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  1. #11
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    I was shocked the first time I picked up a Rudyard Kipling book and blam! a big swastika smack in the middle of the title page. I took me a bit to recover and realize that it had nothing to do with the Nazis, and everything to do with Kipling's time in India.

    The terrible irony is when you think of the fact that the symbol is one of peace and goodness, but that it was used by a radical and violent regime. Imagine that the the Smiley face is used similarly, for the benefit of a modern radical party. Can you see an army of rabid political radicals bearing a symbol of peace and happiness on their armbands while they are crushing your face under their boots?? There must have been a bunch of alternate-history comics who used that device somewhere, I am sure.

    Nowadays the swastika looks sinister and ominous to most of us, but that is not a function of the symbol itself.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  2. #12

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    If you go to the Rayburn Building, one of the House of Representative's offices, you'll see swastikas in the decorative patterns in the building.

    I have a very old lamp from my family that is decorated with swastikas. Very beautiful.

    I prefer to call the Nazi's version of the swastika "reversed" because they twisted an ancient symbol of goodness to their perversion.

    The young lady in question chose this pattern, not the photographer who made the portrait, Christopher.

  3. #13

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    Like Michael and his Rudyard Kipling experiance, the first time I visited Asia and saw swastikas in what I thought where the most bizarre and inappropriate places and was rather taken aback. I quickly learnt about the history and significance of them.

    Now that I live here I don't think twice, which can be interesting when I take someone from a western background out for a temple tour ..... which I did recently, it took me a while to understand why my friend was looking at me strangely as I led her past several large swastika's and into a temple ...

    As to the St George Cross in art work, I have a very beautiful work by a New Zealand artist titled "The ballad of John and Yoko" It is two copies of the White Album cover, one with the St George Cross, the other with the Japanese rising sun. I never look at it and think of right wing politics, but I can understand people who would as both symbols can represent this.
    David Boyce

    When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money. Oscar Wilde Blog fp4.blogspot.com

  4. #14

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    there is a church in cambridge, massachusetts ( really north cambridge ) called st. john the evangelist. it was the church where tip o'neil's funeral service was ... anyhow, this church had these early christian crosses on the front facade. when the church was renovated in the 1990s they removed these crosses and put more "orthodox" crosses on their place.

  5. #15
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
    An interesting one is the way the cross of St George is seen now in Britain. For many it would be a simple 'innocent' expression of 'Englishness', (most usually now assocated with football).

    Can we ever, though, get away from the fact that the far right groups - National Front etc.- 'usurped' the cross of St George to signify racist politics. Confused by the fact that some (a small minority) of English football fans appear to espouse these political views.

    Cate
    The far right do not use the England flag as a symol - they have always used the Union Flag. Look at any footage of NF marches: http://www.punk77.co.uk/graphics/swastika/nfwebster.jpg http://www.bernardomahoney.com/forth.../media/nfm.jpg http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/tx/media/nf_march_203.jpg etc. I'm not saying you will never see an England flag in such places, but it's never been the Symbol of the far right.

    The use of the Cross of St. George by England football supporters is also very recent. Until perhaps less than 10 years ago, the vast majority of flags carried by England supporters were the Union flag (showing either absurd levels of ignorance or arrogance, probably both, on their part) - usually with their local team's name written through the horizontal bar.

    It's the Union Flag that needs reclaiming - I can happily stick the England flag on my car (not that I would - far too naff!) but would not do so with the Union Flag because of those right-wing associations.

    I suspect the resurgence of the use of the Cross of St. George within England has more to do with Scottish and, to a lesser extent, Welsh devolution than any other cause - but that is an entirely different discussion ...

    Cheers, Bob.

  6. #16

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    Mr Colley that was certainly an interesting confusion you jumped to. Your insight is out of sight.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  7. #17

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    Bob,

    Yes, the Union Jack has been used by fascists.

    The Cross of St George has had particular significance.
    See below:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/st...806590,00.html

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...4/ai_n16455783

    You can also easily find sites relating to groups such as the BNP, which explain the importance of the flag and in particular the 'idea' of the cross, but I have no wish to link to those sites.

    Cate
    Last edited by catem; 10-30-2006 at 10:07 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #18
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Well, while we're talking heraldry and all, when I went to Amsterdam, my biggest surprise was to see all these XXX everywhere. Of course, I thought, Amsterdam is a very open city regarding sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll.

    Then I realized that it was from the city's coat of arm, and that these were crosses, not Xs. The irony is still making me smile, though.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  9. #19
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    One of the first times I saw the swastika was in a picture on the uniforms of a ladies field hockey team in Edmonton that was taken circa 1920. I too was confused until I researched it.

    Symbols are simply shorthand or shortcuts to represent ideas.

    Our " thumbs up" sign, in some cultures is considered to be what are middle finger up is in this culture. Churchill's "V" for victory sign with the first two fingers, hand pointed back facing out was later the peace sign, palms out.

    The Confederate flag to some is a symbol of one thing and to African Americans a symbol of oppression.

    As for the swastika, if people really wished to reclaim it as what it originally was, all they need to do is inform the public with an informational campaign, and then begin to use it again in it's original form. Within a generation or two, the Nazi bastardization of the symbol could be a faint memory or footnote in history.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  10. #20

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    This is a general comment and not directed only to Mr Colley or a particular thread. It would be nice if people read an entire thread carefully before making a comment.

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