The Power of Symbols And Protest

House of hearts Potholders from India.  You can see the potential of the swastika design in the potholder on top.

When I was looking through the House of Hearts potholders that I got from India, there was one that looked so much like a swastika that I decided not to sell it.

The swastika is one of those universal symbols that’s found in many countries though out the world.  In Hindu it means prosperity and well-being.  The word “swastika” itself is Sanskrit.

When the swastika was co-opted by the Nazi’s it’s meaning changed for many people all over the world.  It has become a powerful symbol.   So powerful, I don’t even want to post the potholder that resembles it on my blog.  Especially now, considering the recent events in our country.

The amazing thing about symbols is how just a few lines, shapes and colors placed in a certain design,  can take on so much meaning and evoke such strong emotions and beliefs.

That’s why I feel the American flag is such an important element in protesting.

If the flag wasn’t so powerful, then no one would care when quarterback Colin Kaepernick didn’t stand for the National Anthem last year in protest against racism in America.

I’ve never been into Football,  but suddenly, like many other people, I’m paying attention to what’s going on in the NFL.  Not the game, but the protest, which is smart, creative and non-violent.   It shows that protest,  when done at the right moment by the right person or people, can be as simple (not easy and without consequences, but simple) as not standing up.

What Kaepernick started is  another version of what Rose Parks and all the other African-American protesters did when they sat in the front of the bus instead of the back, during the civil rights movement.

So here I am, for the first time in my life paying attention to what  NFL players are doing.     Because these men are in a position of power.  And they can raise the issue of racism, in mainstream white America, like no one else can.

They also have the  help of  President Trump who  brings even more attention to them  every time he tries to silence them with his divisive and often racist remarks.

To me, this kind of protest is part of what being an American is about. It’s a smart and creative way to let the symbol of the American flag work it power.

I never imagined that Football might help bringing about social change in such an overt way. It gives me hope.




9 thoughts on “The Power of Symbols And Protest

  1. Amen, Maria! I was just expressing the same thoughts to a friend. I’be never been into football, but I also find this inspiring.

  2. Maria
    So true! I like seeing the power of the players and owners joining together to support freedom of expression and to denounce Trump’s idiotic and destructive rhetoric.
    I never knew the swastika was Sanskrit and also about the Hindu meaning. Thank you for that.

    You’re writing is eloquent.

  3. yes paying attention for the 1st time to the NFL, the players and teams, those on their knee and not, and the owners and players with locked arms, honoring them all.

  4. Yes, maybe we are a tribe of our own, Maria. I never expected anything involving the NFL would spark some hope. I even had the thought that the kneeling is an expression of reverence and humility, in addition to being an expression of dillusionment.

    1. Yes Janet, I’ve found the swastika is a symbol used by many different Native American Tribes. And it has different meanings too. Thanks for the link.

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