Home News Finnish Air Force removes swastika from logo after 100 years

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Finnish Air Force removes swastika from logo after 100 years

by Ace Damon

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Anne Frank’s half sister met privately on Thursday with Southern California high school students who were photographed happily saluting Nazis around a swastika formed by glasses during a party. (March 7)

The Finnish Air Force quietly removed a swastika from the official logo of its Air Force Command and replaced it with a golden eagle after a century.

While the use of a swastika on Air Force Command insignia dates back to Nazi Germany, the change has taken place to avoid confusion and false associations.

“Undeniably, we had to explain from time to time the history of the swastika (Finnish Air Force) that dates back to 1918,” said Brig. General Jari Mikkonen at the Finnish Air Force Command. “This caused misunderstandings with our foreign partners, so continuing to use it was considered inappropriate and unnecessary.”

The change of logo from the swastika to the eagle occurred in 2017, but was not disclosed by the military at the time. A professor who studied the use of swastikas in Finland in the 1920s and 1930s, Teivo Teivainen, drew attention to the issue in a Topic on Twitter this week.

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“In Finland, there is the idea that it is a random decorative sign – which, to some extent, it is”, Teivainen, talking to the BBC, said of swastikas. He added that buildings built before World War II could be seen with swastikas.

The swastika dates back thousands of years and is a religious icon. However, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party started using it in the 1920s, and have since been associated with Nazism.

However, it was a Swedish count who brought the form to the Finnish Air Force in March 1918, just a few months after Finland declared its independence from Russia.

Count Eric von Rosen donated his first plane to the Air Force, which had a blue swastika on its wings – a good luck charm for von Rosen. Soon after, a blue swastika with a white background was stamped on all Finnish Air Force planes until 1945.

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While von Rosen’s use of the swastika was not linked to Nazi Germany, his brother-in-law, Hermann Goering, was a close advisor to Hitler and convicted of war crimes at the 1946 Nuremberg trials.

Although the swastika was removed from the Air Force Command logo, it remains on some decorations and flags of the unit. The BBC reported that the Finnish Air Force Academy logo also features the swastika.

Contribution: Associated Press

Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller

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