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Deco-Doll-1928
09-27-2011, 12:58 PM
I came across this story yesterday and I was wondering what people think about it.

Has the dress become a unique piece of history or is a Nazi flag a Nazi flag no matter how much it has been changed?

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44644153/ns/today-today_people/t/dress-made-nazi-flag-reveals-owners-past-spy/

Marc Chevalier
09-27-2011, 01:05 PM
That was one heck of a big flag. Then again, the Reichstag was big.

Deco-Doll-1928
09-27-2011, 02:38 PM
Yeah, I thought that too. I was so amazed there was enough fabric to make that dress. Considering the skirt alone.

matrioshka
09-27-2011, 03:11 PM
It could have been one of the banners that were hung off the side of a building. They were huge.

dhermann1
09-27-2011, 03:34 PM
Whatever it was, I think it's totally cool. She took a symbol of evil and totally trumped it. As an onbect it's just a piece of cloth. It really doesn't possess any "magic evil cooties" that would make it anathema for all time. She turned it into an emblem of triumph. Hooray for her.

Steven180
09-27-2011, 03:41 PM
Unique.

Resistance to the end. I hope she watches that TV in bliss.

M.

ButteMT61
09-27-2011, 04:11 PM
Well, the "symbol" has been around way longer than Nazis, and it's not in an of itself evil. However, the flag would fall under that category OK. :)
Pretty neat story. Thanks for posting.

Sgt Brown
09-27-2011, 04:50 PM
As it is being auctioned, I just hope it doesn't end up in the hands of neo-nazis who would treat it as a symbol.

Tom

Heeresbergführer
09-27-2011, 05:05 PM
Interesting story...but hard to believe some of it...especially the taking of the flag from the Reichstag...and possibly the stealing of Goering's Mercedes. First, the Russians fought the Battle of Berlin from 20 April 1945 until 2 May 1945. The Reichstag, which was gutted by fire in 1933, was the scene of a fierce battle which left nothing but pock marks and dead bodies. The Americans, British, and French didn't arrive in Berlin until July 1945...2 months later.

Then comes the stealing of Goering's car. Well, Goering had one of his cars, along with 25 other vehicles, when he was captured on 9 May 1945 by Brigadier General Robert I. Stack, Assistant Division Commander, U.S. 36th Infantry Division, in Austria. BG Stack said that Goering's armored Mercedes was such a "white elephant" that he presented it to the commanding general of Seventh Army. Another of Goering's cars was liberated by the 101st Airborne Division in Berchtesgaden.

So maybe the 'love interest' GI embellished his story to impress the girl...could pick up a Mercedes just about anywhere since the Germans had very little gasoline for the civilian population to use during the war. As for the Nazi banner which were found everywhere in Germany, the big ones are about 5-1/2 feet by 16 feet (about 5 yards of fabric)...so I think it would have been enough to make a dress out of....an interesting piece of history.

Cheers,

Patrick

Mike in Seattle
09-28-2011, 01:36 AM
And we can all relive the story next year, when it comes out as a major motion picture starring Lenardo DiCaprio and Scarlett Johansen...or some other odd pairing of celebrities...

Shangas
09-28-2011, 01:57 AM
I don't think there's anything necessarily creepy about this. I go with 'Unique'. They took a symbol of evil and they turned it into something beautiful to celebrate the END of that evil.

EDIT: Regarding the amount of red cloth, I believe it could've been one of those ENORMOUS red banners, such as these photographed here, hanging off the Brandenburg Gate:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_YYMeAu4i7gA/SxEaqlj4ztI/AAAAAAAAHAk/zzCx_lvCurw/s1600/brandenburg-gate-berlain-nazi-germany-hitler-birthday-rare-color-pics-pictures-images-pics-photos-second-world-war-ww2-two.jpg

A banner such as this would have AMPLE cloth to make a dress. And you can see in the photo where the roundel has been removed to make the semicircular neckline and shoulders at the top of the dress:

http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/110923-nazi-dress-1030a.standard.jpg

Phineas Lamour
09-28-2011, 02:17 AM
Awesome story. I like how she had a dress made from their flag and wore it to parties celebrating victory over them. Not creepy at all.

Edward
09-28-2011, 05:21 AM
YES. I'm all for repurposing, and there is a lovely irony in what was done with this.

At the end of the day, though.... it was only a flag. All flags - any flag - is nothing, nothing, more than a bit of cloth. To fear or revere a bit of cloth for its own sake is missing the point on a colossal scale. Fight the real enemy, and all that.

MikeKardec
09-28-2011, 10:24 PM
I remember a number of years ago a fried of my family's who had a trading post on the Navajo reservation took in a huge Germantown rug (the best yarn dies for Indian rugs came from Germantown Penn.). It was in amazing condition, having been woven in the 1920s or so. Eye searing red with a giant black swastika ... it wasn't a Nazi flag but you really did a double take when you saw it. Objectively, it was immensely valuable but it took 15 years and a huge drop in price to sell it.

Wild.

Deco-Doll-1928
10-01-2011, 10:52 AM
I remember a number of years ago a fried of my family's who had a trading post on the Navajo reservation took in a huge Germantown rug (the best yarn dies for Indian rugs came from Germantown Penn.). It was in amazing condition, having been woven in the 1920s or so. Eye searing red with a giant black swastika ... it wasn't a Nazi flag but you really did a double take when you saw it. Objectively, it was immensely valuable but it took 15 years and a huge drop in price to sell it.

Wild.

I was at a museum not long ago that was displaying some items from the Arts and Crafts era. One of the items was a lamp. The lamp had some swastikas on them. I remember someone that was with their girlfriend was pointing them out. I told my friend later, "I wonder how many people have seen this lamp only to point out the swastikas on them." It seems kind of sad actually since the swastika is now remember for a very infamous part of history rather than what it once was. It was considered for a while a good luck symbol rather than a symbol of evil.

BTW, welcome to the Lounge. :)

Deco-Doll-1928
10-01-2011, 10:54 AM
I would like to thank everybody that has posted on this thread. I'm also very happy that everybody has kept the talk very civil. :)

Heeresbergführer
10-01-2011, 12:05 PM
Here's a little history of the US 45th Infantry Division's emblem which was a swastika up until WW2:

http://www.fpp.co.uk/Hitler/swastika/Walker_200105.html

Yeps
10-01-2011, 12:29 PM
I think the reason this dress is cool rather than creepy is the intention of the wearer/maker. It is an act of defiance and celebration of the downfall of the regime. If it was worn by a racial supremacist as a glorification of nazi ideals, it would be creepy.

Deco-Doll-1928
10-01-2011, 02:23 PM
Here's a little history of the US 45th Infantry Division's emblem which was a swastika up until WW2:

http://www.fpp.co.uk/Hitler/swastika/Walker_200105.html

Thank you so much for the link. I had no idea.

I remember reading this book up in Big Bear. It contained all of these historic photos of Big Bear and around Big Bear Lake. One of the photos was of a camp (I think it was for children, but I could be wrong about that) and it had swastikas all over it. The book had explain at that particular moment in time, the swastika meant something completely different. After WWII, it brought an end to that camp!

I'm very sorry. I always try to welcome new comers to the Lounge, but sometimes I forget. Forgive me!

Deco-Doll-1928
10-01-2011, 02:24 PM
I think the reason this dress is cool rather than creepy is the intention of the wearer/maker. It is an act of defiance and celebration of the downfall of the regime. If it was worn by a racial supremacist as a glorification of nazi ideals, it would be creepy.

That is a very good point.

Shangas
10-01-2011, 02:25 PM
Prior to 1939, I believe it was de-rigeur to salute the American flag by doing the Nazi salute. Like a lot of other things, that changed pretty quick during the war.

Steven180
10-01-2011, 03:09 PM
Um...please credibly prove that one to me.

M.

Shangas
10-01-2011, 03:15 PM
Um...please credibly prove that one to me.

M.

Hold on, I'll check.

EDIT: I've read it in other places, but the best reference I could find on short notice was on Wikipedia, regarding the pledge of alliegence of the USA:

Swearing of the Pledge is accompanied by a salute. An early version of the salute, adopted in 1892, was known as the Bellamy salute. It started with the hand outstretched toward the flag, palm down, and ended with the palm up. Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, developed later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute. Removal of the Bellamy salute occurred on December 22, 1942, when Congress amended the Flag Code language first passed into law on June 22, 1942.

Was accompanied by this photograph, dated 1941:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_ with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg

Another photo of U.S. schoolchildren saluting the flag during the pledge, using what was then called the 'Bellamy Salute' or the 'Flag Salute'. Dated 1942:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Bellamy_salute_1.jpg

According to Wikipedia, the salute for the American flag was officially changed in 1942 to its current gesture (hand-over-heart) due to the controversy of the similarity between the Flag Salute and the Nazi salute.

According to "Historyofthepledge.com":

Following World War I, attempts were made to provide for not only a standard salute but also a uniform national flag code. At the second of two flag conferences held in Washington, DC, in 1923 and 1924, it was agreed, again according to Ellis, that “All civilians should stand with ‘the right hand over the heart,’ and then at the words ‘to the Flag’ the right hand should be ‘extended, palm upward, toward the Flag.’ At the close of the Pledge the hand was to be dropped to the side.” This virtually duplicated the salute specified in the 1892 program developed by Upham and Bellamy. However, it was conceded that civilian adults could merely stand at attention, men removing their hats, to show respect during the Pledge. Military personnel were still to salute with the right hand to the forehead.

But by 1935, people were pointing out the embarrassing similarity between the German “Heil Hitler” salute to the Führer (arm extended, palm down) and the common raised arm salute to the flag during the Pledge (arm extended, palm up), a form that continued in use well into the United States’ entry into World War II. Over the next few years—despite objections by the United States Flag Association and the Daughters of the American Revolution, despite even an official congressional codification of flag rules and etiquette adopted in June 1942 that included the raised arm salute prescribed in 1924—many groups and school districts began eliminating the extended arm portion of the salute.

Only in December 1942 did Congress officially sanction an amended flag salute in which the right hand, or a hat removed by the right hand, is held over the heart during recitation of the Pledge.

Title 4, Chapter 1, section 4 of the United States Code, as modified January 22, 2002, entitled “FLAG AND SEAL, SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE STATES CHAPTER 1 - THE FLAG” reads as follows:

“The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag . . . should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in [military] uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.”

According to "Pledge of Allegiance, Francis Bellamy, Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward" (http://rexcurry.net/bookchapter1a1a.html) :

The first description of the pledge had the palm of the hand turned upward for the straight-armed gesture. The gesture changed in use, growing into the "Heil Hitler" appearance because of the military salute (palm down) extended casually straight toward the flag.

James Bailey Upham suggested to Bellamy part of the gesture (the straight-arm with the palm upward). Upham’s suggested gesture (palm up) was like saying “Here is the flag.” It was because of Bellamy’s alteration (the addition of the military salute) that the pledge evolved into the Nazi-style.

Upham was also familiar with Bellamy's "military socialism" dogma because Edward Bellamy, cousin and cohort to Francis, had written of it in the international bestseller "Looking Backward" in 1888, and both Bellamys had been openly involved in the national socialism movement and the "Nationalist" magazine.

Edward Bellamy was a bitter West Point failure but he loved Prussian militarism and the educational system. According to Tom Peyser "On his deathbed, he wiled away the hours by arranging tin soldiers along the folds of his coverlet." That would interest all who loathe the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, because Prussia led to the formation of the German empire, and after World War I, Prussia continued to exist as the largest Land (state) within the Weimar Republic and under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. After World War II it was dissolved by decree of the Allied Control Council in 1947.

Even with the palm turned upward, people would later see the relationship to the National Socialist German Workers' Party and that is why the straight-arm salute was disfavored in 1942, and the hand-over-the-heart was adopted. (On June 22, 1942, the pledge was included in the U.S. Flag Code, but Congress gave it the modern hand-over-the-heart gesture. There is probably one overriding reason why Congress interfered: to make everyone drop the straight-arm salute, which was becoming very embarassing and very revealing. The US had entered WWII on December 7, 1941 against Japan after Pearl Harbor. On December 11, 1941 Germany and Italy declared war on the United States and the U.S. declared war on Germany and Italy.)

HoosierDaddy
10-01-2011, 03:23 PM
That is really something that I had never heard of before this....and would probably never believed without that pic. Amazing..!
HD

V.C. Brunswick
10-01-2011, 03:37 PM
A friend of mine who had passed away a few years ago was born in 1931 and he remembered that kind of flag salute when he was a kid.

Miss sofia
10-01-2011, 03:37 PM
YES. I'm all for repurposing, and there is a lovely irony in what was done with this.

At the end of the day, though.... it was only a flag. All flags - any flag - is nothing, nothing, more than a bit of cloth. To fear or revere a bit of cloth for its own sake is missing the point on a colossal scale. Fight the real enemy, and all that.

:eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap

Shangas
10-01-2011, 03:39 PM
That is really something that I had never heard of before this....and would probably never believed without that pic. Amazing..!
HD

See? You learn things here at the Fedora Lounge :D

V.C. Brunswick
10-01-2011, 03:41 PM
And the Nazi salute (which Hitler had copied from Mussolini) was in turn a revival of the ancient Roman salute.

Shangas
10-01-2011, 03:42 PM
That is also true. I'd forgotten that, V.C.B. Very true.

As they say. Nothing is ever truly new.

Steven180
10-01-2011, 04:20 PM
At first defensive, I must admit, but today my brain earned a new wrinkle of knowledge...

I do appreciate the unique history lesson Shangas!

Thanks, M.

Shangas
10-01-2011, 04:25 PM
You're welcome Steven M...SteveM? Yeah that's good...

Of course stuff like this isn't limited to WWII. During WWI in Australia, anything with a German connection was renamed. The German Shepherd (dog) was renamed the Alsatsian.

Kaister
10-02-2011, 09:15 AM
The things I learn here. Thanks Patrick and Shangas for the history lessons.

Deco-Doll-1928
10-04-2011, 04:06 PM
Hold on, I'll check.

EDIT: I've read it in other places, but the best reference I could find on short notice was on Wikipedia, regarding the pledge of alliegence of the USA:

Swearing of the Pledge is accompanied by a salute. An early version of the salute, adopted in 1892, was known as the Bellamy salute. It started with the hand outstretched toward the flag, palm down, and ended with the palm up. Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, developed later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute. Removal of the Bellamy salute occurred on December 22, 1942, when Congress amended the Flag Code language first passed into law on June 22, 1942.

Was accompanied by this photograph, dated 1941:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_ with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg

Another photo of U.S. schoolchildren saluting the flag during the pledge, using what was then called the 'Bellamy Salute' or the 'Flag Salute'. Dated 1942:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Bellamy_salute_1.jpg

According to Wikipedia, the salute for the American flag was officially changed in 1942 to its current gesture (hand-over-heart) due to the controversy of the similarity between the Flag Salute and the Nazi salute.

According to "Historyofthepledge.com":

Following World War I, attempts were made to provide for not only a standard salute but also a uniform national flag code. At the second of two flag conferences held in Washington, DC, in 1923 and 1924, it was agreed, again according to Ellis, that “All civilians should stand with ‘the right hand over the heart,’ and then at the words ‘to the Flag’ the right hand should be ‘extended, palm upward, toward the Flag.’ At the close of the Pledge the hand was to be dropped to the side.” This virtually duplicated the salute specified in the 1892 program developed by Upham and Bellamy. However, it was conceded that civilian adults could merely stand at attention, men removing their hats, to show respect during the Pledge. Military personnel were still to salute with the right hand to the forehead.

But by 1935, people were pointing out the embarrassing similarity between the German “Heil Hitler” salute to the Führer (arm extended, palm down) and the common raised arm salute to the flag during the Pledge (arm extended, palm up), a form that continued in use well into the United States’ entry into World War II. Over the next few years—despite objections by the United States Flag Association and the Daughters of the American Revolution, despite even an official congressional codification of flag rules and etiquette adopted in June 1942 that included the raised arm salute prescribed in 1924—many groups and school districts began eliminating the extended arm portion of the salute.

Only in December 1942 did Congress officially sanction an amended flag salute in which the right hand, or a hat removed by the right hand, is held over the heart during recitation of the Pledge.

Title 4, Chapter 1, section 4 of the United States Code, as modified January 22, 2002, entitled “FLAG AND SEAL, SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE STATES CHAPTER 1 - THE FLAG” reads as follows:

“The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag . . . should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in [military] uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.”

According to "Pledge of Allegiance, Francis Bellamy, Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward" (http://rexcurry.net/bookchapter1a1a.html) :

The first description of the pledge had the palm of the hand turned upward for the straight-armed gesture. The gesture changed in use, growing into the "Heil Hitler" appearance because of the military salute (palm down) extended casually straight toward the flag.

James Bailey Upham suggested to Bellamy part of the gesture (the straight-arm with the palm upward). Upham’s suggested gesture (palm up) was like saying “Here is the flag.” It was because of Bellamy’s alteration (the addition of the military salute) that the pledge evolved into the Nazi-style.

Upham was also familiar with Bellamy's "military socialism" dogma because Edward Bellamy, cousin and cohort to Francis, had written of it in the international bestseller "Looking Backward" in 1888, and both Bellamys had been openly involved in the national socialism movement and the "Nationalist" magazine.

Edward Bellamy was a bitter West Point failure but he loved Prussian militarism and the educational system. According to Tom Peyser "On his deathbed, he wiled away the hours by arranging tin soldiers along the folds of his coverlet." That would interest all who loathe the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, because Prussia led to the formation of the German empire, and after World War I, Prussia continued to exist as the largest Land (state) within the Weimar Republic and under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. After World War II it was dissolved by decree of the Allied Control Council in 1947.

Even with the palm turned upward, people would later see the relationship to the National Socialist German Workers' Party and that is why the straight-arm salute was disfavored in 1942, and the hand-over-the-heart was adopted. (On June 22, 1942, the pledge was included in the U.S. Flag Code, but Congress gave it the modern hand-over-the-heart gesture. There is probably one overriding reason why Congress interfered: to make everyone drop the straight-arm salute, which was becoming very embarassing and very revealing. The US had entered WWII on December 7, 1941 against Japan after Pearl Harbor. On December 11, 1941 Germany and Italy declared war on the United States and the U.S. declared war on Germany and Italy.)

A very interesting read. Thank you for posting.