ukr-nffc
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The question I'm asking is that why certain symbols, particularly those which represent extreme views/ideologies, are culturally frowned-upon yet others are entirely permissible - yet represent equally reprehensible ideas or invoke historical atrocities.

In essence, why is okay to be seen in public wearing a hammer and sickle on a t-shirt, whilst a swastika is not?

It is my view that the former is an equally emotive symbol representing the murder of millions and should not be displayed with pride in any civil society ...

(NB: i am not advocating the display of the swastika, nor do i wish to do so myself)

EDIT - i'd like re-iterate that i wasn't intending for this thread to become a catalogue of various offensive symbols...
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Achilles91
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(Original post by ukr-nffc)
The question I'm asking is that why certain symbols, particularly those which represent extreme views/ideologies, are culturally frowned-upon yet others are entirely permissible - yet represent equally reprehensible ideas or invoke historical atrocities.

In essence, why is okay to be seen in public wearing a hammer and sickle on a t-shirt, whilst a swastika is not?

It is my view that the former is an equally emotive symbol representing the murder of millions and should not be displayed with pride in any civil society ...

(NB: i am not advocating the display of the swastika, nor do i wish to do so myself)
I say exactly the same thing whenever I see somebody protesting with a soviet flag, but unfortunately it seems to be acceptable in our society and sometimes even 'cool'.

PS: Love the UPA pic in your sig :yy:
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ukr-nffc
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(Original post by Achilles91)
I say exactly the same thing whenever I see somebody protesting with a soviet flag, but unfortunately it seems to be acceptable in our society and sometimes even 'cool'.

PS: Love the UPA pic in your sig :yy:
I agree - the fact its seen as 'cool' really irritates me tbh - for me, personally, any Soviet insignia represents murder, oppression and subjugation - having had family members die at the hands of the NKVD like many others in the UK diaspora.

I try to call people on this - as they so should be, mostly they seem to be conforming to a certain stereotype (im sure you can guess).

As for the pic, it sums up my position fairly well
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bestofyou
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(Original post by ukr-nffc)
The question I'm asking is that why certain symbols, particularly those which represent extreme views/ideologies, are culturally frowned-upon yet others are entirely permissible - yet represent equally reprehensible ideas or invoke historical atrocities.

In essence, why is okay to be seen in public wearing a hammer and sickle on a t-shirt, whilst a swastika is not?

It is my view that the former is an equally emotive symbol representing the murder of millions and should not be displayed with pride in any civil society ...

(NB: i am not advocating the display of the swastika, nor do i wish to do so myself)
I guess you have to remember what the symbol represents today. For example, neo-nazis and racism which is very frowned upon.

I'm certain had it not been for the Nazis causing the holocaust (eg they were simply a german nationalist party with no elements of anti-semitism.) That the swastica wouldn't be frowned upon.

Also, communist/socialist symbols, I guess they represent revolution and equality. And I guess in this day it is as already said its 'cool' to like it. Hence the popularity of the Che Gurvara image on pretty much anything you can think of. Which is quite ironic when you think about it.lol
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fran.ha
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The worst one in my view is people wandering around with Che Guevara on their backpacks/shoes/tshirts etc etc Makes me so annoyed.
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DumpOrStay?
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O
======) (.)(.)
o
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ukr-nffc
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(Original post by DumpOrStay?)
O
======) (.)(.)
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I'd maintain that tits aren't offensive
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ukr-nffc
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(Original post by bestofyou)
I guess you have to remember what the symbol represents today. For example, neo-nazis and racism which is very frowned upon.

I'm certain had it not been for the Nazis causing the holocaust (eg they were simply a german nationalist party with no elements of anti-semitism.) That the swastica wouldn't be frowned upon.

Also, communist/socialist symbols, I guess they represent revolution and equality. And I guess in this day it is as already said its 'cool' to like it. Hence the popularity of the Che Gurvara image on pretty much anything you can think of. Which is quite ironic when you think about it.lol
The hammer and sickle + other communist symbols still represents the murder of millions of people - i would say that they are equally as detestable as the swastika or any other extremist symbol.

The idea that this is 'cool', truly is beyond me!
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badger-man
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(Original post by ukr-nffc)
The question I'm asking is that why certain symbols, particularly those which represent extreme views/ideologies, are culturally frowned-upon yet others are entirely permissible - yet represent equally reprehensible ideas or invoke historical atrocities.

In essence, why is okay to be seen in public wearing a hammer and sickle on a t-shirt, whilst a swastika is not?

It is my view that the former is an equally emotive symbol representing the murder of millions and should not be displayed with pride in any civil society ...

(NB: i am not advocating the display of the swastika, nor do i wish to do so myself)
I think it's because mass murder isn't instantly attached to the Soviet Union when it is brought up in conversation. When somebody mentions the Nazis, the Holocaust is almost certainly the first thing that enters the mind. I think it's also becuase the hammer and sickle are more associated with communism in general, rather than the Soviet Union. I'm not defending the Soviet Union though. Some of the worst atrocities in human history occurred in the Soviet states.
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Achilles91
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The only reason I can think of as to why soviet symbols are acceptable and nazi ones aren't is that Britain was allied to the Soviet Union during WW2, and the Germans were the enemy. Therefore the government wouldn't have wanted to publically condemn events like Holodomor or the mass deportations/executions because the soviets were helping by attacking Germany from the East.

However that was 60 years ago, perhaps nowadays it's just that many people want to be 'anti-establishment'. Why they use the symbols of a ruthless and merciless regime in this day and age when the Soviet Union's atrocities are well known is beyond me.

Edit: Unless they are just well known to me because of my background? My Grandfather was Ukrainian and therefore growing up I learnt about what the soviets did in the name of communism.
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AnHuman
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Also, a point with the swastika.
Usage/prevalence in the subcontinent for over 4000 years, wide spread throughout east Asia, still a highly conspicuous symbol of luck/ good fortune in Indian culture still today. Because of its use in the south western native American tribes (with the same/similar meaning), it also spread as a symbol of luck in wider American culture in the 1900s on to the 1920s.
It was only adopted by the Nazi party in the 1920s, and used by the German state for 12 years.

Yet in the western world, we now have a situation where a GEOMETRIC SHAPE is now taboo. Was even a proposal for an EU-wide ban on it, which Britain (along with others) voted down.

Edit for evidence:

Native American basketball team, ~1900+

Flag of the Finnish airforce, 1917-present1945 [Gaeilgeoir set me straight on that]

A good-luck plaque-thing, ~1920s USA.

The badge of the 45th infantry division (USA again), they changed it in the 1930s i believe.

Edit 2: Case-in-point, ^^^ would imageshack have removed a picture of a Soviet infantry badge?
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ukr-nffc
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(Original post by badger-man)
I think it's because mass murder isn't instantly attached to the Soviet Union when it is brought up in conversation. When somebody mentions the Nazis, the Holocaust is almost certainly the first thing that enters the mind. I think it's also becuase the hammer and sickle are more associated with communism in general, rather than the Soviet Union. I'm not defending the Soviet Union though. Some of the worst atrocities in human history occurred in the Soviet states.
You have a point, definitely - i suppose its a matter of education, i find that Communism, particularly that of the Soviet Union is often glorified by those in our generation who are most misguided .
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thurin
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(Original post by ukr-nffc)
The hammer and sickle + other communist symbols still represents the murder of millions of people - i would say that they are equally as detestable as the swastika or any other extremist symbol.

The idea that this is 'cool', truly is beyond me!
No it doesn't. Communist symbols represent COMMUNISM. The affiliation with Soviet brutality does not corrupt its symbolism - you choose to conflate the ideology of communism with one of its manifestation: the Soviet Union.
For instance, what if someone were to complain that your RAF symbol reminded them of Dresden, in which their innocent family were bombed and some killed? Would that make the symbol as inappropriate as the hammer & sickle?
The hammer & sickle is used by other communist countries and organisations, so though its original 1917 usage stemmed from the Red Guard, it has become an umbrella symbol for Marxist(-Leninist/-Maoist) communism. It does not necessarily advocate Soviet communism.


However, I do agree with the double standards regarding symbols in general. I guess it is whatever affiliations predominate which determines whether symbols are deemed offensive or acceptable. It's all down to consensus.
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ukr-nffc
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(Original post by JAR12)
No it doesn't. Communist symbols represent COMMUNISM. The affiliation with Soviet brutality does not corrupt its symbolism - you choose to conflate the ideology of communism with one of its manifestation: the Soviet Union.
For instance, what if someone were to complain that your RAF symbol reminded them of Dresden, in which their innocent family were bombed and some killed? Would that make the symbol as inappropriate as the hammer & sickle?
The hammer & sickle is used by other communist countries and organisations, so though its original 1917 usage stemmed from the Red Guard, it has become an umbrella symbol for Marxist(-Leninist/-Maoist) communism. It does not necessarily advocate Soviet communism.
The oh-so respectable regimes of China, Cuba etc?

As for the rest of your point - i would say that for a great number, the mere connotation of Communism (as an ideology) with the symbols mentioned is despicable - as much as the swastika has become to fascism.

I agree there is a double-standard (take my picture as an example - no reference to the RAF, but to a particular subculture).

What prompted the original question was, i suppose, the reaction i normally get when challenging the use of the symbol in day-to-day areas. In that (as much as i respect victims of the holocaust's offence to nazi imagery) my personal offence taken to the symbols, which for me evoke very negative thoughts/feelings, is not seen as legitimate. Particularly in the UK.
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Djordje
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(Original post by ukr-nffc)
The hammer and sickle + other communist symbols still represents the murder of millions of people - i would say that they are equally as detestable as the swastika or any other extremist symbol.

The idea that this is 'cool', truly is beyond me!
The hammer and sickle represents workers and proleteriat - not Soviet crimes - Yugoslavia was a communist state that had a great living standard and no mass murders. The freedom of expression was OK and artists could get away with almost capitalist ideas. I know, cause I live in the area of ex-Yugoslavia.
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Djordje
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Another offensive thing:
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Gaeilgeoir
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(Original post by AnHuman)
Also, a point with the swastika.
Usage/prevalence in the subcontinent for over 4000 years, wide spread throughout east Asia, still a highly conspicuous symbol of luck/ good fortune in Indian culture still today. Because of its use in the south western native American tribes (with the same/similar meaning), it also spread as a symbol of luck in wider American culture in the 1900s on to the 1920s.
It was only adopted by the Nazi party in the 1920s, and used by the German state for 12 years.

Yet in the western world, we now have a situation where a GEOMETRIC SHAPE is now taboo. Was even a proposal for an EU-wide ban on it, which Britain (along with others) voted down.

Edit for evidence:

Native American basketball team, ~1900+

Flag of the Finnish airforce, 1917-present

A good-luck plaque-thing, ~1920s USA.

The badge of the 45th infantry division (USA again), they changed it in the 1930s i believe.

Edit 2: Case-in-point, ^^^ would imageshack have removed a picture of a Soviet infantry badge?
That hasn't been the Finnish Air Force's emblem since 1945. The current one is:
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ukr-nffc
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(Original post by Djordje)
The hammer and sickle represents workers and proleteriat - not Soviet crimes - Yugoslavia was a communist state that had a great living standard and no mass murders. The freedom of expression was OK and artists could get away with almost capitalist ideas. I know, cause I live in the area of ex-Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia is an odd case in terms of Communist Europe, i know - it probably helped that Tito was a 'war hero' who banished the fascists from the nation. Stalin, in particular had to be more 'forceful' in his subjugation of his people, as you know.

Even under Tito, Yugoslavia was certainly not free - and i would still argue that the hammer and sickle still represents to abhorrent treatment of individuals in the name of Communism.

As for your helpful 2nd post - i'm not sure a sun-wheel is appropriate for a forum of this sort. I'm aware that there are more than one symbols representing fascism, and forgive me for taking your posting of that symbol as an equation of that to my own views - which it certainly isn't!
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lukas1051
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I do agree with you somewhat, but you're not completely right. I mean the swastika is now associated almost entirely with the Nazis, the group of people who killed millions, the hammer and sickle on the other hand is associated with Communism in general, which while extreme, is still a just a political opinion, not advocation of genocide. Communism is not some huge force of evil, take Cuba for example, the people in Cuba live under a Communist regime, but have a very good quality of life. I'm not supporting Communism here, but there is a significant difference from the general political idea, and the Soviet Union.

People wear shirts with charcters like Ché Guevera, and Chairman Mao, both figures who some people will see as heroes, and others will see as tyrants. Hiltler and Stalin on the other hand is almost completely despised worldwide with the exception of a few people with very extreme views. Society has just come to accept certain things more than others.

In my opinion, as long as it's not hateful towards a specific group of people (eg. white supremacy t-shirts, or 'god hates ****' t-shirts) it shouldn't be a problem to wear it.
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Aj12
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(Original post by badger-man)
I think it's because mass murder isn't instantly attached to the Soviet Union when it is brought up in conversation. When somebody mentions the Nazis, the Holocaust is almost certainly the first thing that enters the mind. I think it's also becuase the hammer and sickle are more associated with communism in general, rather than the Soviet Union. I'm not defending the Soviet Union though. Some of the worst atrocities in human history occurred in the Soviet states.
Tbh it should be. it could be argued some of the crimes committed by the soviet union were worse than what the Nazis did.
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