The Rise Of Swastika Symbols: Any Cause For Concern?

The post-WWI era has seen a desperate attempt to prohibit the public use of the swastika and all other emblems and signs used by the Nazis. The numerous attempts go a long way to show the negativism now surrounding the swastika symbol which was once used for good luck and fortune. When Adolf Hitler hijacked the symbol, it became a unique identity for him and his army. The swastika was embedded on uniforms, boldly flown on the flags and was even used as a marching formation at rallies.

“Its public display can lead to protests or attract spiteful comments.”

Today, whenever the swastika is displayed publicly, it brings back memories that we would much rather forget. Today, the image is seen as a weapon of white supremacist groups. Its public display can lead to protests or attract spiteful comments. The negative reactions are tied to the atrocities Hitler used it to achieve -and they are difficult to erase from history. Hitler misappropriated the symbol enough to erase its true history and identity.

Through the course of history, the swastika symbol has been found in various uncommon places around the world. However, recently there has been a sudden rise in the rate at which the swastika is appearing in public places in the United States. The swastika has been seen around Pennsylvania, Portland, California, New York City and other places. It’s as though the harder the authorities try to crush the symbol, the more intimidating it becomes.

A few months ago, a fashion house, KA Designs, based in a yet to be identified location in Europe has unveiled t-shirts and sweatshirts with the swastika symbol on a rainbow-colored background carrying different inscriptions like “peace” and “wan”.

Most countries around the world now practice democracy where everyone has the right to self-expression and various other unalienable human rights. The rise of the swastika symbol could be a cause for concern. What if another psycho picks it up and tries to replicate the acts of Adolf Hitler? Since it is hard to erase history, the swastika is now seen as a symbol of oppression, particularly in the west. The symbol itself is not really the issue, rather the motive of the symbol bearer. The power and aura that trails the symbol make it a potent tool for scavenging and commanding a large followership.

According to the author of “The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption“, Steven Heller, clamping down on the swastika is not a war that can be won. To extinguish it, you have to brainwash a whole lot of people and if you let it be it will brainwash a lot of people.

Reclaiming The Swastika: A New Clothing Brand Wants To Bring Back The Swastika

For many years, the swastika has been used as a symbol of good luck. The word itself is a Sanskrit word with a deeper meaning. When P.R. Sarkar, a Sanskrit scholar visited Germany in 1979, he broke down the word swastika into its different components in a bid to provide a deeper representation of the word. He gave the word the following interpretation: Su -“good”, asti -“to be, to exist”, ik -“what is in existence, and will continue to exist”, a -“denotes a feminine gender”. Hence, “swastika” means “good existence”.

Sarkar explained that the swastika can have both positive and negative expression.

The swastika with the tips bent to the right is considered as positive and is a symbol of victory. The swastika with the tips bent to the left is a negative swastika and can bring total annihilation when it is used. Sakar warns against using the negative swastika.

The work by the Schliemann was soon translated to mean that the German race descended from the Aryans. This was probably one of the reasons why the Nazi party formally adopted the Hakenkreuz as their party symbol in 1920. Since its adoption and the events leading to World War II, the swastika is now seen as a symbol of annihilation and racism. There have been recent clamors to reclaim the swastika’s original meaning. One of the recent attempts was the Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit in 2008.

A new clothing company based somewhere in Europe, KA Design, has rolled out a series of gray t-shirts and sweatshirts bearing rainbow colored swastikas. According to KA Designs, the swastika on the rainbow-colored background symbolizes the LGBT movement and terms it “the new swastika”. It is clear that the motive was to bring back the swastika but the reception has not been as positive as they might have anticipated.

The gray t-shirts have several slogans on them including “peace”, “zen” and “love”, and a price tag of $20. From early indications, the shirts won’t be selling out anytime soon, no matter the good intentions of the makers.

Is It The Right Time To Reclaim The Swastika?

“KA Designs says they respect everyone’s opinion.”

Answering a related question posed by Dazed, KA Designs said there is no right time to reclaim the swastika or anything at all. They said they were inspired by the aesthetics and shape and had the intention of sharing the symbol’s beauty, without its associated hatred. According to KA Designs, freedom is one of the most fundamental human values which should be a building block for our lives.

When asked how they would feel if their only customers were Nazis, KA Design was sincere and plain in their response. According to them, it doesn’t matter who bought the t-shirts since the main purpose of the project was to generate money.

KA Designs says they respect everyone’s opinion. They also understand the insecurities that many people might have about the product and their intention is not to erase the atrocities committed underneath a symbol from the minds of people. KA Designs believes that anything can be reclaimed as long as it is done through the right means.

The current designs of t-shirts and sweatshirts by KA Designs may not be the last we hear from them as there are ongoing plans for more projects which they have said they will not reveal now. However, they hope to extend their swastika line to more designs and colors while maintaining the current message of peace.

Do you think it is the right time to reclaim swastika or is it a project delving into at all? Tell us your views in the comment box.