Noticias: Swastikas on the JeffCo Courthouse have more to do with prosperity than Hitler
(Categoría: Misc)
Enviada por thomas
Friday 25 May 2012 - 21:38:51

Published: Friday, May 25, 2012, 12:04 AM Updated: Friday, May 25, 2012, 12:17 AM
By Strange Alabama

Swastikas are etched on the Jefferson County Courthouse. Some of you may be surprised to learn this; others may have known for years. So, let's address the "elephant in the room," so to speak...why?

Actually, the swastika is one of the oldest and most universal symbols around. It was long used by cultures around the world as a symbol of long life and good luck. It remains widely used in Indian religions, specifically in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Western use of the symbol became subverted after it was adopted as the emblem of the Nazi Party. Since World War II, most Americans have known the swastika only as a Nazi symbol, which has led to confusion about its religious and historical status in other cultures.

The Jefferson County Courthouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in Birmingham in 1931 by the Chicago firm Holabird and Root, which also designed Chicago's Soldier Field football stadium. Plans for the building were drawn up in the late 1920s. Many older buildings, built before the swastika became associated with Nazism, have swastikas built into their architectural decorations.

The original Penobscot Building in Detroit, Michigan, is one example. Built not long after the turn of the 20th Century, it was named for the Penobscot Indian tribe and region of Maine, the boyhood home of one of the investors. The Indian-themed detail of the building includes the use of the swastika, a symbol important to the Penobscots long before it was adopted by the Nazi party.
Swastika Penobscot.jpgPenobscot Building in Detroit, Michigan

The DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore, Illinois, is another. Built in 1905, it includes swastika decorated railings. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The Garfield Monument in Cleveland Ohio, dedicated in 1890 as a tomb and memorial for President James A. Garfield, contains swastika tile patterns throughout the floor. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Because the swastika was a popular symbol with the Navajo people, the Arizona Department of Transportation marked its state highways with signs featuring a right-facing swastika superimposed on an arrowhead. In 1942, after the United States entered World War II, the department replaced the signs.

These are just a few of the numerous examples around the country of the pre-WWII use of the swastika. So, to those who might question the reason for its use on a Birmingham building, the answer would have nothing to do with Hitler or his Nazi Party. As with so many other buildings, it was most likely just the use of a common architectural symbol of its day or maybe an expression of hope for Birmingham's prosperity in the future.

Read a bit about the origins of the symbol and come to your own conclusions about its use.


Esta noticia proviene de Pro-Swastika
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