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The swastika was a symbol of peace until Hitler stole it

Business Insider spoke with Tim Marshall, author of “Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags” (…) about how the swastika was a symbol of peace until Hitler and the Nazi party changed its meaning.

He said: “The swastika goes back a long way, certainly before it became this symbol of evil.”

“In the Chinese book of silk: you see comets and some of them are spinning in such a way that you actually get the swastika in the sky.”

“Ancient peoples would have seen this and it became a sign of something. In the Indian culture, it became a sign of good luck and hope.”

“The Nazis then turned it around. They physically reversed the swastika. Then it became a symbol of evil.”

“That’s really problematic because in our culture it’s evil but you see it over in Asia and, of course, it’s not.”

“Should it be banned here? That’s contextual. Obviously, it shouldn’t be banned in a particular sort of temple. You might want to ban it at a political rally.”

“What happened under the swastika will become ancient history. Only at the point will it fade and its original meaning might rise.”

“In the context of the swastika and the flag, in the European context, we are decades, centuries away from it being shown without that connotation.”

“In other parts of the world, it remains what it was: a peaceful symbol.”


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Business Insider UK is the largest business news site for British readers and viewers in the UK. Our mission: to tell you all you need to know about the big world around you. The BI UK Video team focuses on business, technology, strategy, and culture with an emphasis on unique storytelling and data that appeals to the next generation of leaders – the digital generation.

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