Monday, July 5, 2010

Swastikas and Iron Crosses

I'm a bit of a symbology buff. I'm no Robert Langdon, but I enjoy studying the topic. Symbols can be found in everything from religion to the military, from academics to corporate identity - our lives are permeated with them.

Anyway, I spent part of Independence Day weekend in Erie with my family. We stopped by Sara's on Presque Isle, when I happened to notice the woman sitting at opposite end of our table. She was a biker, and there's nothing wrong with that. But what bothered me about her was the hat she was wearing. It was covered in iron crosses.

Here's a little history on the Iron Cross.

The man pictured below also wore iron crosses:

The man pictured above loved iron crosses so much that he gave them as decorations to select members of his military and civilians who supported it. The man pictured above also had a penchant for swastikas. Swastikas were around long before the man in the picture was born. It was a solar symbol and good luck charm, and remains so in some eastern cultures today. But the one on the man's arm above was viewed by those who wore them as the Black Sun, the opposite of light.

But enough about swastikas. Back to the iron cross.

Iron crosses have become very popular in modern culture as of late. Not only can they be found in biker clothing, but they can also be found in Christian apparel and churches, too:

So, the question I have to ask is, if you wear one of these...

Would you also wear one of these...

And wear it with a clean conscience?

Just something for you hardcore Christians and bikers to think about. Shame on Germany for still using the iron cross as part of the symbol of their military.

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