Symbolism of swastika type in the American churches

Our first example of the use of Gammadion or Fylfot-Cross is found in the Congregational Central Church, Providence, Rhode Island. The records show that the windows were installed in 1893 during the dedication of the church. The dome of the church has eight oculi windows. While four of them represent the Chi-Rho monogram, the other four contain Gammadion or Fylfot-Cross. A hole, a circular opening in a dome or wall, was a standard feature of the Byzantine and Neoclassical architecture.

The Gammadion became a well-used element in early Christian iconography and in the characteristics of the Roman catacombs and elsewhere in the first centuries of the era was common. This and other correlative devices were used in the catacombs to create an atmosphere of hope that Christ was alive. The Gammadion sometimes incorporates Chi-Rho and Alpha and Omega monograms. Properly and according to the archives of the church, the "& # 39; bent & # 39; In his church it represents the broken power of death.

Our second example comes from the Charlotte Blagdon chapel of the University of Michigan. In addition to the Hazel Hunt memorial windows, there are some smaller windows less accessible to the visitor. These 1929 windows were designed by the Pond and Pond architecture firm and manufactured by the Linden Glass Company, both from Chicago. It was the original intention of Mrs. Henderson, the power of the project, to provide a rest room, for reading and meditation. As he expected people to take advantage of different beliefs, symbols of all faiths were added to the stained glass designs.

The star of David was juxtaposed on the Latin cross in a window and Switzerland was placed on the St. Patrick's Church. Andrew & # 39; crosses in another. In total, there are twelve devices on all three windows. This amalgam of syncretist symbols clearly reminds the iconography associated with Madame Blavatsky's theosophy established some decades earlier. In this context, the Star of David, the Swastika, Ouroborus [representation of a snake that bitten the tail] and the Egyptian Tau found their place.

Our third example comes from Hawaii where the First Chinese Church of Christ was dedicated in 1929. It has wooden screws with sizes of Swastika. They appear in the straight inclined format. The official website states that it is ancient symbols that represent "eternal blessing." The design of the church was the result of an architectural competition that supposed a combination of Western and Eastern features.

Where did this concept arise? Scholars generally agree that the Swastika symbol was present in China from a very young age, long before the advent of Buddhism. This symbol was linked to several concepts, and not least to the aspirations of good fortune and long life. In fact, the most popular symbols in China express favorable blessings and a peaceful and prosperous future.

It is not surprising, then, that this concept of & # 39; blessings & # 39; It is transferred to the treasure of Christian faith and belief, and the Swastika symbol incorporates Church furniture in Hawaii. The dedication occurred before there was a popular uprising against it due to the improper appropriation of the Nazis which had been a positive and vital symbol for life throughout the millennia.

Our final example comes from the Church of St. Mary's Cathedral, St. Mary Cloud, Minnesota In addition to the Gammadion, representations of the Basque Cross or Lauburu appeared, a very distinctive curvilinear shape of the Swastika, although not as frequently found as the rectilinear form in the western world. It is clear that in the period of its construction these symbols would not have presented any problem to the casual eye since they had been generally and widely accepted as legitimate variants of the Greek or Roman Christian cross for centuries.

Only in the mid-1930s, a perceived similarity with the Nazi standards began to provoke answers that go from mild surprise to consternation that a symbol resembles a Christian church. Rudyard Kipling's books provoked similar responses in that period and in 1933 Swastikas had been expelled from the covers of his books.

The church authorities felt they had to make a decision. There were two options; or they had to retain these & # 39; suspects & # 39; disks and provide an explanation to the visitors, or they had to remove them and replace them with softer symbols of Catholic spirituality. They chose this last action.