Swastikas in History – Almost everyone alive today has always associated the swastika with evil; it was the most visible and representative item in Hitler’s Nazi propaganda machine.  But the swastika has a rich history that started at least 11,000 years before 1920, the year it was adopted by the Nazis.  It appears to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, with the earliest known object with swastika-motif on it dated to 10,000 BCE.   It appears in many different cultures throughout history, although the exact origins are not known.

The word itself, swastika, comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “lucky or auspicious object”.  It continues to be a sacred symbol in many religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism.

Even in the early 20th century, the symbol was still used as a symbol of good luck or good fortune.  Popular brands and sports teams utilized the symbol, all needing to change once it became associated with the Nazi’s. While it would be an incredibly bad idea to walk around like this today, these people thought nothing of covering themselves in swastikas.

1. The Windsor Swastikas hockey team.

2. Vintage swastika Coca-Cola pendant from the 1920s.

3. Kids dressed up for a Halloween party in 1918.

4. The Swastikas girls’ hockey team from Edmonton, Canada, around 1916.

5. She’s showing off her new boots, but that pattern on the tile floor is more interesting.

6. Members of the Red Swastika in Shanghai during World War II.

7. The 1909 Chilocco Indian Agricultural School basketball team.

8. A flapper from the 1920s with some questionable patterns on her outfit.

9. Another team photo of the Edmonton Swastikas.

10. Swastika Laundry was a laundry company in Dublin, Ireland. This photo was taken in 1912.

11. The 1908 San Francisco YMCA basketball team proudly displaying their swastikas.


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