Finland used the swastika before the Nazis

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tags: Finland, Swastika, Nazis.

Teivo Teivainen, a professor at the University of Helsinki, often finds himself explaining the numerous swastikas on wartime monuments around the Finnish capital to baffled foreign students. The Finnish swastika pre-dated Germany's Nazi Party. The historically innocuous symbol was introduced to the Finnish military in 1918 during the country’s civil war and became the emblem of the Finnish Air Force. While it no longer appears on Finnish aircraft, the service uses it to this day. For Finns like Professor Teivainen, this is worrisome, especially at a time when a conflict with Russia doesn’t seem far-fetched. Should war break out, he says, Finland would be forced to turn to their NATO partners. “How do you think people in the German parliament or French cabinet or the Dutch general public, for whom the swastika means only one thing, might feel?” But for most Finns, their swastika doesn’t need changing, says Eddy Hawkins, an American journalist who has studied the subject. “It’s perceived as different: a different symbol from that which was used by the Nazis, a different history and a different meaning.”
Read entire article at The Christian Science Monitor

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