[WWI] Swastikas - was: Dave Z's Website - Finally

Karen Rychlewski krychski at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 17 18:12:34 EDT 2004

Knut Erik gave us the background of the symbol in Nordic countries.

The 'bent cross' is one of humankind's oldest symbols, used by virtually 
every culture and civilization worldwide over a period of nearly 10,000 
years. It was usually associated with good luck and celestial power. It 
appears in Greek, Roman, and Islamic decorative art very frequently and 
was even used by early Christians who interpreted it as a cross made 
from four of the Greek letter Gamma (Gamma symbolized Christ as the 
cornerstone of the church). Since WWII, it has acquired such noxious 
meanings that it is avoided by artists and designers. Even today, 
tourists to the far east sometimes get upset when they see the symbol 
all over Buddhist and Hindu art and architecture and have to be informed 
that such use predates not only  the WWII Axis but also Christianity.

Not intending to initiate a political or religious debate...

Scratch an old art history teacher and you get more than you want to 
know     :-)


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