I was stumped for an appropriate title for this post, so please forgive me for what I came up with. I know its lame, but not as lame as what the wrong people do with symbols originally conceived as representation of something good only to be forever scarred and shamed into something of evil. I have two examples to present to you:
This is the Swastika. It dates back as far as to 10,000 B.C. to numerous cultures spanning the Mediterranean, Asian, Eastern cultures. The word “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit svastika – “su” (meaning “good” or “auspicious”) combined with “asti” (meaning “being”) along with the diminutive suffix “ka.” The swastika literally means “well-being.” In the 19th Century following the excavation of Troy, the symbol experienced new interest especially in Germany. At the time there were attempts to link Germanic Tribes to ancient Greek and Indo-Iranian cultures. Even so, it was still a symbol of “Good Luck and Success.” Various European and even American organizations made use of the symbol. Then in 1920 a growing group of angry insurrectionists known as the Nazi party made it their official party emblem.
As the Nazi’s took over control of Germany, launched war in Europe, began the extermination of homosexuals, gypsies, communists, union leaders, mentally ill, minorities and of course the Jews this symbol changed from being a sign of “good luck and success” to unadulterated evil. Since that time to display the Swastika is to demonstrate hatred, evil and murder.
Though not as ancient as the Swastika, there is another symbol created to represent something generally good and honorable that has been corrupted by another group of angry insurrectionists. This group is known as the American Tea Party and the symbol is the Gadsden Flag.
The flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden in 1775 during the American Revolution. It was also used by the Continental Marines as an early motto flag. The Rattlesnake was common in the thirteen colonies and harkened back to another symbol of a snake from Benjamin Franklin that was divided up with the phrase “Join or Die.” The snake represented the United Colonies standing together coiled and ready to strike any foe of the United States and her people. It was a symbol of national unity and strength.
The Tea Party (Taxed Enough Already) adopted the Gadsden flag as one of their symbols. However instead of using it for its historic symbolism of representing a United American people and society, they use it as a rebellious symbol against the government of the United States and those people who do not ascribe to their movement. They represent a small insurrectionists sector of the American people who are at odds with the majority of the nation and her government. So instead of National Unity, the Gadsden flag has been corrupted into a symbol of insurrectionists hatred by a group who like the Nazis of Germany, have no love and will limit the freedoms and livelihoods of minorities, whether they be Black, Native American, Homosexual, another party affiliation, etc.
Then on June 8, 2014 two very avid Tea Party supporters who expressed their anger towards the government of the United States, law enforcement and those who did not ascribe to their views clearly on social media shot two Las Vegas Police officers who were eating lunch. They shot them execution style and left a Gadsden Flag and Swastika on them with a note “The revolution has begun” they then killed an armed civilian who tried to help before killing themselves. This act will forever stain the Gadsden flag as a symbol of evil and murder despite any attempts on the right to redeem this symbol. Like the Swastika of pre Nazi Germany, the Gadsden flag will never be looked upon again as an honorable symbol.
It is now a mockery prone to many parodies of the flag being floated due to the fact that the Tea Party has usurped this once proud emblem of American Unity. Parodies like these:
Just like the Tea Party by their platform has no representation to the original “Tea Party” which was an attack on the British monopolistic East India Company and not taxes, their use of the Gadsden flag misses the original intent of the symbolism. But then again, history doesn’t matter to these insurrectionists, only anger, hate, threats and now murder. Hardly American values to treasure.
They deserve the mockery they get and will continue to get. Now as Americans, you need to make sure these usurpers of American symbolism don’t create anymore problems for our nation of, by and for the unified people of the United States, register and vote in November.