Day: March 15, 2024

The History of the Wassa TapestryThe History of the Wassa Tapestry

The swastika has become associated with evil, hatred and extremism since its cruel co-option by the Nazi Party a century ago. But the symbol, which is a cross with arms bent at right angles, has a long pre-Nazi history in Europe and beyond. It once meant prosperity, good luck and auspiciousness.

When swastika flag Heinrich Schliemann unearthed the hooked swastika symbol at the site of ancient Troy, it became a popular motif in Europe, appearing on architectural motifs and worn as badges or medallions. Even sports teams, from ice hockey to basketball, named themselves after the sign. The swastika was also embraced by German nationalist groups, who subscribed to the warped theory that they descended from an ancient master race known as the Aryans.

The Swastika Flag: Understanding Its Origins, Misuse, and Cultural Context

In the twentieth century, the swastika became the emblem of the Reichshammerbund (a 1912 anti-Semitic group) and the Bavarian Freikorps, paramilitary forces that wanted to overthrow the Weimar Republic in Germany. In the 1930s, Hitler incorporated it into his official flag. Today the swastika is widely associated with fascism, anti-Semitism and white supremacism, but it can still be found in many places, from Hindu temples to Jaina shrines.

The Documentation Center’s swastika flag has one final clue to its story: It is made of a round piece of cloth that was cut out of the larger piece, probably during World War II. During that era, leftover fabric was not discarded but reused for other purposes, like a pillow cover or child’s dress.