different because of the time it was taken.

    I talked about the comments because they were inane.

    Anyway, this discussion is over because it is getting silly. ContainsNuts wins the best comment competition, with littlebabyaidan coming second for getting the point.

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