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Symbols Are they always what they seem? What is going on here?

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Presentation on theme: "Symbols Are they always what they seem? What is going on here?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Symbols Are they always what they seem? What is going on here?

2 The Multi-Dimensions of Symbols What is this? Are you sure? How do you know?

3 ► While commonly associated with Nazi Germany, the swastika symbol is more than 3,000 years old. The term "Swastika" was originally the name for a hooked cross in Sanskrit, and swastikas have been found on artifacts, such as coins and pottery, from the ancient city of Troy. ► Not only are swastikas associated with ancient Troy, the symbols are found in many other cultures, such as Chinese, Japanese, Indian and southern European. By the Middle Ages, the swastika was a well-known symbol and had many different names, depending on the country. In some cultures, such as in ancient China, the symbol is turned counterclockwise (sauvastika). ► Throughout its history, the swastika represented life, sun, power, strength and good luck. In the early 20th century, it was still considered a positive symbol. During World War I, it was found on shoulder patches of members of the American 45th Division and the Finnish air force. Only after the Nazi period did its connotation change. The Swastika

4 ► German nationalists chose to use the swastika in the mid- 19th century because it was associated with the Aryan race and Germanic history. At the end of the 19th century, German nationalists used the symbol on periodicals and for the official emblem of the German Gymnasts’ League. By the 20th century, it was a common symbol used in Germany to represent German nationalism and pride, for example, as the emblem for the Wandervogel, a German youth group. Swastikas also were used, however, in anti- Semitic periodicals. anti- Semiticanti- Semitic ► The swastika officially became the emblem for the Nazi Party on August, 7, 1920, at the Salzburg Congress. Describing the new flag in Mein Kampf, Hitler said the swastika symbolized the victory of the Aryan man. ► Today the symbol is most commonly associated with Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, neo-Nazis and other hate groups. Holocaust

5 Swastika = Peace…Interesting The swastika is an ancient Hindu symbol of peace. It is often drawn on cards and invitations and woven into textiles to bring good luck. In the 20th century, the German Nazis “borrowed” the symbol, and turned it into a symbol of evil and hatred. To Hindus, however, it has exactly the opposite meaning: love and peace.

6 The Multi-Dimensions of Symbols ► What is this? ► Are You Sure? ► How do you know?

7 6 Pointed Star ► 6 point star – Symbolic of the gangs of the folk nation (crips). ► Or is it?

8 6 Pointed Star The “Star of David”

9 6 Pointed Star ► Because of its geometric symmetry, the hexagram has been a popular symbol in many cultures from earliest times. Anthropologists claim that the triangle pointing downward represents female sexuality, and the triangle pointing upward, male sexuality; thus, their combination symbolizes unity and harmony. ► In alchemy, the two triangles symbolize *"fire" and *"water"; together, they represent the reconciliation of opposites. Some medieval alchemists even borrowed the talmudic pun - ish mayim, fiery water, and shamayim, heaven - to demonstrate the interpenetration of the two realms. 1 Because if this symbolism, the hexagram was even used occasionally as the emblem displayed above a brandy shop.

10 6 Pointed Star ► The earliest known Jewish use of the hexagram was as a seal in ancient Israel (6th century B.C.E.) and then eight centuries later in a *synagogue frieze in Capernaum. But these early hexagrams may have been only ornamental designs; ironically, a swastika, another popular ancient motif, appears alongside the hexagram on the Capernaum synagogue wall. In the Middle Ages, hexagrams appear frequently on churches, but rarely in synagogues or on Jewish ritual objects. It was the *menorah that served as the primary Jewish symbol from antiquity until the post- Renaissance period, not the " Jewish star." ► In other words, the term the “star of David” was not coined until the Nazi’s used it as a labeling tool for the Jewish people during WWII.

11 The Multi-Dimensions of symbols What is this? What does it mean? How do you know?

12 The “Eye of Providence”? ► The Eye of Providence or the all-seeing eye is a symbol showing an eye surrounded by rays of light or a glory, and usually enclosed by a triangle. It is commonly interpreted as representing the eye of God keeping watch on humankind. rayslight glorytriangleGodhumankindrayslight glorytriangleGodhumankind ► In 1782 the Eye of Providence was adopted as part of the symbolism on the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States. The Eye was introduced by the original design committee of Great Seal of the United States Great Seal of the United States1776 ► On the seal, the Eye is surrounded by the words Annuit Cœptis, meaning "He [God] is favorable to our undertakings". The Eye is positioned above an unfinished pyramid with thirteen steps, representing the original thirteen states and the future growth of the country. The combined implication is that the Eye, or God, favors the prosperity of the United States. Annuit CœptisAnnuit Cœptis ► So it is a Christian symbol….Or is it?

13 The “Eye of Horus” -The Eye of Horus (originally, The Eye of Ra) is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and power, from the deity Horus or Ra.ancient EgyptianHorusRa -The Eye of Horus, originally the Eye of Ra, symbolized royal power. The ancients believed this symbol of indestructibility would assist in rebirth. The Eye of Horus was found under the 12th layer of bandages on Tutankhamun's mummy. Horus was an ancient Egyptian sky god; one of his eyes was the sun and the other the moon. The eye represents a peregrine falcon's eye and the markings around it, including the "teardrop" marking sometimes found below the eye.Tutankhamunancient Egyptiansky godsunmoonperegrine falcon But wait…Are we not against “royal power” here in the United States….Hmmmm.

14 The Multi-Dimensions of Symbols What is this? Are you sure? How do you know?

15 The “Peace” sign ► A peace symbol is a representation or object that has come to symbolize peace. Several different symbols have been used throughout history, of which the dove, olive branch and the nuclear disarmament symbol are perhaps the best known. peacedoveolive branch nuclear disarmamentpeacedoveolive branch nuclear disarmament ► This forked symbol was adopted as its badge by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in Britain, and originally, its use was confined to supporters of that organization. It was later generalised to become an icon of the 1960s anti-war movement, and was also adopted by the counterculture of the time. Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament1960santi-war movementcountercultureCampaign for Nuclear Disarmament1960santi-war movementcounterculture ► Or is it?

16 The “Cross” of Nero A broken, upside-down cross. To Roman emperor Nero, who hated and persecuted the early Christians, it meant destruction of Christianity. Tradition often held Nero as the first persecutor of Christians and the killer of Peter and Paul. There was also a belief among some early Christians that Nero was the Antichrist. The New Testament does not specify how or when Peter or Paul died, who the first persecutor of Christians was, or the identity of the Antichrist.PeterPaul AntichristNew Testament Nero, a Roman emperor who lived from AD 37 to AD 68, was known as a tyrant who did his best to rid the empire of all facets of Christianity. So much for peace huh?


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