The History and Symbolism of the Swastika Sign

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The History and Symbolism of the Swastika Sign

The swastika is a loved and welcomed symbol for many people in the world. The word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit word Su, meaning well, and Asti, meaning to be. It represents life, sun, power, strength, and good luck. The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles either clockwise or anticlockwise. The ubiquity of the swastika has been explained by three main areas of significance: historical, cultural, and architectural. And this essay will show these three topics of swastika.

The swastika has an interesting history. It has been used by Artifacts such as, pottery and coins from ancient Troy as a common symbol from as far back as 1000 BCE. For over 3,000 years swastika has been used as an ancient symbol. The swastika was used as a common decoration (Astley 2006, p.2). Even in the 20th century, it was used in cigarette cases, postcards, coins and buildings. During World War 1 and on the Finnish air force until after World War 2, the swastika could even be found on the shoulder patches of the American 45th division (Swastika: Historical 1973). As swastika had ancient Aryan/India origins, the German Nationalists began to use the swastika to represent a long German history in the mid- 19th century. The swastika became the official emblem of the German Gymnasts’ League, and on nationalist German volkisch periodicals it could be also found by the end of the 19th century (Rosenberg 2009, Para 3). The swastika has been used to represent the German nationalism and pride and by the beginning of the 20th century, it became a common symbol in Germany.

It was found in a multitude of places such as a German youth group, the emblem for the Wandervogel, and th...

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...d Europe, with the exception of the Buddhists and Hindus. And the swastika always appears in art and design throughout human history by symbolising many different things.

Reference list:

Astley, H 2006, ‘The swastika: A study’, The Quest, 20 August, p.2.

Heller, S 2000, The swastika: a symbol beyond redemption, Allworth Press, New York.

Imogen, R 2007, The swastika’s origins and meanings: cultural contexts. Retrieved Sept 02, 2009, from

Quinn, M 1994, The swastika: constructing the symbol, Rutledge Lane, London.

Rosenberg, J 2009, The history of the swastika. Retrieved Sept 10, 2009, from http://www.history/

Swastika: Historical 1973, DVD, Documentary Media Australia. Producers Lieberson S and Puttam D.
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