Origin of the Swastika

Did you know the swastika was not always a symbol of Nazism and hate? The swastika originated as an ancient religious icon within the cultures of Eurasia, symbolizing divinity and spirituality in Indian religions. The swastika is an icon widely found in modern and historic artifacts, including items from remains of the Indus Valley Civilization, Mesopotamia, and early Byzantine and Christian artwork. For western cultures, it was a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness until the 1930s. In the 1930s, it was adopted by the Nazi party as a symbol of the Aryan race identity, thus stigmatizing the symbol by its association with ideas of antisemitism and racism.

The symbol was adopted by various organizations in pre-World War I Europe and later, the most notable being the Nazi party during World War II to symbolize nationalism and pride. To Jews and other enemies of Nazi Germany, it became a symbol of antisemitism and terror. Even today in many western countries, the swastika is still viewed as a symbol of intimidation and racial supremacy because of the association with Nazism.