I Learned It By Watching You

Rex Curry may be batshit crazy, but sometimes Internet kooks uncover some pretty fascinating material. In his quest to prove that the Nazis coopted both the swastika and the “heil Hitler” salute from American culture, Curry, who sells his rambling anti-Socialist conspiracy screeds on eBay, discovered the above image of an American fighter plane bearing a swastika, as well as several other remarkable pieces of lost American history — for example, this photo gallery of school children saluting the American flag in a disquietingly familiar fashion.
Does it make America an evil fascist empire? Nope. But it does raises interesting questions about the affects of nationalism and patriotism, and their common form and function across cultures.

13 thoughts on “I Learned It By Watching You

  1. “it does raises interesting questions about the affects of nationalism and patriotism, and their common form and function across cultures.”
    No it doesn’t. That’s really reaching.

  2. I read that the Nazis coopted the swastika from the Hindus. The swastika is a holy symbol in India. As you know, Hitler thought the Germans were part of the “Aryan race”. You may not know that many Hindus trace their early religious scriptures (the Vedas) to the Aryans.

  3. It does, however, raise interesting questions about symbols and the way we internalize their “meaning” as defined by others.
    The pilot in this photo is not patrolling concentration camps, but I still find myself wanting to shrink away from the screen. Given that even my mother isn’t old enough to have first-hand memories of the Holocaust, it’s amazing that the power that the Third Reich gave to this long-existing symbol is still so strong.
    Of course, the fact that the symbol is still used by white-supremacist groups means that it is still a symbol of something fearsome that exists today – unlike other symbols, which have become historical details, the swastika is unfortunately still alive and kicking as a symbol of hatred and death.

  4. Anybody recall at what point the American salute to the flag was changed? I also recall a history professor explaining that salute used to be how we did it.

  5. This might, MIGHT, be “interesting”. But, it’s a long way from important. There are all sorts of ways that people can waste their time. Only the truly “batshit crazy” think that their chosen waste of time counts for anything.

  6. I thought it was pretty well agreed upon that the swastika had a long history, pre-dating Jesus. I don’t even understand this person’s “quest.”

  7. wow, that’s trippy, and i like his point about the robotic chanting that we do for the pledge….
    oh you naysayers, you’re so boring, i mean bored….

  8. I don’t see what this picture shows. Is it real? Does it purport to show that the US army used a swastika at some point? If it does, so what? It doesn’t make the US army into Nazis any more than it makes Hindus into Nazis.

  9. I read the text. I just don’t see what questions it raises beyond the ones I mentioned.
    Actually, I guess one other question would be why anybody would care about this photo or have any kind of emotional reaction to it without knowing more about it (like if it’s anything more than photoshop). Can someone please explain that?

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