What Isn’t a Swastika?

I’ve been asked, perhaps in jest by those reading my SS blog post, whether the Columbia logo is a swastika because it also has four quadrants (it’s not).

…founded in 1938 [a year after largest shirt factory owners Paul and Marie Lamfrom were forced to escape Nazi Germany], used a simple wordmark until the introduction of the geometric emblem in 1978 [by Gertrude Boyle, daughter of Lamfrom and wife of Columbia President who died suddenly]. It was a rhombus, composed of eight equal rectangles, which aimed to represent the woven textile.

It should be noted here that 1978 was a year after a company named Pinwheel was founded to create children’s television. Two years later Pinwheel was renamed Nickelodeon (as you probably would recognize it today), but Columbia kept their pinwheel logo.

I mean what if Gertrude, like a lot of people in the 1970s including a children’s network, thought that pinwheels meant fun and pretty things? And she wanted to convey woven threads so she gave hers a textile look? Here are some other similar examples:

In that case what we see may be little more than accidental framing, which reminds me of the many examples of unfortunate errors like this one by Target.

Arguments against mine go something like this: from certain angles and in exceptional cases the Columbia pinwheel could in fact resemble a swastika, such as when poorly knitted.

Here’s someone clearly shocked to realize just how bad Columbia manufacturing (or doctored images) can get — and hopefully nobody really wants to argue here low quality and sloppy knits are carefully planned by a textile company:

Source: random Reddit user

It’s a terrible outcome, yet I maintain this is far too apocryphal for people who fled Nazi Germany to restart their lives and rebuild the same business in America… their daughter to then use the symbol of her parents’ persecutors as their logo, which shows when product quality declines.

She may have been unintentionally influenced by her parents’ pain of survival under swastikas, or intentionally influenced through the pleasure of pinwheels; in either case or even both I see nothing yet to justify the case she wanted to spread Nazism through inexpensive low-quality white socks.

Dare I say… it’s a stretch.

I mean that’s a bit like asking me if every inexpensively made (unpredictable outcome) single pinwheel or rotational quadrant we see (common design in history) is a swastika. For example, here’s the Stanford-born Sun Microsystems logo in 1982. Hard not to assume he designed this while staring at the Columbia logo on his socks.

Sun’s “rotational symmetric ambigram” credited to Stanford professor Vaughan Pratt.

And here’s another Stanford-born technology company logo (Google).

I’ve roundly criticized Stanford, yet I do not see in any way how these pinwheel logos of theirs symbolize that school’s genocidal heritage.

In that context, some symbols are just so obviously obvious (and meant as such) we shouldn’t even have to discuss them.

Clint Watts today tweeted a report to Telegram worth mentioning:

.@telegram – there’s an issue on your platform, a channel posing as the President (presumably a fake or hacked account) is inciting violence and advocating that Biden should be killed. The channel has >350K members. Might want to take a look. (trump_33)

33 means the KKK, as documented in federal trial for 33 year old Alexander DeFelice.

“The eleventh letter of the alphabet is K,” Nill told the jury explaining that “three times 11 is 33.”

It’s not a swastika, it’s as bad or worse because of context.

That 33 alone should have been the red flag loooooong before inciting violence and advocating death started to flow, and even before it had followers.

This isn’t rocket science.

In a similar vein, hate groups in America are waving flags and using symbols that very clearly show intent to do harm.

It’s illegal. So why aren’t they being arrested?

Armed ‘militias’ are illegal. Will authorities finally crack down…? 29 states have criminal statutes outlawing private militias…. These laws have been tested in the Supreme Court dating back to 1886…

It’s not that hard to see where this line is drawn and when speech is not protected in America. Don’t believe anyone who says speech is unrestricted. That is false and the courts have said so many times in conviction of criminals trying to hide behind speech laws.

We’re way past the time to reject the platitudes of seemingly incompetent big tech security officers who’ve argued that telling them to block imminent harms makes their product Orwellian.

Not having power sure can suck. We should aim to keep power flowing unless we’re talking about being killed by power. Then shut it down BEFORE the killings.

…his company had been able to limit ISIS’ use of their network, technical and legal reasons meant they couldn’t apply the very same measures to far-right extremists. But after several more social media-linked mass killings — Christchurch, El Paso, etc. — what he’d said was “impossible” suddenly became possible.

It’s why we have ground fault circuit interrupts (GFCI), amiright?

…trip quickly enough to prevent an electrical incident.

When a trump_33 comes down that pipe… interrupt. Again, this stuff is not rocket science.

One thought on “What Isn’t a Swastika?”

  1. You have a good point here and I totally agree with what you have said!! Thanks for sharing your views…hope more people will read your writing.

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