# Was swastika really a popular symbol among Slavs and/or ancient Indo-Europeans?

It seems to me that many Russian nationalists and neo-paganists currently believe that swastika was a Solar symbol or a symbol of fortune in ancient Slavic folklore.

There are multiple paintings by nationalist painters and other art that features swastika. Examples of articles which claim that swastika was an ancient Slavic symbol:

On the other hand the advocates of these theories explain the fact that swastika is not widely represented in museums of ancient Slavic culture by the claim that it is due to a conspiracy by the Bolshevicks/Jews/ZOG to hide items with swastika from the people.

So what is the reality. Was swastika ever a Slavic symbol before WWII?

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The title mentions the Indo-Europeans, but the body doesn't. Maybe you want to change the title? – apoorv020 Aug 5 '12 at 7:56
Another title nit: Slavs are Indo-European. – T.E.D. Aug 6 '12 at 14:39
this World Service programme may help bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02dcqf2 – Tea Drinker Dec 29 '14 at 12:43
Please avoid of repeating what you have found on Wikipedia or low-quakity "pagans" sites. – user8917 Jan 5 '15 at 15:27

To elaborate a bit on climenole's answer I'll add a bit of math behind the swastika symbol.

Swastika in both clockwise and counterclockwise direction has been, and still is used in many cultures. In some areas of modern India it remains to this day as one of the symbols used to decorate the bride during wedding. The logic behind that symbol is actually straightforward: swastika is rotationally symmetric but not mirror symmetric. It kind of rolls in one direction, if you take the legs as directions, but not the other direction.

Consider, for example, a square. You can rotate it as well, but there is nothing to indicate a preferred direction of rotation. Mathematicians would say that a square has symmetry group \$D_8\$, which includes both 90-degree rotations, as well as mirror symmetry, which postulates that it's impossible to make any convention for the preferred rotation direction. Swastika, on the other hand, has symmetry group \$Z_4\$, which allows to establish a convention for the preferred direction (such as "where the legs point to", for example)

Since ancient times peoples half the World apart have noticed this asymmetrically symmetric feature of 3- and 4-leg swastikas and used those symbols to indicate unidirectional movements, such as "going only forward, never backward". Therefore the symbol could appear quite independently in various cultures.

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"one of the symbols used to decorate the bride during wedding". Not really. But it is auspicious and is used on pots ("ghat") and on doorways as well, also on most religious decorations. – Rajib Jan 5 '15 at 16:09

The swastika symbol was used by many cultures in the history and around the world and not only among Indo-Europeans.

For example swastika is used in Far East (China, Korea) as well as the Wyandots (Wendats or Hurons) in North-America. You can find this symbol in ancien greacian poteries as well as decoration in christian churches too...

This was often view as a solar symbol but also, associated with a rhombus. The swatika as male symbol and the rhombus as female symbol.

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Even in India, the earliest usage has been found in the Indus Valley Civilization --which was quite different from the later Indo European culture. – Apoorv Khurasia Aug 5 '12 at 15:55
Yes , you're right! – climenole Aug 5 '12 at 18:31
This does not answer my question. – Anixx Aug 5 '12 at 23:42
@Anixx The symbol was used by many cultures all over the globe before WWII. Are you asking if it was specifically part of Indo-European culture? Given that it was used sometimes merely as decoration, does it matter if it was actually part of their culture? – Django Reinhardt Dec 3 '12 at 0:12
It's weird when the question has more sources than the answer :-/ – Django Reinhardt Dec 3 '12 at 0:13