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Reclaim the Swastika? Seriously?

So, this is a thing.

I’m pretty sure the Hindus who built this temple weren’t part of the Nazi regime.

There’s a company called KA designs that wants to reclaim the swastika and make it a symbol for the LGBT community.

Yeah, I know you don’t believe me. Here are some links:

This isn’t a new thing. Someone else has been trying to do this, apparently since 2014. There are probably others, but I’m tired of looking up links.

Naturally, once this hit the news cycle, everyone lost their minds. The question people are asking is, “Should this be done?” The public has spoken, and the answer is a resounding “No”. Teespring took their products off their site. I took a quick browse of the comments on their Facebook page (I’m genuinely surprised that FB hasn’t taken it down yet) and they’re almost all negative. As you might imagine, this thing is going over like a lead balloon.

Proposed symbol for the Nazi Party. Rejected by Himmler. (1920, colorized)

I think a more interesting question is, “Can this be done?” This symbol predates Nazism by several millennia as a symbol of prosperity, luck and other positive things. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that it became a symbol of evil. That’s why the Nazis chose it. I mean, nobody picks a symbol of evil for their political party. They wanted something positive. If they chose something more accurate, like the Eye of Sauron, they probably wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.

Is it possible to redeem it?

Now, I’m going to grant these guys their humanity and take them at face value. I’m going to assume they really want to do what they say and aren’t just trying to stir up trouble or sell t-shirts to the gay skinhead community. They face a tremendous uphill battle and they’re catching a hell of a lot of flak for it.

I don’t like their odds. However, I find myself hoping they can pull it off. I like redemption stories.

Symbols are powerful things and this is, at it’s core, an attempt to take a powerful thing away from evil. Isn’t that something worth doing?

Well, I’d love to know your thoughts on the matter. Leave a comment and tell me how wrong I am.   

 

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