The swastika is a symbol that dates thousands of years back. Apparently, it represented good fortune, and everyone wanted to associate with it. However, that is not so true in the modern era. Especially in the Western world, not many symbols spell fascism more than the swastika. This article highlights some intriguing swastika facts to help you learn more about the widely-controversial symbol.
1. It Is an Indian Sign
The swastika is an Indian sign. With its origin linked to Sanskrit, Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists were its common users before the 20th century. People who visited the region derived inspiration from it and helped spread its positive attributes worldwide.
2. Swastika Signs Vary
While it is true swastika signs are bent crosses based on a chiral symmetry, their appearance varies; several geometric details are available. They include ones with large arms, motifs in a pattern of unbroken lines, and others with shorter legs.
3. There Is A World Swastika Rehabilitation Day
Given the amount of negative energy that the swastika attracts today, there have been attempts to change its perception and give it its old meaning. For example, The World Swastika Rehabilitation Day aims to enlighten people about Swastika’s true meaning. In 2023, the day was marked on June 24 worldwide.
4. A Larch of Trees Once Grew in the Shape of A Swastika in Germany
In 1992, it was discovered that a larch of trees in Germany had grown in the shape of a swastika. However, the formation was only clear in fall, and as it turned out, they were not the only ones; other forests with the same feature were discovered in the country and beyond.
5. The swastika is a Cultural and Spiritual Symbol
In ancient times, the swastika appeared in cultures associated with Caspian and black sea natives. Even though they were not significant symbols, their complexity varied. Swastikas were also part of some religions. For instance, swastika signs were placed on the doorways of temples and homes. In Buddhism, they were synonymous with the auspicious footprints of the Buddha.
6. A Significant Chunk of the World Used it
Immediately after introducing the Chinese writing system in Japan, the natives adopted the swastika into their language. They referred to it as the manji, which different families used. In Eastern Europe and Caucasus, Armenians called the swastika “arevakhach. It was also used in Africa by Ethiopians, America by the Hopi and Navajo indigenous groups, ancient Greek, and the Germanic people.
7. Carlsberg Used the Swastika As Its Logo
Carlsberg Group is a world-renowned Danish brewery company. Before it was discontinued for its allegiance with the Nazi Party, the company used the swastika as its logo. It served from the 19th century to the 1930s when the manufacturer removed it.
8. There Are Towns in Ontario and New York Named “Swastika”
Located in Northern Ontario, Canada, Swastika is a small town founded in 1908 by miners. Over time, there have been attempts to change the town’s name, given the negative perception that the swastika symbol attracts. However, the region still holds the identity, with natives saying they don’t care about Adolf Hitler – they had the name first.
In the same breath, there is a center in New York with the same name. It, too, has faced petitions to change how it identifies. However, the region’s dwellers voted to keep the name in 2020, saying it is not associated with the Nazi symbol.
9. The Finnish Military Had A Swastika On Their Logo Until 2020
The Finnish military had a swastika on their logo until 2020. The Finland air force had used it since 1918, long before Hitler and the Nazis corrupted its use and meaning. Regardless, they succumbed to pressure and quietly dropped the sign.
10. French Soldiers Planned to Prevent Hitler From Hoisting Swastika Flag On The Eiffel Tower
In 1940, World War II was gaining momentum with Nazi soldiers attacking the French and their capital city Paris. As one of the measures of preventing Adolf Hitler and his Nazi soldiers from hoisting a swastika flag on the Eiffel Tower, the French soldiers cut off the tower’s elevator cables. This way, the only way to reach the top would be through climbing hundreds of stairs.
11. A U.S Army’s Division Used the Swastika
The U.S. Army’s 45th Infantry Division had a swastika shoulder patch before the Pearl Harbor attack. They changed it to a thunderbird in 1939.
12. Swastika Means “Well-being”
Before Adolf Hitler started using swastika negatively and changed how the majority of the world saw it, the Indian subcontinent was using it as early as 500 BCE. Swastika means “well-being” and was first used by ancient linguist Panini. The word has adopted different spellings, the most common being “suastika,” used in the 19th and 20th centuries.
13. The Nazis Changed Swastika’s Meaning
Headed by Adolf Hitler, the Nazis negatively popularized the swastika symbol. Especially during World War II, victims of the Holocaust have nothing but resentment for the signage; survivors remember it as a sign of pure evil. Most didn’t know about its origin before; to them, the swastika represents fascism.