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Swastika quilt donated to Greeley Museums is quirk of history
Denver Post ^ | 06/28/2010 | Monte Whaley

Posted on 06/28/2010 9:08:28 PM PDT by Daffynition

GREELEY — It was stitched with loving care, most likely to provide warmth and comfort to a family trying to brave another stark prairie winter.

Its creator had no idea the 66-inch-by-80-inch quilt would one day be seen as a cloth symphony of one of the world's darkest symbols.

Swastikas, 27 in all, cover the quilt that was donated to the Greeley Museums late last year. Some are pink, others red, still more are tan and white.

Museum officials say they think the quilt was created around 1900, certainly before the design was adopted as the national flag of Nazi Germany. It was found in a hope chest by members of a farming family in the Briggsdale area.

The family did not want to be contacted for this story. Museum manager Erin Quinn said she thinks the women who stitched the quilt probably put it away when Adolph Hitler was rising to power in the 1930s under the banner of the swastika.

Although happy to tuck it away, the family probably did not want the quilt destroyed because it was so well-made, Quinn said.

"It's beautiful with wonderful workmanship," she said. "It's in wonderful condition."

It is also not surprising a swastika was used, she said, because the design has been a popular fixture in many cultures for centuries.

Ancient cave drawings included swastikas. In the Sanskrit language, the word swastika means well-being, said JoAnna Luth Stull, Greeley Museums registrar.

The swastika quilt-block pattern is also known as the Battle X of Thor, Catch Me If You Can, Devil's Dark Horse, Whirligig and Zig Zag, Luth Stull said.

Yet Hitler's use of the swastika changed people's perception of it, Quinn said.

"Certainly a lot of different people would have a lot of different things to say about this," she said.

"Oh, my God," said University of Colorado history professor David Shneer, when told of what the family found in the hope chest.

Although the swastika is used innocently enough in many cultures — Thailand for instance — it still stirs hatred in many people, Shneer said.

"In many European countries, it is against the law to fly the swastika," he said. "It still provokes a lot of hard feelings for people."

Swastikas were already seen by many Germans as a symbol of their country's historical roots in early civilizations before Hitler came to power, Shneer said.

Hitler took the swastika one step further, using it to tout German superiority over others, he said.

"You can't even show that symbol in the United States without it being part of someone's political bent," Shneer said.

The Greeley Museums might one day put the swastika quilt on general display. But first it would be framed by plenty of context, Quinn said.

There will also be discussion beforehand, Quinn said.

"Would this make someone mad? Would this be hurtful? We will have those talks," she said.


TOPICS: History; Hobbies; Society
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1 posted on 06/28/2010 9:08:30 PM PDT by Daffynition
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To: Daffynition

Heil Quilter!


2 posted on 06/28/2010 9:13:46 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (REPEAL OR REBEL! -- Islam Delenda Est! -- I Want Constantinople Back. -- Rumble thee forth.)
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To: Daffynition
The 45th Infantry Division's insignia was a yellow swastika on a red field until 1939 when it was changed to a yellow thunderbird on a red field.

Wikipedia (yes, yes, I know the warnings) entry on the 45th ID

3 posted on 06/28/2010 9:14:16 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Gun control was originally to protect Klansmen from their victims. The basic reason hasn't changed.)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
We need the Hitler rant from Downfall with him complaining about how cold he was last night because someone stole his blanket.
4 posted on 06/28/2010 9:15:45 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Gun control was originally to protect Klansmen from their victims. The basic reason hasn't changed.)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

I am laughing out loud !


5 posted on 06/28/2010 9:15:47 PM PDT by daku
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

LOL


6 posted on 06/28/2010 9:15:58 PM PDT by Kirkwood
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To: KarlInOhio

7 posted on 06/28/2010 9:17:31 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: Daffynition

I still like the late astronomer Carl Sagan’s hypothesis in his book “Comet”. That through atmospheric/optical effects the gleaming core of a comet can sometimes take on distinct shapes and that sometime in the eleventh century a comet passed by earth that had a twinkling swastika-like center, seen by all humanity for a few nights.

The swastika pops up spontaneously, simultaneously, in art all around the world at this time—from Australian rock carvings to the Norman Bayeux tapestry.


8 posted on 06/28/2010 9:19:30 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: Daffynition

Quilts of the Third Reich

9 posted on 06/28/2010 9:20:13 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( - Eccl. 10:18 -)
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To: KarlInOhio

Interesting, the 45th seems to have had a propensity to executing prisoners on several occasions, including the Dachau Massacre.
Symbols, even historical ones, seem to have power of their own.


10 posted on 06/28/2010 9:32:14 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (REPEAL OR REBEL! -- Islam Delenda Est! -- I Want Constantinople Back. -- Rumble thee forth.)
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To: Daffynition

I remember years ago when I was in 1st grade we had a project to draw repeating patterns on a piece of paper.

One of the children drew for his last pattern the form of a swastika. I still remember my teacher, whom I adored, going off the deep end over it.

She made him cut the end of the project off his paper, and gave us all a strong lecture on how it stood for people who did terrible things. She was Jewish, but at the time I didn’t understand. You could see from her face how upset she was.

I didn’t understand what the kid did that was so terrible that he had to cut his project up. In essence it was a good lesson for me. It was the first real awareness I had of PC and how people react to certain things above and beyond.

The lesson obviously struck home because it’s one of most strong first grade memories after all these years.


11 posted on 06/28/2010 9:33:01 PM PDT by I still care (I believe in the universality of freedom -George Bush, asked if he regrets going to war.)
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To: I still care
I didn’t understand what the kid did that was so terrible that he had to cut his project up. In essence it was a good lesson for me. It was the first real awareness I had of PC and how people react to certain things above and beyond.

Reminds me of the time a kid was reading aloud from a book about seashores, and mispronounced the genus of rockweed/bladderwrack (a variety of seaweed). Severe punishment ensued and the poor kid was so confused...

12 posted on 06/28/2010 9:36:17 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: Daffynition
The Parker Pen Company, perhaps the largest and most famous maker of fountain pens, produced a pen in 1905 that featured the swastika design:

These are exceptionally rare and quite valuable today, though not because of any connection to the Nazi regime.

13 posted on 06/28/2010 9:57:49 PM PDT by TonyInOhio ( Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.)
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To: Daffynition

Quilters, Quilters.... uber alles....


14 posted on 06/28/2010 10:09:43 PM PDT by April Lexington (Study the constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: Daffynition
In many European countries, it is against the law to fly the swastika," he said. "It still provokes a lot of hard feelings for people."

But here in America, people walk around wearing peace signs all the time! One man's hate is another man's tee-shirt!

15 posted on 06/28/2010 10:11:47 PM PDT by April Lexington (Study the constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: I still care
Those wounds were still pretty fresh back in those days. When I see peace signs on kids clothing, I want to cry...
16 posted on 06/28/2010 10:13:26 PM PDT by April Lexington (Study the constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: Daffynition

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&source=imghp&q=wastika+hotel+raton+NM&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

Swastika Hotel, Raton, NM


17 posted on 06/28/2010 10:15:16 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (*)
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To: TonyInOhio

Native American symbol, Korean symbol, Thai symbol.

All before the National Socialists adopted it.


18 posted on 06/28/2010 10:17:07 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (*)
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To: Daffynition
My grandmother had an American Indian blanket that would be a good 150 years old by now, which featured a swastika design in the center.
19 posted on 06/28/2010 10:17:23 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: KarlInOhio
New Mexico State University's yearbook was once called "The Swastika"


20 posted on 06/28/2010 10:20:02 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (*)
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To: smokingfrog

No...the swastika was a runic symbol and indian tribes sported it. That why it is on quilts. The nazi’s just adopted it for their “tribe”! Nothing comes from nowhere!


21 posted on 06/28/2010 10:21:14 PM PDT by gr8eman (Everybody is a rocket scientist...until launch day!)
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To: Daffynition

“”Would this make someone mad? Would this be hurtful? We will have those talks,” she said.”

At first I was gonna’ call this guy some sort of PC wimp. However, since one of the primary jobs of a museum is to educate, they are at least saying the right thing.

If their supporting explanations come across as truly educational, including how pervasive this symbol is historically, some folks might even walk away saying, “That’s really interesting. I had no idea that someone besides Nazi’s used the swastika”.

Given the state of the secondary school system in the US, the museum might well provide that rare “teachable moment”.

If they write their information like a disclaimer, then yes, plenty of folks will reflexively become offended/outraged/troubled/hurt. Lot’s more folks need to “man up”. Just state the facts, and those that have risen above the PC psychosis will have learned something. The rest...may be too far gone to help.


22 posted on 06/28/2010 10:26:14 PM PDT by Habibi ("It is vain to do with more what can be done with less." - William of Occam)
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To: Jet Jaguar
The swastika symbol, with the openings to the left, is a very common symbol with many Buddhist and Taoist groups and temples.
I see it here quite frequently. I must admit, it still does give me cause for a '2nd look' when it pops up on temples, in signs or what-ever. But its very common.
23 posted on 06/28/2010 10:34:57 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

LOL!


24 posted on 06/28/2010 10:37:17 PM PDT by tanuki (Obamacare, Cap and Tax, Amnesty, in that order....)
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To: sinanju
The Swastika symbol spans at least 3,000 years and has been found on Neolithic rock carvings. The word "Neolithic" refers to the last years of the Stone Age, in the Middle East, circa 9500 BCE. An additional early sighting is a swastika that was carved into a runic stone in Sweden.

The swastika quilt above dates from 1860-1880. The owner states that the quilt is hand-quilted at 9 stitches per inch.

25 posted on 06/28/2010 10:57:08 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: smokingfrog
The Sanskrit word "svastika" (notice the different spelling) means well-being. The origin of the Sanskrit word consists of three parts: "su" which means "good; "asti" which means "to be", and the suffix (gerund), "ka."

This swastika quilt, according to eBay seller "victoria7384," is a Native American quilt that was made in the early 1900s. With 30 blocks, it measures 78" x 64" and features fabrics primarily in red, blue, black, and yellow.

26 posted on 06/28/2010 10:59:16 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: I still care
And it wasn't always that way. Interesting how strong symbols can be.

Swastika Symbol of Fertility In India, the word symbolized fertility and good fortune and continues in use, today. Originally, the swastika was primarily an ancient solar symbol. According to the book, Signs and Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their Meanings and Origins (NY: Barnes and Noble, 1996), the swastika has taken on many other meanings. This symbol is part of the Greek tradition to honor Zeus, Helios, and other deities. For the Celts and Scandanavian people, the swastika represented Thor, the god of air, thunder, and lightening.

Close-up of a book cover published in February 1930 by Pitt L. Fitzgerald, Columbus, Ohio. This is a novel involving Native Americans, and the swastika symbol appears on a number of its pages, sometimes two of them at the top of the page.

27 posted on 06/28/2010 11:04:53 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: Jet Jaguar
I've never heard of that hotel. THX.


28 posted on 06/28/2010 11:07:29 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: Daffynition

You bet. The building is still there, as far as I know. The facia of the brick pattern is, you guessed it, swastikas.


29 posted on 06/28/2010 11:10:01 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (*)
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To: Habibi

Hopefully, it will educate in the positive way you describe. ;)


30 posted on 06/28/2010 11:12:24 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: gr8eman

I know.


31 posted on 06/28/2010 11:15:03 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( - Eccl. 10:18 -)
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To: gr8eman

The Indian swastika is usually widdershins. The German one rotates the other way.


32 posted on 06/28/2010 11:20:52 PM PDT by Gideon7
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To: hinckley buzzard
I recall my great-aunt, who was born in old Ukraine, using the swastika in her art of making pysanky.

It was a symbol of happiness, blessings, good fortune and good will. The swastika is often seen with rounded corners or in the form of the windmill or maltese cross. The hooks are sometimes stylized to form leaves.


33 posted on 06/28/2010 11:23:32 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: hinckley buzzard

Antique flannel with swastika and Native American images for good luck. photo courtesy of Stephanie Whitson

34 posted on 06/28/2010 11:28:00 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: Daffynition

Considering the colors on this quilt, it hardly resembles any sort of German Socialist emblem.


35 posted on 06/28/2010 11:31:52 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: TonyInOhio
Wow!

"Lady Luck" pattern china produced by Sebring Porcelain of Ohio, circa 1920.

36 posted on 06/28/2010 11:32:46 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: Arthur McGowan
A common quilt pattern, well before the '30s.


37 posted on 06/28/2010 11:34:54 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: Daffynition

38 posted on 06/28/2010 11:35:57 PM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: Clemenza
Nice find! Remember this one?

Google Maps Causes US Navy To Change Its Swastika Building

39 posted on 06/28/2010 11:41:15 PM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: gr8eman
The cross symbol is another that was in widespread use before the Christians took it over.

40 posted on 06/28/2010 11:42:05 PM PDT by phredo53 (Caution: This post does not comply with White House standards.)
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To: Daffynition

I can hardly believe my eyeballs. ‘The Trail of the Ragged Fox’ was one of my Dad’s favorite books as a young man. A few years before he died in 2006 (at age 78) he asked me to try to find him a copy of that book.


41 posted on 06/28/2010 11:44:08 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

I hope it’s not a painful memory for you. Were you able to find the book for him?


42 posted on 06/29/2010 12:00:14 AM PDT by Daffynition (There is no other cheese.)
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To: Clemenza

Is that the one in South Dakota? If so, I’ve been there. Is there still a swastika on it? I don’t remember that.


43 posted on 06/29/2010 12:07:56 AM PDT by Defiant (2010 is pretty much it, folks. Send them packing, or start packing.)
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To: Defiant

They change the design/theme every year, once the birds pick off all of the corn.


44 posted on 06/29/2010 12:08:49 AM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: Daffynition

This is interesting. I know somewhere else where there is a partial quilt, framed, from at least 100 years ago, that has various patterns stitched into it including a swastika. I had always wondered about that, but I knew it had been a symbol in some American Indian art.


45 posted on 06/29/2010 12:15:20 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Daffynition

No, I never found it. I even requested help from the local librarian but got nowhere. This was actually about ten years ago that Dad asked me to try to find that book and I was not at all computer/internet savvy. Today I’m sure I could find that book - - and nearly anything else - - quite quickly. I still have the piece of paper on which he wrote the book title.

No painful memories at all - - nothing but great memories, although I sure do miss him.

Thanks for asking, and FRegards,
LH


46 posted on 06/29/2010 12:18:04 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard; Daffynition
I've had good luck with Alibris. They have this book.

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?binding=&mtype=B&keyword=Trail+of+the+Ragged+Fox&hs.x=0&hs.y=0&hs=Submit

47 posted on 06/29/2010 12:31:19 AM PDT by thecodont
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To: thecodont

Thanks for the link!


48 posted on 06/29/2010 1:00:38 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

You sucker punched me with that one! I’m, literally, laughing out loud.


49 posted on 06/29/2010 1:06:57 AM PDT by drew
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To: Daffynition

fylfot cross (fylfot meaning ‘four feet’)

http://www.google.com/images?q=fylfot+cross&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=mbQpTPDHE5P9nQfg4_ygAQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CCYQsAQwAw


50 posted on 06/29/2010 2:00:22 AM PDT by stlnative
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