European Union

Promotional Poster in European Commission Leaves Out Swastikas


UPDATE: This post originally said that the featured poster was produced by a group called Europe4All. In fact, according to Giedrius Sudikas, spokesman for the commission's office in Lithuania, the poster was part of a competition held by the Czech Council on Foreign Relations.

Member of the European Parliament and Youtube phenomenon Daniel Hannan posted a photo of a poster hanging in the European Commission on his blog today. 

At first glance it looks like a happy-feely all inclusive tolerance plug, but on closer inspection a more sinister symbol can be seen amongst the crosses, star of Davids, ying-yangs, trisulas, and Torii gates, the hammer and sickle. Hannan remarks on the symbol of an atheist regime that killed tens of millions of people being among religious symbols in a poster promoting tolerance:

For three generations, the badge of the Soviet revolution meant poverty, slavery, torture and death. It adorned the caps of the chekas who came in the night. It opened and closed the propaganda films which hid the famines. It advertised the people's courts where victims of purges and show-trials were condemned. It fluttered over the re-education camps and the gulags. 

Nauseating stuff. Whoever is responsible for the poster maybe should have considered the misery inflicted by the Soviet Union on countries that are now members of the E.U. While to ignorant left-wing westerners gripped by middle-class guilt the hammer and sickle might be some sort of pathetic symbolic refuge, to the people of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland it might have a different connotation.

All I want to know is who forgot the swastikas. 

NEXT: Bangladesh Worried About Image After Foiled Bomb Plot

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. To be fair, Communism is a religion to many progressives. Usually it’s a secret religion one dares not reveal, but Europeans are a bit more open about such things.

    1. I’d be shocked if it wasn’t on their poster. That is the ultimate goal of the left. They dream of flying it over the US.

      1. The ultimate goal of the left is to educate people like you that it is in your interest to vote for the left. Are you being properly served by your masters or should you vote to give them more?

    2. Project much? Most libertarians are closested folks secretly living in openly progressive socialist communities.

      1. Yes we are.

      2. Shh! They’ll hear you!

      3. Most libertarians are closested folks secretly living in openly progressive socialist communities.

        I humbly submit you just made that up.

        1. Er, personal experience? 😛

      4. I’m not secretive at all. I openly air my contempt to anyone who pisses me off, no matter how much authority they think of themselves as having.

      5. I am definitely living in the self-avowedly progressive socialist community of Santa Cruz CA. But I am most definitely not closeted in my libertarianism, and have never been.

    3. They just have short memories, I guess. I’d think that the awful threat of the Soviet Union would be a bit more prominent in European memory, where the threat was pretty immanent for quite some time.

      1. For instance, what country had nuclear missiles targeting Western European cities? No, that’s incorrect–not the United States.

      2. The only thing that the Soviet Union did wrong was put the wrong people in charge.

        “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

        It will work here. Trust us. We’re not like the others.

    4. Not all that secret a religion in this case. Quoting from the “Europe4all” section on “socio-economic rights”:

      “Equality, cooperation, solidarity, the democratic definition of needs and social rights are the dominant values of Europe. These replace competition and free-trade.

      Every European citizen has the right to benefit from a quality of life that provides protection from poverty and exclusion and allows for the full participation in social and cultural life: this means the eradication of unemployment, of economic insecurity, of poverty and all forms of exclusion”

    5. You don’t understand the terms “communism” in its historical or literal meaning and you got your idea of progressivism from Glenn Beck. Read a book before you open your mouth.

      1. I lived through the cold war, had to practice duck-n-cover drills. So while I didn’t live in the USSR, I do know a bit about communism. You on the other hand were born with an iPhone in your hand and your idea of oppression is not finding a Starbucks on the way to your next protest.

  2. Unbelievable. Look people, the Soviets were just as shitty as the Nazis. Please stop treating them as chic. Thanks!

    1. But the Soviets wanted to help the poor and make the world a better place. They had good intentions.

      1. Well, if you accept Hitlers premises, he probably had good intentions too.

        1. The Nazi Party platform is literally a progressive Democrat’s wish list, but with explicit racial purity nonsense.

          Hell, I once translated the Nazi Weapons Law and every lefty I spoke to thought it was a great model for gun control in America.

          1. You are literally the least educated person I have ever encountered on a comment list, Virginian. When they study why the greatest country in the world imploded they will point to your post here as the ultimate expression of the failure of the American education system. “but with explicit racial purity nonsense” might have been the difference… just saying.

          2. Would YOU support a platform that is just like your wish list, except for the “small” difference that it also happens to call for white supremacy, a global war of conquest, and the mass murder of inferior races? Would you want to be associated with the people who agree with you on everything else, except for this “small” difference?

            I didn’t think so. “Explicit racial purity nonsense” is not some minor issue that can be glossed over. It’s a massively important deal-breaker.

            And by the way, Nazis without the racism are no longer Nazis. An edited version of the Nazi platform with all the racist stuff taken out is like a libertarian platform with all the free market stuff taken out.

    2. You know who else didn’t like the Soviet Union?

      1. Sterling Hayden?

      2. Lee Harvey Oswald?

      3. Ronald Reagan?

      4. Josef Stalin?

      5. Whiskers the cat?

      6. Ayn Rand?

      7. The Wolverines?

        1. Why you dirty lit-

          …um, oh. Okay.

      8. Slim Pickens?

      9. Soviet citizens?

      10. Joe McCarthy?

      11. lech walecha?

      12. Barack Obama…..

        well, it worth a shot.

      13. Margaret Thatcher?

    3. That is tone-deaf, on so many fronts.

      (1) Its not a religious symbol, but a political symbol.

      (2) It was not a political symbol of any member of the EU.

      1. The swastika is, in fact, a bona fide religious symbol. One sees it in Buddhist temples in both India and China.

        The hammer and sickle is the symbol of a particular political party, and that party has a very bad track record of celebrating religious diversity.

        It really is a disgusting poster.

        1. I think it was on HyR that someone posted a link to a Hindu temple that vandals had spray painted a swastika on.

          Of course, to Hindus, the swastika is a symbol of good luck, so they never bothered calling the cops or even painting over it. It reminded me of a line from Porky’s – “you’re too stupid to even be a good bigot.”

          1. What’s even better is that was the third or fourth time it’s happened to a local temple. Death, taxes, idiot teenagers.

          2. I believe it’s an American Indian symbol as well.

            1. Swastika was an Aryan symbol, Aryans being the people who invaded what is now India about 1000 BC.

              Aryan is where the name “Iran” came from. It was formerly called Persia.

              Hitler thought Germans were Aryans so he adopted their symbol. Don’t think it has any religious connotations.

    4. Actually, if you go by body counts, they were nearly an order of magnitude worse.

      1. They’re all authoritarian socialists to me.

    5. It is to the US’s great shame, that it entered WWII, allegedly to strike down fascism, only to turn billions over to brutal Communist oppression.

  3. It’s time to resucitate the image of the swastika. After all, it’s originally just an ancient religous symbol representing the sun. It’s terrible that the Nazis were allowed to claim it and poison alter the meaning. We shouldn’t let them.

    1. It’s still displayed in India.

      1. Yes, and India is so cool right now. Everyone should start displaying swastikas along with other Hindu symbols and tell everyone they’re really into Indian culture and how the swastika is just a sun symbol.

      2. It’s still displayed during Indian holidays by my neighbors. I’ve often wondered what our elderly Jewish neighbors think of it.

      3. It’s all over the place in Korea.

    2. I once made this argument in a college speech class. Even though I explained how symbols propagate the associated ideologies and that the purpose was to extinguish the ability of neo-nazis to use it, the argument was not well-received by those faint/liberal of heart.

    3. Exactly. And the same goes for Charlie Chaplin mustaches, as well.

      1. Michael Jordan tried to resurrect the chaplain stache in a recent Hanes commercial.

        But being black, he can get away with it.

      1. Huh. A new racial slur to learn at my age, one of the Jewish ones, that is. Of course, I’m a guy who got confronted about referring to a “chink in his armor.” This as if the racial slur went back to the 15th century when the expression came about.

        1. Well, for god’s sake, don’t ever say “there’s a nip in the air”.

          1. Probably best to not refer to a clean kitchen as spick and span either.

            1. We have a maid service that cleans a lot of buildings and residences in our area. They have a fleet of matching minivans with their names printes all over. Guess what it is:

              Spic ‘n Span

              Now guess the race of the workers that exit these vans to do the cleaning.

    4. I’m taking it back! I’m taking the symbol back!

    5. We’re taking it back!

      1. Dammit!

        1. Take back the swastika!!

  4. Hmm. I’ll make millions when I find a way to turn this into a douchey bumbpersticker like “coexist”.

    1. Yes, exactly! I’ll be your first customer.

    2. Maybe make something entirely composed of swastika’s, hammer-and-sickles, red stars, and other symbols of various murderous tyrannies.

      1. And they should all be arrainged to make a portrait of Jerry Sandusky.

        1. Interesting idea, but there’s gotta be a better subject for this than Jerry Sandusky.

          Maybe Che Guevara. Progressives won’t get the comedy.

      2. A Peace Sign. Or a picture of Che.

    3. Every time I see that bumper sticker, I’m like “What a message! You should take that on tour, Mr. or Ms. Merchant of Peace. ‘Coexist’. So simple. All those symbols living there together. You need to get the word out. A lot of people out there are fussin’ and fightin’ over nothing. You need to remind them to just… ‘coexist’.”

      1. The irony of that bumper sticker is that “Coexist” is implied as “accept as equally legitimate,” when in reality it means “try to get along even though you can’t stand each other.” It’s basically a platform for promoting PC lying as opposed to social stability.

        1. Really, isn’t that what liberty is all about?

          i.e. Everybody thinks everyone else is weird and stupid. Nobody really likes the other guy, but everybody just smiles and agrees not to murder the other guy or beat him up.

      1. I prefer this version:


        Also, Fuck you spam filter for screwing up my last attempt to post this.

      2. I prefer this one.


      3. Last time, lets see if I can get this through the fucking spam filter…

        I prefer this version.

        A-HA! Fuck you spam filter!

        1. Please, PLEASE tell me where I can get that as a bumpersticker!

          1. The spam filter is being a dick so I can’t post direct links. But try typing “coexist gun logo bumper sticker” into Google. There doesn’t seem to be anyone printing them for sale except for a small time vendor doing it through a gun forum and some place called Barber Marketing, and I have no idea if either are legit or not. I’d imagine that larger print shops don’t want to risk getting sued by the manufacturers whose logos are being used.

   has a fairly hi-res version that you could use to make your own, though.

          2. I can’t post any direct links because the spam filter is being a super-ultra-mega-biatch at the moment. Try typing “coexist gun logo bumper sticker” into Google search. There don’t seem to be anyone actually making it except for a few small print shops that are selling it on gun forums and a place called Barber Marketing, and I don’t know if any of them are legit. I’d imagine that large print shops aren’t printing it because of the risk getting sued by the companies whose logos are being used.

            Every Day No Days Off Dot Com (no spaces) has a fairly high res image that you could use to make your own, but the spam filter REALLY doesn’t like me trying to link to it.

  5. Hey! There are three of everything, except for crescent-and-venuses, of which there are four!

    Signal of Turkey imminently joining the EU?

    1. Hahahhahahah.

    2. My mistake. There are four of lots of other things too.

      It’s a conspiracy.

      1. But there’s only one Waldo!

      2. But the hammer and sickle sits at the top of the star in the poster. That’s the conspiracy. Sinister.

    3. Turkey is making decent strides toward suppressing freedom of speech, so they should be admitted any day now.

      1. Win.

      2. Turkey is making decent strides toward suppressing freedom of speech

        Are you kidding?!? They’ve been supressing speech for decades. For decades the fastest way to end up in jail was just trying to say a Kurdish word on radio.

        1. (I know – I’m actually a huge Turcophile and have lived there. I was referencing the case of that piano player)

          1. (I was also referencing the fact that Europe is not exactly a bastion of free speech and that Turkey’s efforts of late to suppress speech fits right in with their Euro brethren)

            1. Alanya, during the end of the Ozal Presidency/life, beginning of the Ciller Prime Ministry. When they actually allowed, for a really brief time, Kurdish radio and print media.

              1. That’s awesome!

                I’m told it’s a beautiful place.

                1. I think it (Alanya) was beautiful once upon a time, but even in 1993 it was a fast-growing tacky tourist town full of lobster-red drunken Krauts and Scandinavians. Now I hear it’s bigger with mostly Russian tourists.

                  I’d recommend going further down the coast to Anamur points East. Or to the Med/Aegean intersection, like Fethiye.

                  Istanbul continues to be fucking awesome, though. It’s an amazing, amazing city.

                  1. Well, it’s all academic to me. I’m in exile. I’ll probably never set foot on Turkish soil again.

                    1. I was planning on going back in a coupla years with a friend (when I could save up enough scratch for bidness class), but she’s sick and probably won’t make it another 6 months.

                      Whatchyou in exile from the Turks for?

                    2. I tried to renounce my citizenship and failed (couldn’t come up with the bribe money). If the cops get hold of me, they will ship me off to boot camp.

              2. Just out of curiousity. But why would Turkey even want to join the EU anymore?

                So they can give Greece someone to look down on?

                1. Access to the common market for Turkey’s exports.

                  But it’s really psychological. Turks view themselves as cosmopolitan, civilized people akin to french or british and want to join in their playground.

            2. “(Alanya) was beautiful once upon a time, but even in 1993 it was a fast-growing tacky tourist town”

              You’re a Turkey hipster.

  6. Interesting. Did not know this about the trifent symbol the have until I just looked it up.

    The trihsula (also spelled trishul or trisula, Sanskrit for “three spear”) is a trident spear that is the emblem of the god Shiva. The weapon symbolizes empire and the irresistible force of transcendental reality.

    The three prongs of the trishula represent Shiva’s three aspects of:


    Trishul painted on an Indian temple.
    Photo: Arno well as the three shaktis (powers):

    The fearsome goddess Durga also brandishes a trishula in one of her seven hands.

    1. Eliminationist rhetoric.

    2. ?creator,


      Guys, I think I might be an avatar of Shiva. All I’m missing is “action”.

  7. 3 Torii Gates in there – I’m sure much of the EU’s problem stem from the agitating Shinto minority…

  8. WHere are the pentacles?

    1. The whole thing is a pentacle

      1. If there were 6 points, it would be too obvious.

      2. There are a few five-point stars in there. What are those for?

    2. Where are the pentacles tentacles?

      Cthulhu will not be denied.

      1. ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn?

  9. OT: I won’t pollute the PM links with the likes of him, but Lawrence O’Donnell challenged Tagg Romney to a fight on his show last night.

    Is there anything more pathetic than a liberal tuff gai?

    1. I like that a man named Lawrence is making fun of another man’s name. Lawrence of what, Arabia? Only faggots and sailors are named Lawrence.

      1. From now on his name is Gomer Pyle.

        “Were you born a fat, slimy, scumbag puke piece o’ shit, Private Pyle, or did you have to work on it?”

        1. “I bet you’re the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I’ll be watching you.”

      2. You forgot Big Band leaders.

    2. Good thing, someone already polluted the AM links with this.

    3. Would you say he got his Irish up?

    4. “When I hear you talk about talking a swing and taking punches, why do I get the feeling that you’ve never actually taken punch or thrown a punch?”

      And you have, Private Pyle? Pffft, that guy probably wouldn’t last five seconds in a fight against anyone who has the faintest clue what they’re doing.

      1. Noted street-brawler O’Donnell:

        He attended St. Sebastian’s School ’70, where he was captain of his baseball team, and graduated from Harvard College in 1976.‘Donnell

    5. Is there anything more pathetic than a liberal tuff gai?

      Playing the victim card at the same time?

      I didn’t have that luxury in the part of Boston that I grew up in.

    6. If Taggert would accept, I’d gladly stand in for him against Lawrence O’Donnell. Not that I like Romney, but when would I get a chance to beat the shit out of Lawrence O’Donnell? That would be better than a having a threesome while eating Kobe beef and watching the Steelers win the Super Bowl all at the same time.

      1. I was thinking the same thing–if Larry really wants to box, I’m free on weekends.

  10. Where’s the American eagle?

    1. Where’s the double-headed Gold Eagle?

  11. The 4 in EUROPE4ALL is actually a bent swastika. What the poster is conveying is:

    Europe, Nazis all.

  12. This poster in sexist. No ({}) symbol anywhere.

    1. At the very least they should have the symbol (*Y*).

      1. Wouldn’t that be (.Y.)?

        1. Whoops, didn’t read further down…

  13. If you look at it the right way it spells “Zionism”.

  14. Wut, no signs for the Elder Gods?

  15. ( ? Y ? )
    ) . (
    ( Y )

    1. She needs to see a chiropractor.

  16. 6 Famous Symbols That Don’t Mean What You Think…..think.html

    1. The peace sign remains one of the most powerful and inspiring symbols on the planet, despite its long association with hippies


  17. At first glance it looks like a happy-feely all inclusive tolerance plug, but on closer inspection a more sinister symbol can be seen amongst the crosses, star of Davids, ying-yangs, trisulas, and Torii gates, the hammer and sickle.

    Among? It’s at the very top. What do you think that symbolizes?

  18. Can someone explain what is Europe4All? The web site is unintelligible. It doesn’t appear to be affiliated with the EU in any way.

    1. It is likely one of the EU propaganda ministry outlets whose job is to make Europeans feel united as one people.

      1. No it’s the European Social Forum. It’s an anti-neoliberal globalization outfit. It’s definitely not the EU.

        1. What does “neo-liberal” mean in Europe nowadays?

    2. Spacy Tony, we usually rely on you to give us some insight into lefty/prog/crypto-Marxist organizations.

      1. It’s too late, the truth is out. T o n y’s just a poser.

  19. They took out the swastika but they left the fricken hammer and sickel.

  20. “Whoever is responsible for the poster maybe should have considered the misery inflicted”

    Maybe the designer is a cynical anti EU activist. In which case I would buy them a beer.

  21. I will just note that the hammer and sickle is outlawed in many European countries as a symbol of totalitarian oppression, or some such. Always find it ironic when people try to censor “totalitarianism” out of the culture.

    But, if the idea behind this poster is to get people to be inclusive of those that don’t see the world the way that they do, its inclusion on the poster makes sense…given that there are far more communists in European communities than there are neo-nazis, it is unsurprising that it shows up while the swastika doesn’t. Also, a quick peek at the charter shows that it includes “right to strike” and other socio-economic rights that are the actual root to the symbol in question. If it is seen as a symbol of “worker’s rights” rather than Soviet Russia, well, there again, it is unsurprising that it is included.

    1. As a side note on the whole thing about censoring “totalitarian” ideas, the Moldovan government – whose recent banning of the hammer and sickle is TOTALLY unrelated to the fact that the Communists are the main opposition party, I’m sure – has also decided to close down a major TV station for “not being open to all political views” and “promoting ideas incompatible with a free society.”


  22. The fact that communists were officially atheists had nothing to do with their evil ways. Communism was based upon cults of personality or worship of the state. Just another form of belief without evidence. Reason and religion are incompatible.

  23. Wow. I didn’t appreciate the denigration of atheism in this article. Indefensible.

  24. No noodles? FSM will be most displeased…

  25. I assume you are giving the cross a free pass when it comes to misery and oppression that was visited upon the states that are now members of the EU. The evil committed under the banners of religion are far more horrific than the short-lived failure of communism. How can you single out the hammer and sickle as “sinister” in comparison? My problem is that the same kind of intellectual hypocrisy that you are practicing may have been adopted by the maker of this program equating the Soviet system and/or communism with atheism. The cold war is over and atheism is the best alternative to the horrors of religion. The fundies in the world are just aching to make our choice between reasonable Christianity and extreme Islam. NO!

  26. Jainism and Shinto represented but not Scientology, a religion (or is it?) that Germany has suppressed. I’m sure the countless Shinto followers in Europe appreciate their inclusion.

    Europe is way more divided over language and nationality than religion.

  27. I completely agree, it’s OUTRAGEOUS that they put the hammer and sickle on the same poster with Christian crosses, star of Davids, Islamic crescents, ying-yangs, trisulas, and Torii gates! After all, unlike the hammer and sickle, none of the OTHER symbols up there have EVER been used by oppressive dictatorships that promoted poverty, slavery, torture and death!

    Oh… um… actually, nevermind.

    1. In particular, the cross has never been used by anyone who tortured confessions out of suspects, the crescent has never been the symbol of any empire engaged in slave trading, and Torii gates definitely do not represent the state religion of one of the Axis powers in WW2. Nothing to see here, move along, just focus on those evil hammer sickles.

  28. Is it just me who thinks a Yellow Star is a really weird/bad choice?

    (yes,I understand that it’s not a Star of David, but honestly, when I saw a yellow star, that was the first thing that popped into my head)

    And while most religions represented symbolically have been used by those in violent contexts, none has the body-count of communism. When you see the cross or the crescent, some may see oppression but many will see salvation and redemption. Does anyone looking at the hammer and sickle really see salvation and redemption?

  29. Maybe it is just my aging eyes, but I do not see any indication of the Jedi or the Pastafarians. A Europe that disrespects these groups is no Europe I would want to call home…

  30. Warren had just finished speaking to a crowd of supporters about primarily veteran’s issues with former Senator Max Cleland and Congressman John Tierney. Warren left after speaking with reporters for approximately five minutes for an event in Hopkington with Cleland.

    Brown campaigned with Senator John McCain and Tierney’s challenger, Richard Tisei, in Melrose cheap nfl jerseys earlier in the day. Elizabeth Warren does not appear to be a Senate candidate for libertarians. But after a packed rally in this seaside Massachusetts town the Harvard Law Professor talked briefly with Reason about why libertarians should vote for her over

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.