When Symbols Change Meaning: The Swastika

puckToday, the swastika is primarily seen as the symbol of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany. The connotation is incredibly negative, and rightly so... under the flag of the swastika, a racist belief in the superiority of the Aryan race took hold and resulted in the death of 11 million people. This symbol has power.

Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was actually used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck. The connotation was so positive, it even made its way onto a hockey jersey. Here's the Edmonton Swastikas hockey team from 1916.


[Photo via Birthplace of Ice Hockey]

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Il Duce

I thought is was just fan blade symbol.

March 18, 2010 @ 2:52 PM


Isn't the Swastika really a symbol for peace? I mean, Hitler reversed it's direction, but in the Hindu religion, it means peace.


March 18, 2010 @ 3:08 PM


There's a small building along Bloor St., just west of Lansdowne, that still features an iron grating with that same design symbol.

March 18, 2010 @ 3:19 PM

Rick C in Oakville

I always drive through the little town of Swastika outside Kirkland lake every year. Just as the word Gay has changed it's connotation, my grandmother use to always profess she had a Gay old time at our Christmas dinner parties.

I believe Dizzy is bang on with the Hindu meaning, too bad 1 crazy ba$$tard ruined it all.

March 19, 2010 @ 8:50 PM

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