Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Talk:Swastika

Former featured article Swastika is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 1, 2005.

Source removal, image POV issues and other editsEdit

@Tiger7253: Please do not remove sources and sourced content as you did here and here, etc. Further, please note that NPOV is a binding community agreed content policy, and this article is no place to push a POV-y Hindu or Jain iconography. The collage was not available in the past, and the collage does include the previous lead image as one of the four representations. It does not matter if the article has or has not used a particular icon for a while. Therefore I have reverted your edit.

You also re-added unsourced content, one non-RS, and a fringe part with 11,000 year claim. Such edits do not meet wikipedia's verifiability and RS guidelines.

Please explain your concerns in accordance with wikipedia content guidelines. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 01:54, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

@Ms Sarah Welch: I fail to understand your rationale behind being against identifying modern usage of the Swastika with Indic religions. That is the only context in which they are culturally used today. If identifying the Swastika with Indic religions violates NPOV, then what about the Christian cross? Or the Crucifix? Stating a fact is not a violation of NPOV.
Contemporary usage of the Swastika needs to be distinguished from extinct cultures that once used it. If you are in favour of de-linking religious symbols from their respective cultures, then by all means, do so - I look forward to seeing you apply the same standard across the board, starting with the Christian-centric articles I have linked above. Tiger7253 (talk) 12:30, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
It is not the only context in which the Swastika is used today. Saying so is disingenious at least.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:59, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
@Maunus: As always, you are welcome to provide us with references and sources to back up your claim that there are contemporary religions and cultures, other than Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, in which the Swastika is used in the 21st century. Tiger7253 (talk) 13:25, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
I am pretty sure it is not a Hindu, Buddhist or Jain who painted one on the trashbin over at the station here in my village in Denmark.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:25, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, Maunus is right. It is in use outside Indian religions context in the contemporary times. Read the article and the sources cited therein, such as the part on Odinism. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 14:02, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
Can you elaborate, @Maunus:? Are you referring to the act of a neo-Nazi spray-painting a Hakenkreuz as a hate symbol, or are you referring to a symbol of some extinct pagan Scandinavian culture being spray-painted on a dustbin? If it is the former, this article already discusses Nazism. If it is the latter, 'Odinism' is a fringe movement that is neither a major religious group or a culture as notable as the hegemonic faiths of the world today. The context of the Swastika within Odinism, if such a thing even exists, is hardly as notable as a Hindu or a Buddhist Swastika, which is notable on a global scale. Similar things can be said about the relationship of the crucifix to Christianity. To put the so-called 'Odinism', whatever that is, on an equal pedestal with Hinduism is fallacious. Tiger7253 (talk) 17:59, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
Tiger7253: What you added is fringe theory: swastika migrating "11,000 years ago Ancient India" to Americas. Odinism is not fringe (do read the sources already cited). Please also read WP:FRINGE, to understand what wikipedia community considers fringe, the part that discusses "mainstream views and reliable sources". NPOV means all significant viewpoints in RS are summarized in wiki articles. It is puzzling that you fail to understand Maunus' comment. Do we really need to belabor the point that swastika is being used (or accused of being in contemporaneous use) by hate / radical groups in Europe, Americas etc? Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 18:20, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

LeadEdit

Kautilya3 (talk · contribs): I believe that your revision as of 29 April 2017 is the fairest and most balanced version. Major edits have been made to this article since your revision, without any prior consultation with any of us who have had a stake in editing this article over the last few months. My attempt to revert these edits so that we can start from scratch with our input has been rebuked as 'disruptive', which is thoroughly unfair, given that I have agreed with a number of constructive edits on this article (including yours). I am hoping that we can roll back the edits to your revision and work our way up if that is what @Ms Sarah Welch: would prefer. I am not in favour of a lead paragraph that diminishes the importance of the Swastika in contemporary Indic religions, putting them on a pedestal with traditions that otherwise died out centuries ago. The latter simply aren't as notable as the former to be given such importance in the lead.

It is particularly appalling to see that the Indian hypothesis of the symbol's origin (courtesy of the IIT) has been removed, making that section highly Eurocentric and dare I say, biased. Tiger7253 (talk) 13:35, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Tiger7253: The current lead does not diminish the importance of Indian religions context. It simply follows the WP:LEAD and NPOV guidelines. Consensus is not needed to remove unsourced or fringe content such as 11,000 year theory based on a mention in a blog/newspaper/tabloid. You must not remove reliable sources and sourced content as you did here, as that is disruption. I would welcome any content, but it must cite peer-reviewed reliable sources such as mainstream scholarship. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 14:02, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
Ms Sarah Welch (talk · contribs) I shall do what I can do find peer-reviewed Indian scholarly work that supports my position, although that in itself is rather challenging, given that Indian historians and anthropologists are routinely chastised by American and European scholars for differing from the Western academic norm. Furthermore, the term 'mainstream' has problematic (ethnocentric) connotations - it implies that the only reputable academic sources come from a certain demographic. The bias against Indian scholars makes it tough to find sources and references that would be considered as credible as those coming from the West. I however believe that this will improve with time, and that Wikipedia will become a fairer and less Eurocentric place. Until then, I might have to let this rest (for now). Tiger7253 (talk) 18:07, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
The current lead is in the same spirit as my version, and I don't see any major problems with it. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 15:53, 4 June 2017 (UTC)
I totally agree with Ms Sarah Welch. Also, while the problem of the previous versions saying that the symbol originated in India seems to have been resolved, the current lede says that the symbol is found in "every culture" of the planet, which is not true either (it is mostly found throughout the northern emisphere, specifically Eurasia) As discussed in a section hereinabove, I propose to add the theories about origins and meaning of the symbol advanced by European scholars, namely Eugène Goblet d'Alviella and Danish historian Ludvig Müller (1809-1891) quoted by d'Alviella, who in his book Det saakaldte Hagekors's Anvendelse og Betydning i Oldtiden. Avec un resume en francais (Kjobnhavn, 1887, p. 107) says that the swastika is the sign of theos, equivalent of the Mesopotamian dingir, and in its highest meaning it is the "emblem of the divinity who comprehended all the gods [...] of the omnipotent God of the universe".--87.13.111.190 (talk) 12:00, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Also, the lede should be corrected where it says that in Buddhism the swastika represents the footprints of the Buddha. In most cases the swastika is represented on the chest of the Buddha and it represents his heart and consciousness of all phenomena.--87.13.111.190 (talk) 12:04, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
I have reworded the lead sentence to reflect what the Britannica source does support. The Buddha's footprints is supported in WP:RS. We can also mention the Buddha's heart POV, but please first find a peer reviewed scholarly source that states so. Only then can we add that to this article per wikipedia's content verifiability guidelines. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 13:38, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

It seems very odd to me that the use of the swastika as the symbol of Nazism which lingers with great potency throughout the western world, is only hesitantly mentioned. As a balanced article, this should be in the lede paragraph, although certainly as part of a balanced discussion. Bear in mind that lots of people will be coming here to find out about the symbol's meaning within that western context, and while it is great to discuss the historic and continuing use as a religious symbol in India and elsewhere, to simply not discuss its power as a symbol of extreme racial prejudice in the West seems at best disingenuous. On a recent Facebook page it was (incorrectly, I assume from reading this page) proposed that the lack of discussion was itself a matter of neo-Aryanist, neo-Nazi influence. I suggest it would be good to counter that by treating its major use int he 20th century with a less subordinate position.Natcase (talk) 14:30, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007453 Natcase (talk) 14:34, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
I agree, although this is one of those articles that I'm too chicken to touch because it's so easy to inadvertently imply something horrible. It's weird not to mention Nazi usage in the first or second paragraph of the introduction; anything else seems like a deliberate attempt to convey a message. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 17:30, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Edit breakEdit

Something like: The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious symbol used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is an icon widely found in human history and the modern world.[2][3] It is known outside Asia as the Hakenkreuz, gammadion cross, cross cramponnée, croix gammée, fylfot, or tetraskelion. A swastika generally takes the form of a symmetrically arranged equilateral cross with four legs each bent at 90 degrees.[4][5] It is found in the archeological remains of the Indus Valley Civilization and Mesopotamia, as well as in early Byzantine and Christian artwork.[2][3] In the 20th Century, the swastika was the official symbol of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party and of the Third Reich government of Germany. As a result, it was adopted in Europe and later in other parts of the Western world after World War II as a symbol of Aryan, or white, supremacy and specifically anti-Semitism, and is used as a highly-charged symbol for those points of view by both proponents and opponents. I'd add a link to the URL above, and add links of course.Natcase (talk) 18:59, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

DavidWBrooks: I share your concerns, but I am unclear on an NPOV improvement. Should the article present the reality and symbolism in Swastika true for some 3+ billion people in South Asia / East Asia / Southeast Asia, or the reality and symbolism for some 1 billion in Europe / North America, when both sides are well supported in the secondary and tertiary reliable sources? Weighing too much of either side raises concerns about balance. One approach can be that we strengthen the third para a bit more? Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 21:04, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
I find the version by Natcase to be acceptable. Regarding sensitivity of the issue, I believe that a bit of cross-cultural awareness is helpful, as it might prevent insidents such as the "Zara swastika handbag" in the future. :-) K.e.coffman (talk) 23:17, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't find it balanced, jumping as it does from Indus Valley Civilization to 20th century and pretending as if the West is the only thing of importance to the 20th century. I support MSW's proposal to strengthen the third paragraph. But a brief mention can also be added to the first paragraph, something along the lines of "However, in the 20th century Western context, it has come to be associated with Aryan supremacism" or something along the lines. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 11:23, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
Pinging Joshua Jonathan for his input. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 11:24, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
I understand the concern about making this a page focusing primarily on the Nazi usage, and the section down-page about that usage is solid. My concern is that in the opening, to slide references of that usage all the way to the end, and make them oblique, looks a lot like whitewashing, though I understand that was not the intent. For controversial subjects, I would argue it is best to state the controversy as clearly as possible, noting the sides. The fact that there are two controversies here makes it complicated: (1) the controversy over the swastika's hijacking by Aryanist and white-nationalist groups, erasing its history as a religious symbol, and (2) the controversy pro and con about the content of the views that the swastika represents in a post-Third-Reich world. The Nazi use, while not the only or even numerically dominant use, is a historically and culturally deeply significant one. To argue that it should be highly subordinate to the Asian religious use ignores the depth of its significance. It needs to be mentioned in the lede.Natcase (talk) 12:07, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
Natcase: Your concerns are well intentioned and noted. Please do note that non-Nazi use of this symbol in those Asian cultures is also a "historically and culturally deeply significant one". We can't take sides per NPOV. Yes, we can try to explain it a bit better while keeping "lead is a summary/introduction" guideline. How about you propose one or more sentences that would help better summarize "the depth of its significance" in the Western world? We can then try to reach a consensus on how and where to incorporate your suggestions best in the lead. Assume that the Asian summary in lead remains sort of similar, after some rearrangement if necessary and appropriate. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 17:55, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I agree with Natcase that the nazi-usage of the Swastika requires a more prominent place in the lead. Sorry to say, but this is the English Wikipedia. Most readers will come here to find out more about the swastika knowing that it is a Nazi-symbol; many will be surprised to find out about it's origins, and about it's opposite, religious meaning in Asian countries. In western Europe, the swastika is possibly the most offensive symbol in existence; in each city in western and eastern Europe which was occupied by the Nazi's you will find memorials for the millions of victims of this regime. There are no exact numbers, but think about 50,000,000 death. Talk with any person in Europe above c.75, and you'll get heart-breaking stories about the war and the Nazi-victims. That's a living reality here in Europe. It's tragic that this religious symbol was hijacked by the Nazi's, which is an eternal offense to Asian cultures, but it is a fact that the Nazi-usage is the prominent meaning in the western world, so it needs to be in the top of the lead. Something like [optional]:

The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious symbol used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia, and a core-symbol of the German Nazi-regime (1933-1945) [and it's mass-murder]. It is also an icon widely found in human history and the modern world.[2][3] It is known outside Asia as the Hakenkreuz, gammadion cross, cross cramponnée, croix gammée, fylfot, or tetraskelion.

Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:16, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

@Joshua Jonathan: Indeed. I concur we should mention the Nazi-link to the lead sentence, not just the overall lead. Since square brackets are confusing in the lead without context!, how about the lead sentence being:

The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia viewed as a symbol of noble values, as well as an ideological emblem of the German Nazi-regime (1933-1945) that is viewed in the Western world as a symbol of hate and mass murder. (...rest as suggested...)

Natcase/others: Would JJ's/above proposal work? Anything else you will like to add to lead? DavidWBrooks: you have watched this article for quite a while it seems, any wisdom/suggestions? Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 12:29, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
I would recommended breaking sentence there. Let me make it clear. The Asians view the racism as a western problem, made all the more despicable by using eastern symbols for its exercise. They want to have no association with it, for or against. Cross-cultural understanding needs to go both ways. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 16:40, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
There is, alas, plenty of racism in all cultures, Asian, North American, South American, African, European and anything else you can think of - and most people in the west would like to have no association with the Nazis, either. The sentence proposed above seems fine to me. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 20:43, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
I think noting/suggesting that the Nazi use was a borrowing/theft of the symbol will help to clarify the relationship or rather the lack thereof, and I'm not clear it has to be in the first demarcated sentence—in fact, I'd suggest separating the two by a period might also help emphasize the distance between the uses, and the chronology of which came first. How about:

The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious symbol used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia, generally standing for higher spiritual principles and qualities. It was adopted by the National Socialist (Nazi) Party and other nationalist and racist groups in Germany as their primary symbol, and so became a symbol in the Western world for philosophies and violent enforcement of white or "Aryan" racial purity, and particularly antisemitism. It is an icon widely found in human history... [rest of lede as is]

.
I should also add that I intentionally removed the dates, as the symbol was used in Nazism's predecessor movements, and remains a symbol for neonazis today. And also thank you all for your considered tone and thoughtfulness in working this through. It's greatly appreciated.Natcase (talk) 04:16, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
Natcase: Some of what you propose repeats parts of the 3rd lead para. Putting too much Nazi stuff in the 1st lead para, beyond 1 or 2 sentence each for the Asian view and the Western view, raises NPOV issues. It swings the pendulum too far on the other side. Perhaps we can bulk up the third para a bit, plus avoid repetition. Like so:

1st para: The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia. It has been historically and is contemporaneously viewed as a symbol of spiritual principles and values.[1a][2a] In the Western world, it was a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck prior to early 20th-century.[3a] It became the ideological emblem of German Nazi-regime, thereby evolving in the West as a symbol of hate and mass murder.[4a] (...rest as suggested...)

3rd para: (...current version...) The swastika was adopted by several organizations in pre-World War I-Europe and later, and most notably, by the Nazi Party and Nazi Germany prior to World War II. It was used by the Nazi Party to symbolize Aryan identity and German nationalistic pride. To Jews and the enemies of Nazi Germany, it became a symbol of antisemitism and terror.[4a][4b] In many Western countries, the swastika has been highly stigmatized because of its association with Nazism.[9]

Would that be better than the current lead? and a compromise? Please note, given the sensitivity of this subject, the words we use and what we state must be closely verifiable in a high quality RS. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 14:01, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
I think we are very close. Suggest combining the first two sentences, more compactly saying the same thing. I don't think it's quite right to call it an ideological emblem: it was a political emblem and the national symbol, so it's somewhat broader than that. I think emblem alone is enough. I also think it is important to specifically mention Aryanism. It's fine to have it repeated in paragraph 3, somewhat more spelled out, but if that needs to be altered too, that's fine. I want to get a one-sentence snapshot of the specific history, with specific names, that engendered that current sense of the symbol in the west in the wake of Nazism. There is a lot of intentional misunderstanding and misinformation out there. Pointing to the well-documented specifics of that part of the article will be more helpful than generalities.

1st para: The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia, where it remains a symbol of spiritual principles and values.[1a][2a] In the Western world, it was historically a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck.[3a] It became an emblem of "Aryan race" identity and was adopted by the German National Socialist (Nazi) Party, thereby becoming closely associated in the West with hate and mass murder.[4a][4b] In many Western countries, the swastika has been highly stigmatized because of its association with Nazism.[9] (...rest as suggested...)

And actually, you could take out the second part of the next-to-last sentence and get essentially the same meaning:

1st para: The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia, where it remains a symbol of spiritual principles and values.[1a][2a] In the Western world, it was historically a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck.[3a] It became an emblem of "Aryan" identity and was adopted by the German Nazi Party|.[4a][4b] In many Western countries, the swastika has been highly stigmatized because of its association with Nazism and thus with antisemitism and mass murder.[9] (...rest as suggested...)

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Natcase (talkcontribs)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You and I are getting close indeed. Let us avoid repetition because it is unnecessary, unencyclopedic and because it leads to one-sided overemphasis and NPOV issues. How about:

1st para: The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia, where it remains a symbol of spiritual principles and values.[1a][2a] In the Western world, it was historically a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck.[3a] It was adopted by the German National Socialist (Nazi) Party in early 20th-century as an emblem and became highly stigmatized in the West with hate and mass murder.[4a][4b] (...rest as suggested...)

3rd para: (...current version...) The swastika was adopted by several organizations in pre-World War I-Europe and later, and most notably, by the Nazi Party and Nazi Germany prior to World War II. It was used by the Nazi Party to symbolize Aryan identity and German nationalistic pride. To Jews and the enemies of Nazi Germany, it became a symbol of antisemitism and terror.[4a][4b]

I favor shorter, simpler, direct language. Your comments? Let us give others a few days to suggest further improvements / comments, Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 08:59, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

Hi Sarah, I liked the mention of the "Aryan race" identity in the first paragraph, because it explicates the cultural theft that Natcase earlier alluded to. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 17:09, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
I am fine mentioning it in either the first para or the third para. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 20:07, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Since we are getting close, I implemented some of the suggestions of Natcase, Kautilya3, DavidWBrooks etc into the lead. It is meant as an iterative improvement. We can refine it further, if and where appropriate. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 00:55, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Tiger7253: Please do not edit war with Thomas.W. Please see the discussion above, from the beginning, and share any concerns you have. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 20:47, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

@Ms Sarah Welch: I would recommend that the lead paragraph:

The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia, where it has been and remains a symbol of spiritual principles and values.[1][2][3] In the Western world, it was historically a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck.[4] It was adopted by the German National Socialist (Nazi) Party in early 20th-century as an emblem of Aryan race identity and became highly stigmatized in the West with hate and mass murder.[4][5] The Swastika is an icon widely found in human history and the modern world.[6][7] It is known outside Asia as the Hakenkreuz, gammadion cross, cross cramponnée, croix gammée, fylfot, or tetraskelion. A swastika generally takes the form of a symmetrically arranged equilateral cross with four legs each bent at 90 degrees.[8][9] It is found in the archeological remains of the Indus Valley Civilization and Mesopotamia, as well as in early Byzantine and Christian artwork.[6][7]

be rephrased as:

The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia, where it has been and remains a symbol of spiritual principles and values.[1][2][3] The Swastika is an icon widely found in human history and the modern world.[6][7] It is known outside Asia as the Hakenkreuz, gammadion cross, cross cramponnée, croix gammée, fylfot, or tetraskelion. A swastika generally takes the form of a symmetrically arranged equilateral cross with four legs each bent at 90 degrees.[8][9] It is found in the archeological remains of the Indus Valley Civilization and Mesopotamia, as well as in early Byzantine and Christian artwork.[6][7] In the Western world, it was historically a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck.[4] It was adopted by the German National Socialist (Nazi) Party in early 20th-century as an emblem of Aryan race identity and became highly stigmatized in the West with hate and mass murder.[4][5]

I have swapped a few sentences around without erasing anything. The text flows better this way. The previous iteration is all muddled up. Tiger7253 (talk) 21:01, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Sullivan2001p216 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference snodgrass82 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ a b Cort 2001, p. 17.
  4. ^ a b c d Cite error: The named reference holocaust2009 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference wiener463 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ a b c d Cite error: The named reference p.97 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ a b c d Cite error: The named reference britswast was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference MigSym was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ a b Press, Cambridge University (10 April 2008). "Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary". Cambridge University Press – via Google Books. 

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Tiger7253: Difficult subject this is. I am not sure you addressed the concerns of Natcase, DavidWBrooks and others above. Please give them time to comment, and be prepared for a collaborative compromise if necessary. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 22:18, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

Seems fine to me. At some point, collective editing produces the camel instead of a horse and more fiddling just makes it worse. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 23:32, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
This I think is a step back. the point here was to not minimize the Nazi usage, given its importance in much of the Western world. I do not see a fundamental problem with the paragraph Ms Sarah Welch suggests. The first three sentences lay out the origins, spread, and specific prominent use of the symbol, and answer the fundamental question, "what is a swastika?" in a way that both clearly acknowledges its root origin and meaning and clearly references the way it is used in situations many Western readers will be wondering about. The second option, by pushing the Nazi and post-Nazi Western use into the last sentence, well past the "what is it and why should I care" part of the paragraph, implies the Nazi use is trivial and minor. While the legitimacy of that use is clearly up for debate (and the history of Nazi cultural misappropriation is made clear further down in the article), I hope we are not debating the significance of that use. As the article I referenced above makes clear, that use of the symbol still looms very large in Western culture.
If anything, I think we could move the last two sentences into later paragraphs. It is customary to put alternate names and spellings in the first paragraph, so it makes sense to leave that sentence here.
Does it make sense to do a more thorough analysis of what we want each paragraph of the introduction to accomplish? This might clarify the whole thing. Natcase (talk) 23:00, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
Natcase: Tiger7253's proposal for "pushing the Nazi and post-Nazi Western use into the last sentence, well past the 'what is it and why should I care' part of the paragraph, implies the Nazi use is trivial and minor" may be a step back, but both of you and we all can now appreciate the challenge in bringing balance acceptable to all editors, the conflicting sides this article has to accommodate. The "what is" part, the shape etc seems necessary somewhere in the first para, but let us meditate on it a bit. DavidWBrooks is spot on, in some cases such as this "more fiddling just makes it worse". Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 10:09, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
I agree on the more fiddling. I thought your paragraph worked fine. Moving Nazis to the end of the para is not OK. Third sentence is just about right, and I say that as an attempt to be reasonable and balanced. The impact of what that symbol means in the wake of the Third Reich is not trivial, regardless of how you feel about its use. Third sentence placement IS my "step back".Natcase (talk) 16:34, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 23:59, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi. I just stumbled upon this article, read the lede, and the first paragraph seemed really strangely organized. So I went ahead and edited it in order to place the information in (what seemed to me) a more logical order. Then I went to the Talk page, noticed this discussion, and self-reverted my re-organization of the first paragraph because it's obviously a contentious issue.

I don't want to jump into your discussion at this late stage, but I want to offer my perspective as an uninvolved editor: I think starting by mentioning the historical and religious use of the swastika in Asia, then talking about the Nazis, and then jumping back to historical and religious uses, doesn't make for a very good first paragraph. My first thought when seeing the first paragraph was that I should put the information in chronological order, and that meant the historical uses first and the 20th century uses second. Then I read the arguments above which say that the Nazi use of the swastika is extremely important and shouldn't be pushed down, and I agree, but the fact remains that if I hadn't seen the Talk page I would have just assumed the first paragraph was badly written.

An easy way to solve this would be to split the first paragraph in two, with the break occurring in between the mention of the Nazi use and the sentence "The swastika is also known outside Asia as the Hakenkreuz, gammadion cross..." This would have the disadvantage of placing alternative names in the second paragraph, but it would fix the problem I mentioned above, as it would no longer look like the first paragraph is just mentioning things at random.

In any case, I know the importance of consensus, so if the current organization of the first paragraph is the only thing that could gain consensus support, then that is understandable. I don't mean to re-open a can of worms. Ohff (talk) 04:28, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for reverting. I actually think in principle that reorganizing the first section in general would be good, but it's more than I wanted to take on given my workload at the moment. In principle, a shorter, simpler first paragraph is fine, just so if we mention its Asian roots we also mention the Nazi use adjacently. But that could be done more abbreviatedly in both counts, to be filled out in subsequent paragraphs. And, I just reverted the first para to Ms Sarah Welch's version, from an edit by Edit2020.Natcase (talk) 03:47, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I also don't want to take on the task of reorganizing the first section, for similar reasons (too much other work to do at the moment). However, without changing the order in which ideas are presented, I made some small improvements to the phrasing of the version that you reverted to. It feels like it was originally written in haste. I hope my edits are acceptable. Ohff (talk) 12:26, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I like your rephrasing a lot. I especially like the "but" as a way of linking the Nazi piece in: it really makes the point that there was a kind of perversion in play, without diminishing the influence and importance that the perversion has had. Nicely done.67.220.16.97 (talk) 02:47, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

mistake in the leadEdit

The lead says: "but in the 1930s, it became the main feature of Nazi symbolism" and as source it lists the Holocaust Encyclopedia. The mistake is that it became a main feature of Nazi symbolism in the 1930s while it already was a main feature of not only the National Socialists in the 1920s but also the Völkisch Movement and paramilitary groups like the Freikorps. In fact, it was already used at the end of World War I by several right-wing movements, who btw, used it because the swastika in a circular/round design has been used since the late 1880s, mainly because there have been archeological finds earlier connected to germanic tribes using the swastika. If nobody minds, i'd like to correct the lead and add one of the many reliable sources for it. But since i'm new here, is it okay to use german language sources on english wikipedia? Thanks in advance ChartreuxCat (talk) 20:58, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

Yes, that is allowed, ChartreuxCat. But its is good practice to translate the title of the German book or work, and put the translated title between brackets.--Farang Rak Tham (talk) 12:58, 27 August 2017 (UTC)

"Allahu Ackbar" on second paragraphEdit

Does anyone else see the "Allahu Ackbar" right at the start of the article or am I going crazy? I tried to go to edit but it's not where it is in the article.

It was edited out already - apparent vandalism. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 15:09, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

wrong claimEdit

"The first attested use of the word swastika in a European text is found in 1871 with the publications of Heinrich Schliemann" (with citations that I haven't examined). As commonly with such claims, a quick visit to Google Books uncovers several much earlier examples. I think this reference to Schliemann should be simply removed. Zerotalk 12:06, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

If you have legitimate counter-examples, I agree that you should remove it. Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:15, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
Return to "Swastika" page.