Swastika patch. approx. 3 1/4″ tall. Iron-on can also be sewn on if you choose.
The swastika was widely used in Europe at the start of the 20th century. It symbolized many things to the Europeans, with the most common symbolism being of good luck and auspiciousness. In the wake of widespread popular usage, in post-World War I Germany, the newly established Nazi Party formally adopted the swastika in 1920. The emblem was a black swastika rotated 45 degrees on a white circle on a red background. This insignia was used on the party’s flag, badge, and armband. When the Nazis took the swastika over as a political symbol this was cultural appropriation.
In his 1925 work Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler writes: “I myself, meanwhile, after innumerable attempts, had laid down a final form; a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black hooked cross in the middle. After long trials I also found a definite proportion between the size of the flag and the size of the white disk, as well as the shape and thickness of the hooked cross.”
When Hitler created a flag for the Nazi Party, he sought to incorporate both the swastika and “those revered colors expressive of our homage to the glorious past and which once brought so much honor to the German nation”. (Red, white, and black were the colours of the flag of the old German Empire.) He also 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 hooked cross, 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.”
The swastika was also understood as “the symbol of the creating, effecting life” (das Symbol des schaffenden, wirkenden Lebens) and as “race emblem of Germanism” (Rasseabzeichen des Germanentums).
The concept of racial hygiene was an ideology central to Nazism, though it is scientific racism. High-ranking Nazi theorist Alfred Rosenberg noted that the Indo-Aryan peoples were both a model to be imitated and a warning of the dangers of the spiritual and racial “confusion” that, he believed, arose from the proximity of races. The Nazis co-opted the swastika as a symbol of the Aryan master race.
Before the Nazis, the swastika was already in use as a symbol of German völkisch nationalist movements (Völkische Bewegung).
The first time the swastika was used with an “Aryan” meaning was on 25 December 1907, when the self-named Order of the New Templars, a secret society founded by Lanz von Liebenfels, hoisted at Werfenstein Castle (Austria) a yellow flag with a swastika and four fleurs-de-lys.
On 14 March 1933, shortly after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany, the NSDAP flag was hoisted alongside Germany’s national colors. As part of the Nuremberg Laws, the NSDAP flag – with the swastika slightly offset from center – was adopted as the sole national flag of Germany on 15 September 1935