Posted by Vishva News Reporter on February 3, 2005

Typical  swastika.

UK Hindus Start Campaign to Prevent
 Europe-Wide Ban on Swastika

LONDON, ENGLAND, January 20, 2004:

Hindus in the UK are starting a campaign to reclaim the swastika from its Nazi associations. German MEPs called for a Europe-wide ban of the symbol after Prince Harry wore it on a fancy dress costume. Displaying the swastika is illegal in Germany.

The group will stage public awareness workshops across the UK and lobby politicians in an attempt to educate the public and prevent a ban, he said. "It's the second most sacred symbol in the Hindu tradition which has been used for 5,000 years to ward off evil," Mr. Kallidai said. The forum would make a particular effort to get the message across to Jewish groups, he added. "After all it is the Jewish anguish that needs to be considered. They were the community that was most affected by the misuse of the swastika so naturally they would have concerns.

Mr. Kallidai said.

  • "Hindus use the swastika merely as a religious sacrament, to express their devotion to God, surely nobody can have any objections to that;
  • The swastika had been a Hindu good luck charm for centuries;
  • You find it in houses, temples and in portraits of Hindu gods. A swastika is even painted on the head of a baby who's just had his first hair-cutting sacrament;
  • Buddhists also view the swastika as a good luck charm".

However, Mr. Kallidai said:

  • "a similar ban in the UK would have an adverse affect on Hindus who regarded a swastika in much the same way as a Christian viewed a cross.
  • Just because at a particular moment in history one section of society used it, or a mirror image, to unleash xenophobic ideology does not mean Hindus should be punished.
  • It's like saying the Ku Klux Klan burn crosses so therefore let's ban the use of crosses world wide".

The Hindu Forum's campaign has gained backing from other groups. Maganbhai Patel of Leicester's Hindu Association said:

  • The general public's confusion needed to be addressed.
  • Hindus have been using the swastika for centuries, whereas it was only adopted by Hitler comparatively recently, in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • We use it for marriage ceremonies and also for other religious ceremonies and events."

And Kapil Dudakia, of Milton Keynes Hindu Association, said the swastika was viewed "positively" by billions of people around the world including followers of the Buddhist and Jain faiths. He said.

  • "When I got married, literally as soon as you entered the hall where the marriage took place you saw swastikas everywhere. They were also on the invitation cards,
  • It's only in certain quarters of the Western world where you've got these very negative connotations.
  • What we've got to do is separate the evil of Hitler and his ideology from the symbol of the Swastika which actually means something quite different."

HPI note: Left and right facing Swastika: This is a commonly repeated but incorrect statement. Hindus use both the left- and right-handed swastikas, and examples can be found of both together on Indus Valley seals. It is also traditionally red, a color regarded as auspicious by Hindus.

The flag of  and the Flag Ratio: 5:3Flag Dimensions: 100 x 60Disc Diameter: 45Arm Width: 6

In 1920, Adolf Hitler decided that the Nazi Party needed its own insignia and flag. For Hitler, the new flag had to be "a symbol of our own struggle" as well as "highly effective as a poster." (Mein Kampf, pg. 495) On August 7, 1920, at the Salzburg Congress, this flag became the official emblem of the Nazi Party.

Unfortunately, the Nazis were so effective at their use of the swastika emblem, that many around the world do not even know any other meaning for the swastika.

Can there be two completely opposite meanings for one symbol?

As per puraaANo texts:

  • s`vs`tik symbol is seen on the anNt-naag or shesh-naag.
  • anNt-naag or shesh-naag is the manifested form of the unmanifested creator bRH`m.
  • anNt-naag or shesh-naag supports all the bRHmaaNDo (universes) created by bRH`m to manifest bRH'm's iCHCHaa to be many.
  • Nobody knows the true essence of anNt-naag or shesh-naag as it is a direct unborn, eternal manifestation of a shk`ti of bRH`m.
  • But anNt-naag or shesh-naag supports all the bRHmaaNDo (universes) and its fire destroys each bRHmaaND (universe) at the time of its nimitt and pRaakRut ly (decreation and absorbed into grandfather bRHmaa and creator bRH`m respectively at the end of the 4.32 billion and 311.04 trillion years respectively

(Information from puraaANo shared by SRii chmpklaal Daajibhaai misTRii from the veD library)


PVAF will publish information on om and s`vs`tik to empower humanity to know and understand the TRUTH in expression of symbols handed down to humanity from times immemorial.....

To start with please click on the next line to read the world-wide understanding of s`vs`tik or Swastika from the knowledge-based Wikipedia, the free on-line encyclopedia.......and it may help YOU to understand the duality called in ved as "DvuNDvuN" which is inherent in each and every item of creation including human beings......


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The swastika is a cross with its arms 90° to either right or left. It is usually oriented horizontally or at a 45° angle. Its Indian form typically features a dot in each quadrant (as shown in the figure to the right).

The word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit 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 word first appears in the Classical Sanskrit (in the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics).

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 antiquity, the swastika was used freely by Sumerians, Hittites, Celts and Greeks, among others. It also occurs in other Asian, European, and Native American cultures – sometimes as a simple geometrical motif, sometimes as a religious symbol. The pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo, England, contains gold cups and shields bearing swastikas. Today, the swastika is used primarily as a religious symbol by Hindus, but it also appears in Buddhism and Jainism.

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 current use in other cultures.

Contents [hide]


A swastika composed of 17 squares in a 5x5 grid
A swastika composed of 17 squares in a 5x5 grid

Geometrically, the swastika can be regarded as an irregular icosagon or 20-sided polygon. The arms are of varying width and are often rectilinear (but need not be). Only in modern use are the exact proportions considered important: for example, the proportions of the Nazi swastika ( were based on a 5x5 grid.

The swastika is chiral, with no reflectional symmetry, but both mirror-image forms have 90° rotational symmetry (that is, the symmetry of the cyclic group C4).

The mirror-image forms are often described as:

"Left-facing" and "right-facing" are used mostly consistently. Looking at an upright swastika, the upper arm clearly faces towards the viewer's left or right.

A right-facing swastika may be described as "clockwise"...
A right-facing swastika may be described as "clockwise"...
... or "counter-clockwise"
... or "counter-clockwise"

The other two descriptions are ambiguous:

  • does the term refer to the direction of the bend in each arm or to the implied rotation of the symbol?
  • if the latter, do the arms lead or trail?

The terms are used inconsistently (sometimes even by the same writer) which is confusing and may obfuscate an important point, that the rotation of the swastika may have symbolic relevance.

Where the swastika is a solar symbol, a sunwise (or deasil) rotation – that is, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere – would be apt. But where the swastika has other meterological connotations – winds or lightning – the implied rotation is not relevant.

While there's little direct evidence for how the swastika's rotation was interpreted historically, some scholars have deduced this. For example, L. A. Waddell's The Phœnician Origin of Britons, Scots & Anglo-Saxons, 1924.(pp. 293, 298) [1] (

This [the Swastika] is formed from the simple "St. George's Cross" by adding to its free ends a bent foot, pointing in the direction of the Sun's apparent movement across the heavens, i.e., towards the right hand and thus forming the "Swastika" or what I call the "Revolving Cross."

The name sauwastika is sometimes given for the supposedly "evil" form of the swastika.

Wilson, in The Swastika, quotes Prof. F. Max Müller's letter to Dr. Heinrich Schliemann (which Schliemann published in Ilios, Harper Brothers, 1991 (pp. 347,348)) —

In the footprints of Buddha the Buddhists recognize no less that sixty-five auspicious signs, the first of them being the Svastika [see fig.32], (Eugene Burnouf, "Lotus de la bonne loi," p. 625); the fourth is the Suavastika [sic], or that with the arms turned to the left [see fig.10]; the third, the Nandyurarta [see fig.14], is a mere development of the Svastika.

But Wilson notes —

The "Suavastika" which Max Müller names and believes was applied to the Swastika sign, with the ends bent to the left (fig.10), seems not to be reported with that meaning by any other author except Burnouf.

The evidence for sauwastika seems sketchy and there seems to be very little other than conjecture to support the notion that the left-facing swastika regarded as evil in Hindu tradition. Although the more common form is the right-facing swastika, Hindus all over India and Nepal still use the symbol in both orientations for the sake of balance. Buddhists almost always use the left-facing swastika.



part of the Han dynasty "silk comet atlas"
part of the Han dynasty "silk comet atlas"

The swastika appears in many cultures. Its symmetry and simplicity might have led to its independent development everywhere.

Another explanation is suggested by Carl Sagan in his book Comet. Sagan reproduces an ancient Chinese manuscript 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, recalling 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 evidence to prove this theory.

The comet hypothesis is inspired by 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]

a "bear-bird" comet
a "bear-bird" comet

Bob Kobres [2] ( 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.


Alternative names

The standard transliteration of the Sanskrit स्वस्तिक is svastika. Alternative (former) spellings in English include suastika and svastica.

Alternative names in English are:

  • crooked cross.
  • cross cramponned, ~nnée, or ~nny (in heraldry), as each arm resembles a crampon or angle-iron. (Compare Winkelmaßkreuz in German.)
  • cross gammadion or just gammadion, as each arm resembles the Greek letter Γ (gamma). (Compare croiz gammée in Old French and croix gammée in French; cruz gamada in Spanish.)
  • fylfot (meaning "four feet", chiefly in heraldry and architecture). (See Fylfot for a discussion of the etymology.)
  • sun wheel (German Sonnenrad), a name also used as a synonym for the sun cross.
  • tetraskelion, Greek "four legged", especially when composed of four conjoined legs (compare triskelion).
  • Thor's hammer, from its supposed association with Thor, the Norse god of thunder, but this may be a misappropriation of a name that properly belongs to a Y-shaped or T-shaped symbol. (See Thomas Wilson, below.)

It might also be called a hooked cross, as it is in Dutch (hakenkruis), German (Hakenkreuz), Finnish (hakaristi), Norwegian (Hakekors) and Italian (croce uncinata).


Art and architecture

Interlocking swastika design in pavement of .
Interlocking swastika design in pavement of Amiens Cathedral.

The swastika is common as a design motif in current Hindu architecture and Indian artwork as well as in ancient architecture, frequently appearing in mosaics, friezes, and other works across the ancient world. Ancient Greek architectural designs are replete with interlinking swastika motifs. Related symbols in classical Western architecture include the cross, the three-legged triskele or triskelion and the rounded lauburu. The swastika symbol is also known in these contexts by a number of names, especially gammadion. Pictish rock carvings, adorning ancient Greek pottery, and on Norse weapons and implements. It was scratched on cave walls in France seven thousand years ago.

In Chinese, Korean, and Japanese art, the swastika is often found as part of a repeating pattern. One common pattern, called sayagata in Japanese, comprises left and right facing swastikas joined by lines [3] ( As the negative space between the lines has a distinctive shape, the sayagata pattern is sometimes called the "key fret" motif in English.

The swastika symbol was found extensively in the ruins of the ancient city of Troy.

In Roman art, and in Romanesque and Gothic art in the West, isolated swastikas are relatively rare, and the swastika is more commonly found as a repeated element in a border or tesselation. A design of interlocking swastikas is one of several tesselations on the floor of the cathedral of Amiens, France [4] ( A border of linked swastikas was a common Roman architectural motif [5] (, and can be seen in more recent buildings as a neoclassical element. A swastika border is one form of meander, and in this context the swastika is sometimes called the Greek key motif.

The Laguna Bridge in Yuma, Arizona was built in 1905 by the U.S. Reclamation Department and is decorated with a row of swastikas.


Religion and mythology



Typical  swastika.
Typical Hindu swastika.

The swastika is found all over Hindu temples, signs, altars, pictures and iconography in India and Nepal, both from the past and today.

In Hinduism, the two symbols represent the two forms of Brahma; clockwise it represents the evolution of the universe (Pravritti), anti-clockwise it represents the involution of the universe (Nivritti). It is also seen as pointing in all four direction (North, East, South and West) and thus signifies stability and groundedness. Its use as a sun symbol can first be seen in its representation of Surya, the Hindu lord of the Sun. It is used as a good-luck symbol. However, it is also seen as a power symbol, and alternate forms that reflect the shape of a man are popular. It is used in all Hindu yantras and religious designs till today. All over the subcontinent of India it can be seen on the sides of temples and on religious scripture to gift items and letterhead. The swastika is considered extremely holy and auspicious by all Hindus, and is regularly used to decorate all sorts of items to do with Hindu culture. The Hindu God Ganesh is closely associated with the symbol of the swastika. Its use is widespread in India and Nepal.

Amongst the Hindus of Bengal, it is common to see the name "swastika" applied to a slightly different symbol, which is given the same significance as the common swastika, and both symbols are commonly used as auspicious signs. This symbol looks something like a stick figure of a human being [6] ( "Swastika" is a common given name amongst Bengalis and a prominent literary magazine in Calcutta is called the Swastika.



Swastika on a  temple in .
Swastika on a Buddhist temple in Korea.

In Buddhism, the swastika is oriented horizontally. These two symbols are included, at least since the Liao dynasty, as part of the Chinese language, the symbolic sign for the character 萬 (wàn) meaning "all", and "eternality" and as 卐 which is seldom used. A swastika marks the beginning of many Buddhist scriptures. The swastikas (in either direction) appear on the chest of some statues of Gautama Buddha and is often inciused on the soles of the feet of the Buddha in statuary. Because of the association with the right facing swastika with Nazism, Buddhist swastikas after the mid 20th century are almost universally left facing. This form of the swastika is often found on Chinese food packaging to signify that the product is vegetarian and can be consumed by strict Buddhists. Also this type of swastika is often sewn into the collars of Chinese children's clothing to protect them from evil spirits.

The swastika used in Buddhist art and scripture is known as a manji, and represents Dharma, universal harmony, and the balance of opposites. When facing left, it is the Omote (front) Manji, representing love and mercy. Facing right, it represents strength and intelligence, and is called the Ura (rear facing) Omoje. Balanced Manji are often found at the beginning and end of buddhist scriptures



In Jainism, the swastika symbol is combined with that of a hand. It is a symbol of the seventh Jina (Saint), the Tirthankara Suparsva. It is considered to be one of the 24 auspicious marks and the emblem of the seventh arhat of the present age.



Although some Christian churches built in the Romanesque and Gothic eras are decorated with swastikas, carrying over earlier Roman designs, the swastika does not appear to have been given any special symbolism or significance. The floor of the synagogue at Ein Gedi, built during the Roman occupation of Judea, was decorated with a swastika mosaic [7] (


Other Asian traditions

In Japan, the swastika, called manji (卍), is an ancient religious symbol. A manji appeared on a certain Pokémon playing card sold in Japan. Because of its resemblance to the Nazi swastika (see below), the card was altered for Western translations, and eventually withdrawn in Japan following Western complaints. Similarly, a manji symbol was incorporated as a level design in both the Japanese and U.S versions of the 1986 The Legend of Zelda video game. On Japanese town plans, a swastika (left-facing and horizontal) is commonly used to mark the location of a Buddhist temple. The right-facing manji is often referred as the gyaku manji (逆卍), lit. reverse manji. The symbol has Buddhist connotations in Korea as well.

The left-facing Buddhist swastika also appears on the emblem of Falun Gong. This has generated considerable controversy, particularly in Germany, where the police have reportedly consfiscated several banners featuring the emblem; a court ruling subsequently allowed Falun Gong followers in Germany to continue the use of the emblem.

The ancient Chinese character 卐 has developed into the modern one 方, pronounced fāng in Standard Mandarin, and has the main meaning of "square". As part of the Chinese script, the swastika has Unicode encodings U+534D 卍 (left bent) and U+5350 卐 (right bent) (see: CJK Unified Ideographs (


Native American traditions

The swastika was a widely used Native American symbol. It has been found in excavations of Mississippian-era sites in the Ohio valley. It was widely used by many southwestern tribes, most notably the Navajo. Among different tribes the swastika carried various meanings. To the Hopi it represented the wandering Hopi clans; to the Navajo it represented a whirling log (tsil no'oli'), a sacred image representing a legend that was used in healing rituals [8] (


Early 20th century



Logo from a 1911 edition of .
Logo from a 1911 edition of Rudyard Kipling.

The British author Rudyard Kipling, who was strongly influenced by Indian culture, had a swastika on the dust jackets of all his books until the rise of Nazism made this inappropriate.

Russian Provisional Government had been existing only for several months of 1917, but it printed and prepared a lot of new bank-notes. And some of these notes had swastikas on them.

It was also used as a symbol by the Boy Scouts in Britain, and worldwide. According to "Johnny" Walker [9] (, the earliest Scouting use was on the first Thanks Badge introduced in 1911. Robert Baden-Powell's 1922 Medal of Merit design adds a swastika to the Scout fleur-de-lis as good luck to the person receiving the medal. Like Kipling, he would have come across this symbol in India. During 1934 many Scouters requested a change of design because of the use of the swastika by the Nazis. A new British Medal of Merit was issued in 1935.

The  emblem was designed by Eric Wasström in . It includes the swastika and  roses.
The Lotta Svärd emblem was designed by Eric Wasström in 1921. It includes the swastika and heraldic roses.

According to House of Commons Hansard Debates for 12 Jun 1996 (pt 41) (, during World War I, the swastika was used as the emblem of the British National War Savings Committee.

In Finland the swastika was used as the official national marking of the Finnish Air Force and Army between 1918 and 1944. The swastika was also used by the Lotta Svärd organisation. The blue swastika was the good luck symbol used by the Swedish Count Erich von Rosen, who donated the first plane to the Finnish White Army during the Civil War in Finland. It has no connection to the Nazi use of the swastika. It also still appears in many Finnish medals and decorations, in a visually understated manner.

 logo used from the  until
ASEA logo used from the 1800s until 1933

The Swedish company ASEA, now a part of Asea Brown Boveri, used the swastika in its logo from the 1800s to 1933, when it was removed from the logo.

In Latvia too, the swastika (known as Thunder Cross and Fire Cross) was used as the marking of the Latvian Air Force between 1918 and 1934, as well as in ensignias of some military units. It was also used by the Latvian fascist movement Perkonkrusts (Thunder Cross in Latvian), as well as by other non-political organizations.


North America

The swastika's use by the Navajo and other tribes made it a popular symbol for the American Southwest. Until the 1930s blankets, metalwork, and other Southwestern souveniers were often made with swastikas.

Early   Whirling Log rug.
Early 20th century Navajo Whirling Log rug.

Shortly after the beginning of the second world war, several Native American tribes (the Navajo, Apache, Tohono O'odham, and Hopi) published a decree stating that they would no longer use the swastika in their artwork. This was because to them the swastika had come to symbolize evil. This decree was signed by representatives of these tribes. Here is the text of the decree,

Because the above ornament which has been a symbol of friendship among our forefathers for many centuries has been desecrated recently by another nation of peoples.
Therefore it is resolved that henceforth from this date on and forever more our tribes renounce the use of the emblem commonly known today as the swastika or fylfot on our blankets, baskets, art objects, sandpainting, and clothing.

Swastika is the name of a small community in northern Ontario, Canada, approximately 580 kilometres north of Toronto, and 5 kilometres west of Kirkland Lake. The town was founded in 1906. Gold was discovered nearby and the Swastika Mining Company was formed in 1908. The government of Ontario attempted to change the town's name during World War II, but the town resisted.

In Windsor, Nova Scotia, there was an ice hockey team from 1905-1916 named the Swastikas, and their uniforms featured swastika symbols. There were also hockey teams named the Swastikas in Edmonton, Alberta (circa 1916), and Fernie, British Columbia (circa 1922).

The 45th Infantry Division of the United States Army used a yellow swastika on a red background as a unit symbol until the 1930s, when it was switched to a thunderbird. [10] (, [11] (

In 1925 Coca Cola made a lucky watch fob in the shape of a swastika with the slogan, "Drink Coca Cola five cents in bottles".


Nazi Germany

The flag of  and the Flag Ratio: 5:3Flag Dimensions: 100 x 60Disc Diameter: 45Arm Width: 6
The flag of Nazi Germany and the NSDAP

Flag Ratio: 5:3
Flag Dimensions: 100 x 60
Disc Diameter: 45
Arm Width: 6

The National Socialist German Workers Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) formally adopted the swastika or Hakenkreuz (hooked cross) in 1920. This was used on the party's flag (right), badge, and armband. (It had been used unofficially by the NSDAP and its predecessor, the German Workers Party, Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP), however.)

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote —

I myself, meanwhile, after innumerable attempts, had laid down a final form; a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black swastika in the middle. After long trials I also found a definite proportion between the size of the flag and the size of the white disk, as well as the shape and thickness of the swastika. [See figure caption.]

(Red, white, and black were the colors of the old Imperial flag.)

The use of the swastika was associated by Nazi theorists with their conjecture of Aryan cultural descent of the German people. Allegedly, the Nazis believed that the early Aryans of India, from whose Vedic tradition the swastika sprang, were the prototypical white invaders. Thus, they saw fit to co-opt the sign as a symbol of the Aryan master race. The German nationalist poet Guido von List mistakenly believed it to be a uniquely Aryan symbol and Hitler himself referred to the swastika as the symbol of, "the fight for the victory of Aryan man" (Mein Kampf).

In fact, the swastika was already in use as a symbol of German volkisch nationalist movements. In Deutschland Erwache (ISBN 0912138696), Ulric of England (sic) says —

… what inspired Hitler to use the swastika as a symbol for the NSDAP was its use by the Thule-Gesellschaft since there were many connections between them and the DAP … from 1919 until the summer of 1921 Hitler used the special Nationalsozialistische library of Dr. Friedich Krohn, a very active member of the Thule-Gesellschaft, … Dr. Krohn was also the dentist from Sternberg who was named by Hitler in Mein Kampf as the designer of a flag very similar to one that Hitler designed in 1920 … during the summer of 1920, the first party flag was shown at Lake Tegernsee … these home-made … early flags were not preserved, the Ortsgruppe München flag was generally regarded as the first flag of the Party.

José Manuel Erbez [12] ( says —

The first time the swastika was used with an "Aryan" meaning was on 25 December 1907, when the self-named Order of the New Templars, a secret society founded by [Adolf Joseph] Lanz von Liebenfels, hoisted at Werfenstein Castle (Austria) a yellow flag with a swastika and four fleurs-de-lys.

Before that, there is evidence that the swastika had gained recognition as a German nationalist symbol in the mid-nineteenth century.

On 14 March 1933, shortly after Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany, the NSDAP flag was hoisted along side Germany's national colors. It was adopted as the sole national flag on 15 September 1935 — the first political flag in the world to become a national flag.

The swastika was used for badges and flags throughout Nazi Germany, particularly for government and military organizations, but also for "popular" organizations such as the Reichsbund Deutsche Jägerschaft (

While the DAP and the NSDAP had used both right-facing and left-facing swastikas, the right-facing swastika is used consistently from 1920 onwards. However, Ralf Stelter [13] ( notes that the swastika flag used on land had a right-facing swastika on both sides, while the ensign (naval flag) had it printed through so that you would see a left-facing swastika when looking at the ensign with the flagpole to the right.

Several variants are found:

  • a 45° black swastika on a white disc as in the NSDAP and national flags;
  • a 45° black swastika on a white lozenge (e.g. Hitler Jugend (;
  • a 45° black swastika outlined by thin white and black lines on a white disc (e.g. the Reichskriegsflagge  (;
  • an upright black swastika outlined by thin white and black lines on a white disc (e.g., Hitler's personal flag (, in which a gold wreath encircles the swastika; the Schutzstaffel (; and the Reichsdienstflagge (, in which a black circle encircles the swastika);
  • small gold, silver, black, or white 45° swastikas, often lying on or being held by an eagle, on many badges and flags.

Taboo in North America and Europe

 defacement of a  cemetery in .
Neo-Nazi defacement of a Jewish cemetery in France.

Because of its use by Hitler and the Nazis and, in modern times, by neo-Nazis and other hate groups, for many people in the West, the swastika is associated primarily with Nazism, and fascism and white supremacy in general. Hence, outside historical contexts, it has become taboo in North America and Europe. For example, the German postwar constitution of 1949 makes the public showing of the Hakenkreuz and other Nazi symbols illegal and punishable, except for scholarly reasons.

 wearing a swastika and giving a  salute.
John Lydon wearing a swastika and giving a Nazi salute.

Punk rockers like Siouxsie Sioux, Sid Vicious and John Lydon used the Nazi version of the swastika for its shock value. (Its red and black coloring fitted with the punk aesthetic, too.) They may also have used it as a way of criticising the previous generation's supposed fixation with World War 2.

Billboard in Havana, Cuba (2004)
Billboard in Havana, Cuba (2004)

The powerful symbolism acquired by the swastika is made very clear by the case of the billboard that was erected opposite the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba, in 2004: No words are needed to add to the severity of the accusation implied by combining Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse pictures with a swastika.

The Raelian symbol, before 1991 and after
The Raelian symbol, before 1991 and after

Founded in the 1970s, the Raëlian Movement used a symbol that was the source of considerable controversy: an interlaced Star of David and swastika. In 1991, the symbol was changed to remove the swastika and deflect public criticism.

In 1995, the City of Glendale, California scrambled to cover up over 900 cast iron lampposts with swastika-like symbols throughout the downtown portion of the city; the lampposts had been forged by an American company in the early 1920s, and had nothing to do with Nazism. (See: Report: Lampposts (

In recent years, controversy has erupted when consumer goods bearing the symbol have been exported (often unintentionally) to North America. In 2002, Christmas crackers containing plastic toy pandas sporting swastikas were pulled from shelves after complaints from consumers in Canada, although the China-based manufacturer claimed the symbol was presented in a traditional sense and not as a reference to the Nazis. [14] ([15] ( [16] (

In 2004, Microsoft released a "critical update" (Knowledge Base Article 833407 ( to remove two swastikas from the font Bookshelf Symbol 7. The font had been bundled with Microsoft Office 2003.

The Society for Creative Anachronism prohibits its members from using the swastika on their arms [17] (

In January 2005 there was general disapproval when Prince Harry of Wales, third in line of succession to the British throne, was photographed wearing a full Nazi attire including a swastika armband to a fancy dress party.


Related topics

See also: Fascist symbolism.



  • Aigner, Dennis J. (2000). The Swastika Symbol in Navajo Textiles. Laguna Beach, California: DAI Press. ISBN 097018980X.
  • Sagan, Carl, and Ann Druyan (1985). Comet. New York: Random House. ISBN 0394549082. London: Joseph. ISBN 0718126319.
  • Tan Huay Peng. (1980-1983). Fun with Chinese Characters. Singapore: Federal Publications. ISBN 9810130058.
  • Wilson, Thomas (Curator, Department of Prehistoric Anthropology, U.S. National Museum) (1896). "The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol, and Its Migrations; with Observations on the Migration of Certain Industries in Prehistoric Times". In Annual report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution

External links






Nazi usage



  • Report: Lampposts ( (a "City of Glendale Interdepartmental Communication" from the City Attorney to the Mayor discussing swastikas on 1920s lampposts in Glendale, California; Attachment E has photographs of the lampposts in question)








There are 0 additional comments.


Send your news items to be posted to

If you have any questions or comments about this web site, send mail to Bhavin Mistry.    
© 1997-2003 Prajaapati Vishva Aashram Foundation.    
Site Design by Helios Logistics Inc.