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Swastikas

Posted March 1st, 2015 at 7:21 PM by Alexander Nicholi

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Post-WWII stigmatization[edit]
Origins[edit]
Because of its use by Nazi Germany, the swastika since the 1930s has been largely associated with Nazism and white supremacy in most Western countries. As a result, all of its use, or its use as a Nazi or hate symbol is prohibited in some countries, including Germany. Because of the stigma attached to the symbol, many buildings that have contained the symbol as decoration have had the symbol removed.

Germany[edit]
Further information: Strafgesetzbuch § 86a
The German and Austrian postwar criminal code makes the public showing of the Hakenkreuz (the swastika), the sigrune, the Celtic cross (specifically the variations used by the White-Power-Activists), the wolfsangel, the odal rune and the SS skull illegal, except for scholarly reasons (and - in the case of the odal rune - as the insignia of the rank of sergeant major, Hauptfeldwebel,[87] in the modern German Bundeswehr). It is also censored from the reprints of 1930s railway timetables published by the Reichsbahn. The eagle remains, but appears to be holding a solid black circle between its talons. The swastikas on Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples are exempt, as religious symbols cannot be banned in Germany.

A German fashion company was investigated for using traditional British-made folded leather buttons after complaints that they resembled swastikas. In response, Esprit destroyed two hundred thousand catalogues.[88][89]

A controversy was stirred by the decision of several police departments to begin inquiries against anti-fascists.[90] In late 2005 police raided the offices of the punk rock label and mail order store "Nix Gut Records" and confiscated merchandise depicting crossed-out swastikas and fists smashing swastikas. In 2006 the Stade police department started an inquiry against anti-fascist youths using a placard depicting a person dumping a swastika into a trashcan. The placard was displayed in opposition to the campaign of right-wing nationalist parties for local elections.[91]

On Friday, March 17, 2006, a member of the Bundestag, Claudia Roth reported herself to the German police for displaying a crossed-out swastika in multiple demonstrations against Neo-Nazis, and subsequently got the Bundestag to suspend her immunity from prosecution. She intended to show the absurdity of charging anti-fascists with using fascist symbols: "We don't need prosecution of non-violent young people engaging against right-wing extremism." On March 15, 2007, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (Bundesgerichtshof) held that the crossed-out symbols were "clearly directed against a revival of national-socialist endeavors", thereby settling the dispute for the future.[92][93][94]

Legislation in other European countries[edit]
In Hungary, it is a criminal misdemeanour to publicly display "totalitarian symbols", including the swastika, the SS insignia and the Arrow Cross, punishable by fine.[95] Display for academic, educational, artistic or journalistic reasons is allowed. The communist symbols of hammer and sickle and the red star are also regarded as a totalitarian symbols and have the same restriction by Hungarian criminal law.
In Lithuania public display of Nazi and Soviet symbols, including swastika, is an administrative offence, punishable by fine from 150 to 300 euros.
In Poland, public display of Nazi symbols, including the Nazi swastika, is a criminal offence punishable by up to eight years of imprisonment.[96]
Attempt to ban in the European Union[edit]
The European Union's Executive Commission proposed a European Union-wide anti-racism law in 2001, but European Union states failed to agree on the balance between prohibiting racism and freedom of expression.[97] An attempt to ban the swastika across the EU in early 2005 failed after objections from the British Government and others. In early 2007, while Germany held the European Union presidency, Berlin proposed that the European Union should follow German Criminal Law and criminalize the denial of the Holocaust and the display of Nazi symbols including the swastika, which is based on the Ban on the Symbols of Unconstitutional Organisations Act. This led to an opposition campaign by Hindu groups across Europe against a ban on the swastika. They pointed out that the swastika has been around for 5,000 years as a symbol of peace.[98][99] The proposal to ban the swastika was dropped by Berlin from the proposed European Union wide anti-racism laws on January 29, 2007.[97]

Latin America[edit]
The manufacture, distribution or broadcasting of the swastika, with the intent to propagate Nazism, is a crime in Brazil as dictated by article 20, paragraph 1, of federal statute 7.716, passed in 1989. The penalty is a two to five years prison term and a fine.[100]
The flag of the Guna Yala autonomous territory of Panama is based on a swastika design. In 1942 a ring was added to the centre of the flag to differentiate it from the symbol of the Nazi Party (this version subsequently fell into disuse).[75]
Media[edit]
In 2010, Microsoft officially spoke out against the use of the swastika in the first-person shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops. In Black Ops, players are allowed to customize their name tags to represent, essentially, whatever they want. The swastika can be created and used, but Stephen Toulouse, director of Xbox Live policy and enforcement, stated that players with the symbol on their name tag will be banned (if someone reports as inappropriate) from Xbox Live.[101]

In the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular in Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida, the swastikas on German trucks, aircraft and actor uniforms in the reenactment of a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark were removed in 2004. The swastika has been replaced by a stylized Greek Cross.[102] Sin City character Miho occasionally uses shurikens shaped like a swastika as assassination tools.
This just makes me want to start my own country and fill it with swastikas and eagles and other extremist pictures as satire and say "psyduck y'all"
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  1. Old Comment
    Alexander Nicholi's Avatar
    That's quite insightful isn't it
    Posted March 1st, 2015 at 7:36 PM by Alexander Nicholi Alexander Nicholi is offline
  2. Old Comment
    gimmepie's Avatar
    I'm not exactly surprised that Poland has the most strict laws against the displaying of Swastikas. I laughed that the German police had confiscated anti-fascist symbols because they contained a swastika though.
    Posted March 1st, 2015 at 7:54 PM by gimmepie gimmepie is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Klippy's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gimmepie View Comment
    I'm not exactly surprised that Poland has the most strict laws against the displaying of Swastikas.
    Poland suffered 5 million civilian casualties during the War, so it is probably a very sensitive moment in their history. Can't blame 'em for not wanting their citizens to be reminded of it. I believe they suffered the most civilian deaths during WWII, but correct me if I'm wrong.
    Posted March 2nd, 2015 at 12:30 PM by Klippy Klippy is offline