Much like the toothbrush moustache, Hitler ruined it for everyone. The swastika of course, was once a very common symbol of good luck, something a women’s hockey team competing in a male-dominated sport certainly needed at a time when most Americans believed women shouldn’t work outside the home if their husband’s held jobs.
Meet the Fernie Swastikas, a women’s hockey team that was formed in 1922 in Fernie, British Columbia, sporting the swastika symbol as their logo, an ancient symbol dating from the Neolithic period, widely used in religions around the world.
Little did the women’s squad know as they bagged their first championship in 1923, posing proudly for a team photo wearing swastika sweaters, that a political party over in Germany, on course to become the world’s single most dangerous entity, had adopted the symbol three years prior in 1920.
As we all know, by the end of World War II, the Nazi’s iconic usage of the swastika rendered it a disgrace in the Western world and is notably even outlawed in Germany to this day.
But the Fernie Swastikas weren’t the only hockey players that would have to keep their old team photos hidden away in boxes…
An even earlier team formed in 1905 called the Windsor Swastikas also had the misfortune of picking the symbol of luck and success as their logo.
And here’s a basketball team from Hoquiam High School in Washington, also called the Swastikas….
The photograph belongs to the local Polson Museum, which prefers to keep images like this tucked away because “more than just eyebrows would be raised” if they were to be put on display.
Finally, another interesting image I came across in broadening my search for “hockey and swastikas”, this portrait of Clara Blow, an American actress and fashion icon of the 1920s considered to be the first “It Girl”. Fashion victim just took on a whole new meaning.