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June Pelo
04-09-20, 23:48
Finland's Air Force Command has discreetly dropped a swastika logo from its unit emblem - after a century- and replaced it with a neutral insignia featuring a golden eagle. The change, made to avoid false and uncomfortable associations with Nazi Germany's notorious logo, took place in January 2017 but wasn't announced publicly by the military at the time.

Brig. Gen. Jari Mikkonen of Air Force Command Finland acknowledged that the historical swastika emblem has caused confusion among international colleagues over the years. The swastika is an ancient symbol and a religious icon in many cultures dating back thousands of years. Most people associate it with Nazi Germany's notorious swastika flag, which was modeled after the flag the German Nazi party started using in 1920 and throughout Adolf Hitler's years as leader of the party and the country.

The Finnish Air Command swastika emblem dated back to March 1918, when the Finnish Air Force was created. Swedish Count Eric von Rosen donated the first plane in air force, a Thulin Type D reconnaissance plane with a blue swastika - the count's personal good luck charm - painted on the wings.

The Finnish air force soon after adopted the symbol - a blue swastika on a white background - and used it as the national insignia on all its planes from 1918 until 1945. The swastika still remains on some Air Force unit flags and decorations as well as on the insignia of the Air Force Academy.

Von Rosen, an upper-class explorer and ethnographer, was the brother-in-law of Hermann Goering, a decorated World War I German fighter pilot who became an early Nazi Party member under Hitler who led Germany's Luftwaffe during World War II. But the Swedish count employed the swastika before the Nazis did.

The Finnish American Reporter, August 2020