Would you believe us if we say that Nazi flags or the Swastika symbol actually pertains to something good? Yes, in fact, the Swastika symbol that we often see in Nazi flags symbolizes good fortune in a number of cultures across the globe.
So, how and when did people start associating this symbol with evil?
The Swastika is an ancient Indian language that means “good existence,” “good luck,” and “well-being.” Of course, this symbol, which is a cross with tips that are bent in a clockwise direction, is also present in other countries, such as China, Japan, England, and Germany.
In China, this symbol is known as the “Wan.” In Japan, this symbol is known as the “Manji.” In England, people call this symbol the “Fylfot,” and Germans call this symbol the “Hakenkreuz.”
According to “Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flag” author Tim Marshall, the Swastika is a symbol of peace until Hitler and the Nazi party started changing its meaning.
So, let’s try to ask ourselves this question: who brought the Swastika symbol to Germany?
Even after years since we’ve last seen any Nazi flags roaming around, the Swastika symbol is still deeply associated with evil. How did it start? Moreover, is there a chance that people might start seeing it as a symbol of peace?
In an article by the Smithsonian Magazine, Heinrich Schliemann was an archaeologist whose life-long dream is to find the Homeric city. However, when he found it, he also found the Swastika symbol. He continued his excavations and have found this symbol everywhere – from the Gold Coast of Africa to Tibet to Paraguay. Keep in mind that this was around 1871. At the time, Schliemann’s discoveries were quickly spreading across the globe. His expeditions become a way of establishing a national identity. It was also around this time when the Swastika symbol started to represent a wave of nationalism spreading across Germany.
Further research concludes that the Swastika symbol represents the Aryan race. The term “Aryan” is associated with the Indo-European language group. Keep in mind that this was not a racial group. However, since scholars noted that this language group poses certain similarities to German, Sanskrit, and Roman languages, it eventually became a descriptor for an ancient and master racial identity.
A few years before the Second World War broke out, there were stories about the rise of Nazism. By the 19th century, aristocrats and other scholars have made the distinction between mythical Aryans and Germans, both of which were considered as superior descendants of the earlier people. Thus, with this mentality and belief, the members of the Nazi party had this idea that they were supposed to lead the world toward a much greater advancement. Moreover, they believed that the only way to achieve this was to conquer thy neighbors.
Fast forward to today, the Swastika symbol is still associated with the gruesome memories of the Second World War.
Whether you are looking for Nazi flags, Nazi coins, or other WWII memorabilia, we got it for you at Gettysburg Museum of History. Contact us today for more info!