Anyone in the blogosphere that has been following the meltdown at Little Green Footballs over the use of the Celtic Cross by the Vlaams Belang, will have to do a double take at the ring in the picture.
It’s being sold here in Finland by the local corner store chain, R-Kioski, in commemoration of Finland’s Independence day on December 6th. The store chain is selling a replica of the Air defense ring for the benefit of Finland’s war veterans, of whom many had given their wedding bands for the war effort.
The reason for my interest in symbols is due to the fact that there are those in the blogosphere who are willing to condemn the Belgian Right wing party, Vlaams Belang, for crosses and other kinds of emblems. For the folks at LGF and elsewhere, “knee jerk” reactions are the standard order of the day, seeing Nazis everywhere they look.
So with one brief look at the ring, one would conclude that it’s a Nazi commemorative ring, and that the Finnish store is selling Fascist memorabilia………wrong. The use of the symbol predates the German use of by almost twenty years. Finland was never a Fascist state, and defended its own Jews, with many serving in the Finnish army fighting the Soviet army.
The R-Kioski add for the ring states:
“Sota-aikana 300 000 suomalaista vaihtoi vihkisormuksensa rautaisiin maa- ja ilmapuolustussormuksiin. Sormuksista saadulla kullalla voitiin hankkia, mitä Suomi tarvitsi puolustaakseen itseään. Tärkein tavoite saavutettiin: itsenäisyys säilyi.”
Translation: During the war, 300 000 Finns exchanged their wedding bands for the steel ground and air defense ring. The gold from the rings went for what Finland needed to defend itself. The main objective was acheived: independence was maintained.
This goes to show that where there is ignorance of other cultures and history, there is a high probability for spreading false assertions and claims. Those of us in the blogosphere need to learn from this,….LGF included. *L* KGS