History’s Mysteries: The Swastika

This is from my Google Earth Project, a collection of high-quality video tours of some of the most interesting spots on earth — as seen from above.  This will include Google Earth links to the sites from the Swastika Tour, so you'll need it installed to view them.  A GoogleMaps link is supplied if not.

Before I'm accused of committing the first anti-Semitic Google Earth hate crime in history, a few things might be pointed out:

1.  From this page:

But the ultimate "grandmothered out" is the Swastika.  In fact, it’s been so successfully erased from Western culture that most people today would be shocked at how widespread its use was just 100 years ago. The symbol is known down through history from all corners of the world…the earliest found in paintings and carvings of the Neolithic Period around 1000 BC.  It is still used today as a prominent symbol in both the Hindu and Buddhist religions.  In fact, the word itself is from svastika, meaning "lucky charm" in Sanskrit.

And that was its meaning when it became popular in the US and Britain around 1900.  A typical "Good Luck" postcard might feature a 4-leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot, a horse shoe, and a swastika.

Seen below, a women’s hockey team, a young Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in squaw garb, a Coca Cola watch fob, and the insignia patch of the 45th Infantry Division of the US Army.  It was founded in the 1920s as part of the Oklahoma National Guard and the symbol represented the region’s American Indian heritage.  It was changed to a Thunderbird in 1939.


I'd note the 'still in use today' line, which at least explains the current buildings in Asia.  As for the few others, they probably figured no one would ever notice, they didn't wish to bow to convention, or they simply couldn't afford to raze and rebuild the whole goddamn building just because the local Jewish Aviators Club got its knickers in a knot.


2.  It is a bit silly, after all, in that if you merely flip it horizontally…


So, now it's perfectly acceptable in polite society everywhere?  Nary a complaint in sight?  It is, after all, just a couple of innocent crossed Z's — where's the harm in that?

There's a point where a symbol begins to outweigh the actual message, and if a couple of crossed — but reversed — Z's make one's blood boil, then someone has gotten too close to symbolism and too far from the reality it represents.

Omigod!  Quick, someone call the Hate Police!

And if the above picture strikes you as a bit fanciful, consider that just the other day…

Nazi Party Wrap Disguised as Hanukkah Wrapping Paper at California Store

A California woman was outraged when she found what appear to be swastikas adorning Hanukkah gift wrap at a local Walgreens.

Walgreens said Monday it heard the concerns and has moved to pull the offensive gift wrap.

Yep, according to the NY Daily News, the Nazi Party has infiltrated Walgreens management and has secretly "disguised" this hateful message in innocent wrapping paper in a vile and heinous effort to create havoc in the Jewish community.  Well, nobody ever said those Nazis weren't a clever bunch.

Swastikas are clearly visible inlaid within the design.

Actually, to anyone with a 21st century mind, the only thing that's 'clearly visible' is that two lines are crossing each other.

3.  But, let's be honest.  Artistically, it is a lovely design.

4.  And did I mention that it was actually part of the Japanese, Chinese and Korean written languages for only, oh, five thousand years or so?  It's been expunged now, but there's still the occasional web site out there whose owner didn't get the memo.

5.  And it might be noted that an official Nazi swastika is tilted sideways, on edge:

So, by exact definition, a couple of non-tilted, crossed, reversed Z's is not an actual official Nazi swastika, right?

Which brings us to…

6.  Despite its efficient, pragmatic design, there are only six buildings using it on the whole goddamned planet.  I'd guess there were a lot more in the past, but they've either been razed or modified over the years due to 'cultural sensitivity'.  I'd bet ten bucks that it's actually illegal in Germany to construct a building using this efficient design.  The author was right.  Never in history has a symbol been so whitewashed and blacklisted.

Note: There are only five buildings in the video tour.  I don't have the location of the sixth, a pair of hospitals that someone posted in a forum:

It's just shocking!

For this video tour, I've left the program set to dead north.  You'll see that every single building is more-or-less 'flat', not tilted, because, while they admired the pragmatic efficiency of the design, they didn't wish to offend humanity any more than they had to.

Well, almost everyone felt that way.

The fifth building on the tour is tilted perfectly on its Axis (get it?) to make sure there's absolutely no doubt as to its heinous origin and despicable meaning.

That would be the building built by The United States Navy.

Swastika 1


Google Earth

28° 2'16.16"N 77°13'0.61"E

Swastika 2


Google Earth

40° 0'22.31"N 116°17'12.30"E

Swastika 3


Google Earth

22°14'38.28"N 113°31'55.57"E

Swastika 4


Google Earth

34°33'14.77"N 86°59'38.80"W

Swastika 5


Google Earth

More Info

32°40'30.26"N 117° 9'25.63"W

The Horror!


Google Earth

53° 0'28.77"N 6°35'3.74"E

And here's the video tour:

Personally, I blame Ganesha for the whole mess.