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Thread: The Finnish swastika

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    Default The Finnish swastika

    Our swastika has raised questions (and bs) here lately. I threatened to start a thread about this a while a go so here it is. Lets clear this up for good.

    The swastika is a cross with its arms bent 90° to either right or left. It is usually oriented horizontally or at a 45° angle.
    The word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit स्वस्तिक, svastika, meaning any lucky or auspicious object, and in particular a mark made on persons and things to denote good luck. It is composed of su- (cognate with Greek ευ-), meaning "good, well" and asti a verbal abstract to the root as "to be"; svasti thus means "well-being". The suffix -ka forms a diminutive, and svastika might thus be translated literally as "little thing associated with well-being", corresponding roughly to "lucky charm".
    The swastika appears in art and design throughout human history, symbolising many different things — luck, Surya (the sun), Brahma, or the Hindu concept of samsara. In fact, the swastika is used primarily as a religious symbol by Hindus – it was first mentioned in the Vedas, the holy texts of Hinduism – but transferred to other Indic religions like Buddhism and Jainism. It also occurs in other Asian, European, and Native American cultures – sometimes as a simple geometrical motif, sometimes as a religious symbol. The almost universally positive meanings of the swastika were subverted in the early twentieth century when it was adopted as the emblem of the National Socialist German Workers Party. Since World War II, most Westerners see it as solely a fascist symbol, leading to incorrect assumptions about its pre-Nazi use and its use in other cultures.

    A 12 000 years old Swedish rock painting with a "sun cross", which is an ancient variant of swastika.


    A swastika decoration from an ancient Jewish synagogue.


    A Buddhist temple in Korea.

    [size=5]The Finnish swastika[/size]

    The swastika is an ancient Finnish symbol (dating back to the Iron Age or further) and therefore commonly used in arts and crafts of the period of nationalism - 19th century to the early 20th century. Because the idea of Finland as an independent nation was so new, the need for powerful symbols that reinforced this idea was even greater. The swastika was dynamic, exotic and folkloristic - perfect for art with a message in the late 19th century. Artists who wanted to evoke a "national consciousness" incorporated the symbol in their paintings.
    Traditional decorative patterns in Carelian handiwork sometimes include the swastika. Swastika is hakaristi ("hookcross") or vääräpää ("crooked head") in Finnish.

    The swastika of the Finnish Defence Forces has its own story. The blue FAF swastika was originally the symbol of luck of the family of Count von Rosen, who donated to the Finnish "White Army" its first plane,a Morane-Saulnier L fighter aircraft, in 1918 during the Civil War. It was adopted as the official national marking of the Finnish Air Forces and later on, the Army. The Finnish women's voluntary defence organization, the Lotta Svärd, also used a swastika as its symbol and it also still appears in many Finnish medals and decorations, in a visually understated manner.
    The Finnish swastika has nothing to do with the Nazi party, Nazi ideology or fascism. We Finns, like many other peoples, used it long before the Nazis. After the fall of the Third Reich, the Finnish Defence Forces abandoned the disreputable swastika in favour of the new national marking; the blue and white roundel.


    Messerschmitt Bf 109G


    Brewster Model 239


    Sturmgeschütz 40 G


    T-26


    A 1st class Cross of Freedom


    The flag of the president has a Cross of Freedom in it.


    A Mannerheim-class Cross of Freedom.


    The Grand Cross of the Order of the Finnish White Rose (pre-1963). The president wears the Grand Cross. President Kekkonen (the bald guy in my avatar) decided to change its appearance because he thought the swastikas would offend the Soviets... The newer version does not have swastikas.


    The emblem of the Lotta organization. A common sight if you read Finnish newspapers, because many obituaries have these.

    Links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika
    http://www.ainurin.net/history/finnish_swastika.htm
    http://www.sci.fi/~ambush/faf/faf.html


    I hope I posted this to the right section, the amount of photo examples made me choose "Strictly Photos & Video" over "Military History and Tactics".

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    Thats cleared it up for most ppl who thought that Hitler first created the Swastika, I believe it was first used by the ancient Chinese ?

    ~ SeverA

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    Quote Originally Posted by SevernayA
    I believe it was first used by the ancient Chinese?
    It's propably true but it's hard to tell for sure because so many nations and religions have used it. I didn't mean we invented it, if that's what you mean.

    From Wikipedia:
    The swastika appears in many world cultures. One reason may simply be its symmetry and simplicity which might have led to its independent development by many cultures.

    Another explanation is suggested by Carl Sagan in his book Comet. Sagan reproduces an ancient Chinese m****cript that shows comet tail varieties: most are variations on simple comet tails, but the last shows the comet nucleus with four bent arms extending from it, showing a swastika. Sagan suggests that in antiquity a comet could have approached so close to Earth that the jets of gas streaming from it, bent by the comet's rotation, became visible, leading to the adoption of the swastika as a symbol across the world. While attractive, there is no strong evidence to prove this theory.

    The comet hypothesis is inspired the Han dynasty "silk comet atlas" found in the 1970s at Mawangdui, China. One drawing of a jetting comet viewed down its axis of rotation described by text on the artifact as a long-tailed "pheasant star" looks similar to the swastika. The artist who illustrated this silk some 2,200 years ago was not likely a first-hand observer. What is produced here is a schematic of received comet caricatures with claims that specific things will happen if a represented type appears. The pinwheel-like image is unique to the compilation in that an omen is given for an appearance in each of the four seasons, implying that this comet was seen more often than the others represented. This may illustrate a frequently viewed aspect of comet Encke which has a 3.3 year orbit, with its rotational occasionally pointing toward Earth. [Whipple, F. 1985]

    The swastika motif is associated with the pheasant, a divine bird frequently mentioned in the Chinese classics. A link between the swastika and birds is also suggested by artifacts from other cultures. The Astika Parva (Mahabharata 1.13-58) relates to the cosmic bird Garuda, and the Jamvu-khanda Nirmana Parva (Mahabharata 6) describes another fierce fowl, with but one wing, one eye, and one leg, hovering in the night sky. As this bird "screams" and "vomits blood":

    All the quarters of the earth, being overwhelmed by showers of dust, look inauspicious. Fierce clouds, portentous of danger, drop bloody showers during the night. Rahu of fierce deeds is also, O monarch, afflicting the constellation Kirtika. Rough winds, portending fierce danger, are constantly blowing.

    Bob Kobres [2] (http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/bronze.html) suggests that the jetting comet, to some cultures, looked like a bird's foot and, as a motif, represented a divine fowl. This can explain why the not very bird-like drawing on the Han silk is captioned as a "pheasant star". An obvious connection, of course, is that both comets and birds fly accross the sky and have tails.

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    Senior Member rajkhalsa's Avatar
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    The Swastik was also used in the Indus Valley civilization as well

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    Senior Member drGreen's Avatar
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    again another topic about scandinazis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hakkapeliitta
    Our swastika has raised questions (and bs) here lately.
    Quote Originally Posted by drGreen
    again another topic about scandinazis
    Everyone: that's the "bs" I mentioned earlier.

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    I guess some people here probably prefers to not know the meaning of the swastika, so they can continue posting bs when they like to.

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    Senior Member drGreen's Avatar
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    I know the meaning, but if you understand any part of WW2 your country would ban the swastika even if it was there 1000's of years ago.

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    Sapporo Snow Bunny budgie's Avatar
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    While in Buddhist countries such as Japan and Korea a version of the Swastika is still used to represent temples it is an entirely different concept to the Nazi Swastika. Hitler's party coopted the symbol and turned into a crest synonymous with racism and nationalsim, war, conquest and genocide. For that reason Swastikas are and should be considered socially unacceptable in modern western countries.

    The argument that "Well it used to mean blah blabbity blah, so we should still be allowed to shave our heads goosestep around with it" doesn't hold much water and is an insult to the millions who died fighting tyranny, racism and oppression in WWII.

    Whatver it used to mean - now its a symbol of the bad guys and we should allow people to make excuses to sneak it back in, especially as more often than not they also have the agenda of insidiously reintroducing Nazi ideals to western cultures.

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    Senior Member drGreen's Avatar
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    buddist scandinazis

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    Quote Originally Posted by drGreen
    buddist scandinazis
    Why is there an apostraphe within "smoke's" in your avatar?

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    Senior Member Marmot1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgie
    While in Buddhist countries such as Japan and Korea a version of the Swastika is still used to represent temples it is an entirely different concept to the Nazi Swastika. Hitler's party coopted the symbol and turned into a crest synonymous with racism and nationalsim, war, conquest and genocide. For that reason Swastikas are and should be considered socially unacceptable in modern western countries.

    The argument that "Well it used to mean blah blabbity blah, so we should still be allowed to shave our heads goosestep around with it" doesn't hold much water and is an insult to the millions who died fighting tyranny, racism and oppression in WWII.

    Whatver it used to mean - now its a symbol of the bad guys and we should allow people to make excuses to sneak it back in, especially as more often than not they also have the agenda of insidiously reintroducing Nazi ideals to western cultures.

    OK lets ban 5 pointed star since it is symbol of communism... Americans should change their flag right now... how about 6 pointed stars instead???

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForgottenSoldier1942
    Quote Originally Posted by drGreen
    buddist scandinazis
    Why is there an apostraphe within "smoke's" in your avatar?

    and since we are on the topic of offending symbols... your avatar offends me a lot mr.Green

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    Senior Member b33f's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmot1
    Quote Originally Posted by budgie
    While in Buddhist countries such as Japan and Korea a version of the Swastika is still used to represent temples it is an entirely different concept to the Nazi Swastika. Hitler's party coopted the symbol and turned into a crest synonymous with racism and nationalsim, war, conquest and genocide. For that reason Swastikas are and should be considered socially unacceptable in modern western countries.

    The argument that "Well it used to mean blah blabbity blah, so we should still be allowed to shave our heads goosestep around with it" doesn't hold much water and is an insult to the millions who died fighting tyranny, racism and oppression in WWII.

    Whatver it used to mean - now its a symbol of the bad guys and we should allow people to make excuses to sneak it back in, especially as more often than not they also have the agenda of insidiously reintroducing Nazi ideals to western cultures.

    OK lets ban 5 pointed star since it is symbol of communism... Americans should change their flag right now... how about 6 pointed stars instead???
    but in the case of the american flag, the star is only one part of the whole thing, that swastika thingie just is identical to the "hakenkreuz", it might have a different meaning tough. That doesn't change the fact that i (and others here) don't wanna see it around PERIOD

    PS: and as matter of ****ing principle don't compare that nazi symbol to the star-spangled banner !!!!!!!!

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    Senior Member Hullebullen's Avatar
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    I guess some of the finns view the hakaristi in the same way as some americans view the rebel flag. As with both they conjure negative emotions from some people in our society. The first one reminds us of one of the most murderous regimes humanity knows, the other one reminds the black america and other minorities of how they have been wronged and mistreated throughout US history.

    While I don't mind the finnish hakaristi I think it's foolish to think that everyone should accept it and that people will not get negative picture of someone flashing this symbol...

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