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The Society for Creative Anachronism and a Swastika Controversy

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The Society for Creative Anachronism and a Swastika Controversy

Post Neon Knight on Sun 9 Sep - 22:37

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/society-for-creative-anachronism-swastikas-king-queen-worlds-largest-mediaeval-reenactment-group-a8199891.html Quoting:

The newly crowned king and queen of a group within the world’s largest mediaeval history organisation have given up their crowns after being caught wearing swastikas to their coronation ceremony. The swastikas were donned by two members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a 30,000-person society of hobbyists dedicated to “researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe”. The members in question – known in the society as Athanaric and Sigriðr – had recently been named king and queen of Caid, an SCA “kingdom” that encompasses Southern California, Southern Nevada and Hawaii.

Choosing new monarchs is a regular part of SCA membership, along with competing in tournaments, participating in royal courts, and attending feasts. Kings are generally selected through a combat tournament, and coronations are widely attended, public events. For their coronation last month, Athanaric and Sigriðr commissioned personalised coats. Pictures from the event show the coats were trimmed with fabric bearing handwoven swastikas and the letters “HH” – a symbol often used to mean “heil Hitler”.



When photos from the coronation spread to other kingdoms, their fellow members were not happy. “It took about a week for the news to get to everyone else,” said Arik Mendelevitz, a member of a midwestern SCA kingdom. “...Most people thought it was real s***ty”. The issue was brought to the SCA board of directors, and the king and queen were forced to apologise – sort of. In an apology posted to the Kingdom of Caid website, Athanaric and Sigriðr defended the swastika trim as “very complex historical art” and “an extremely accurate presentation”. In a Facebook post, the weaver of the trim described it as a “Snartemo 5” pattern from 5th Century Norway.

Other members were not impressed. “There is no person in the SCA who is not aware of what this symbol means in modern iconography,” SCA member Harold Feld wrote on Facebook. He added: “Just as a red octagon is recognised as ‘stop’ even without the word, just as a red cross of a particular shape on a white background is recognised as the international symbol of the red cross, the swastika is instantly recognised as the symbol of Nazi ideology.” Such sentiments proved popular. Just three weeks after their coronation, amid widespread SCA outcry, Athanaric and Sigriðr decided to abdicate the throne. They issued a second apology, expressing their regrets to “all society members of the Jewish faith, people of color, and anyone else who has suffered at the hands of ignorance and hate”.

Mr Mendelevitz, who is Jewish, said he was surprised by the swastika incident, which was first reported by the Public Medievalist. He has been a member of SCA for nearly a decade, and said he has never experienced discrimination at an event. “I have not seen hate speech; I have not seen anyone discriminated against based on religion or race,” he said. “...This is an exception to the rule.”





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Re: The Society for Creative Anachronism and a Swastika Controversy

Post Neon Knight on Sun 9 Sep - 22:41

There's a detailed discussion on the issue here: https://www.publicmedievalist.com/sca-swastika/# Excerpt:

Their apology hinges upon two things: first, that the reproduction is an accurate reproduction of historical art, and second, that they did not mean offense by wearing it.

The former is true. The design came from the baldric of a sword found in 1933 in an archaeological dig in southern Norway. Both the swastika and “HH” elements are documentable to the original. The Hs are the rune Hagall in the Elder Futhark alphabet (used in Scandinavia from the 2nd to the 8th centuries CE). Both symbols were later appropriated by the Nazis. The sword itself has a history with the Third Reich: the Nazis coveted it as an authentic piece of “Aryan” heritage. They even had reproductions made of it. But it was hidden by the Norwegians until after the war.



The original band from the Snartemo V archaeological dig, currently housed at the University of Oslo

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Re: The Society for Creative Anachronism and a Swastika Controversy

Post Neon Knight on Tue 11 Sep - 23:20

For me, this is an over-reaction. As long as a swastika is not presented in an obvious Nazi context - the symbol in a circle or in black-white-red - then so what? Some people love to play offended like drama queens.

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Re: The Society for Creative Anachronism and a Swastika Controversy

Post Sary on Wed 12 Sep - 1:17

I wonder if Queen Siggy chose the garments?  They look so cute and matchy - matchy.
People are so weird.....seriously.
Who cares, they are acting.
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Re: The Society for Creative Anachronism and a Swastika Controversy

Post OsricPearl on Wed 12 Sep - 1:47

This makes me so angry. Context people. The context of the garments is pre-20th century when such symbols were common and had nothing to do with Hitler.

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Re: The Society for Creative Anachronism and a Swastika Controversy

Post Neon Knight on Fri 14 Sep - 22:11

There's a big catalogue of 'hate symbols' here:
https://www.adl.org/education-and-resources/resource-knowledge-base/hate-symbols

Isn't it strange that the further we move away from the end of the war, the more people get upset by the swastika and other things like German army uniforms? Logically, it should fade with time.


Last edited by Neon Knight on Fri 14 Sep - 22:36; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Society for Creative Anachronism and a Swastika Controversy

Post Neon Knight on Fri 14 Sep - 22:35

I doubt a comedy like this would get made these days:




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