Ironically, the Nazi symbol is actually a German Christian cross.

The Nazi flag, adopted during Germany's darkest historical period, contains the Nazi symbol. The symbol, however, did not previously represent hatred of any race as it did during the Jewish Holocaust. Another name for the symbol, "swastika," is derived from the Sanskrit word "svastika," which means "good fortune" or "well-being."


The Nazi symbol, the swastika, originated more than 5,000 years ago and has an extensive history in pre-Christian Europe. During the late 19th century, archeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered that the symbol was used in ancient Troy as a "significant religious symbol of our remote ancestors." During the 20th century, populist movements adopted the symbol to represent "Aryan pride" and German Nationalism.


In 1920, the Nazi flag was adopted formally to represent the Nazi party in Germany. During World War II and just before the war, the Nazi symbol and Nazi flag represented German pride and represented persecution and hatred of Jews.

Current Use

A variation of the Nazi symbol is still used today as a sacred symbol in eastern Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as several other religions. Many temples and houses in modern India and Indonesia display the altered swastika. However, the spokes on the eastern Hindu swastika point to the left (counterclockwise), while the spokes on the swastika on the Nazi flag point to the right (clockwise).