The swastika was not first used by the Nazis. In fact, the swastika is actually a Buddhist symbol originally meant to represent universal harmony. To non-Buddhists, the swastika represents hatred and murder–among other things.
Surprisingly, the symbol doesn’t come from any one specific place in the world. The symbol has appeared all over the world; from the Navajo Indians, to the Celts, Jews, Christians, ancient Greeks and Romans.
One of the theories that explains why the swastika and it’s variants have shown up in different cultures is simply because the shape is pretty apparent. What the theories doesn’t explain is why this particular symbol has garnered such an importance, todayifoundout.com reports.
One man, Carl Sagan, suggests that when he studied the ancient Chinese texts, there were many depictions of comets and some of those comets had tails with four bent arms. He also suggests that in ancient times, the comet came so close to the Earth that the gases bent the comet’s rotation and made the swastika shape visible. This may have lead to the symbol becoming important.
Why was it adopted by the Nazis? Heinrich Schliemann discovered the symbol at the site of Ancient Troy. He said that the symbol held great religious importance to the ancient Germans. With this and the fact that the symbols were found on ancient Germanic pottery, Schliemann thought that the symbol originated in Germany.
Hitler also believed that the swastika held importance for the Germanic people. He wanted to incorporate the symbol and the colors into the Nazi flag. He once stated: “As National Socialists, we see our program in our flag. In red, we see the social idea of the movement; in white, the nationalistic idea; in the swastika, the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work.”
With this belief, the swastika was worked into the Nazis regime and was used to depict the “Aryan Race.”
And now? The 5,000 year old symbol of harmony, peace, and love has now been bastardized into what we know it for today.