Cambs Uni Publications


North American Swastika Usage

2nd September 2015
Posted by S Taylor

In North America there had been a widespread use of the Swastika as a benign goodwill symbol up until the 1930s.  Even after the rise of Nazism in those years, with its disturbing and diabolical misappropriation of what had been a goodwill symbol worldwide in innumerable cultures, usage continued by its own momentum until the 1940s.

Typical Greetings Card
Early Birthday Card

The Swastika was widely used in a variety of contexts in the 1890s and through into the early decades of the 20th Century.  It was closely associated with lucky amulets [Products from the Mon-Gol Company of Memphis, Tennessee provide typical examples] and often appeared on greetings cards.  It was used by Coco-Cola as a company logo for a number of years.  The Swastika Surfboard Company of Los Angeles was also doing well in the 1920s.

Something similar to the Boys Scouts Badge of Thanks [no longer is use of course] was started by the Ladies Home Journal in 1903.  Members of the Swastika Girls could earn a silver thimble in recognition of successful fund raising for the cause.

The US Army National Guard [45th Infantry Division] supported a gold Swastika patch on their uniforms prior to their entry into World War II.  Rookies mostly came from the States of Arizona and New Mexico, and to the Native American membership the Swastika was an-age old symbol redolent of the Sun or Fire element, with which they would be happily at home.

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