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Who can legally fly a military swastika flag?

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685210.  Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:15 pm Reply with quote

The Finns used the swastika as national markings during WWII (as did the Hungarians) but the Allies banned the used of the swastika on all national insignia. The Air Force commands kept their flag because the legislation didn't affect the emblems of units.

Not sure I understand this. The Finns weren't one of the Allies so any Allies wide ban would be irrelevant to them wouldn't it?

Sadurian Mike
685358.  Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:21 am Reply with quote

They joined the allied cause in 1944 in order to prevent the Russians invading. Their alliance with the Germans was always a marriage of convenience (they only did what they needed to secure Finland rather than helping Germany), and so found it easy to "swap" when defending their homeland required a different partner.

In any case, the Allied ban covered all nations surrendering to the Allied Powers as well as those joining them (which many previously neutral nations did so as to qualify for the new United Nations).

685671.  Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:35 pm Reply with quote

The Finns are to my knowledge the only democratically elected government which Britain has declared war on.

685716.  Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:44 am Reply with quote

I suspect it's India or Nepal or somesuch... or even Hindus...

Especially since the word, IIRC, is sanskrit...

EDIT - oh - you told us the answer - do'h

Last edited by Posital on Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:30 am; edited 1 time in total

685764.  Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:31 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
The Finns are to my knowledge the only democratically elected government which Britain has declared war on.

What about Imperial Germany in 1914? Okay, so it was mostly controlled by the Kaiser, but they had an elected parliament who controlled the Treasury, who voted to fund the war. Or the USA in 1812?

Sadurian Mike
685789.  Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:02 am Reply with quote

To call Germany a democracy in 1914 would be pushing the definition somewhat. The head of state was the Kaiser who chose the Chancellor, who had no affiliation to the elected parliament. The ultimate political authorities (and therefore supreme power) were therefore unelected and not answerable to the elected parliament.

In many ways it was a system like the one Britain used before the Civil War; an elected parliament but one that had to have its decisions ratified by an unelected controlling head of state.

And no, our current Constitutional Monarchy is a different beast.

685866.  Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:28 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
The Finns are to my knowledge the only democratically elected government which Britain has declared war on.

This claim is oft made, and has gained more prominence than it deserves in recent years because Jeremy Clarkson is keen on trotting it out.

But it's not really true. While I know that war was never officially declared, were not Britain and Iceland de facto at war in 1973? They broke off diplomatic relations, and there were armed hostilities (Icelandic coast guard vessels fired on British trawlers, and British warships rammed Icelandic coast guard vessels).

OK, so it's possible to say at this point "But that's not a proper war, because war was never formally declared". But in that case, there is no war in Afghanistan and there has been no war in Iraq - and so this argument must be considered to fail.

Or the Boer War, come to that. While they were a long ways from perfect since the franchise was restricted to white males, Transvaal and the Orange Free State were participatory democracies at the time.

I'm well aware that the British are keen to claim that neither of these was a "proper war", whatever one of those might be. This seems mainly to be because, to most people's ways of thinking, Britain lost them.

Sadurian Mike
685884.  Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:49 am Reply with quote

Quite right.

If we don't win it wasn't a real war and we didn't really care about it anyway.

I still don't think I'd call the "Cod Wars" real wars, however. It is certainly open to debate and interpretation, but I would class it in the same category as the "Tuna Wars" against the Spanish fishermen in the Bay of Biscay. It was more that the RN were protecting British fishermen than seeking to engage "enemy" vessels. That a scattering of shots were fired (mainly blanks and warning shots) and vessels were rammed makes it significant, but I would still hesitate to class it as a "real" war.

686544.  Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:32 pm Reply with quote

Britain has fought many democracies. The American Revolution may be the first (I can't recall any conflicts with Venice or the Dutch Republic). Though I'd imagine most were undeclared.

Weren't either the War of the First Coalition or the War of 1812 declared? If those don't "count" for the same reason Iraq and Afghanistan are not "wars" in the US or UK, then this definition is without meaning.

686561.  Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:06 pm Reply with quote

Ah, well the usual form in which this factoid occurs is the claim that Britain and Finland are the only two countries to have declared war on each other at a time when both were democracies. This allows a certain amount of juggling with the word 'democracy', as well as with the word 'war', and thus the War of 1812, for example, can be got round by arguing that Britain wasn't really a democracy at that juncture. Of course, while the "two democracies" version of the claim narrows the criteria in one respect, it also widens the scope for pointing out that it's a load of sloblock by allowing non-British examples in. The Polish-Lithuanian war of 1920, the Paquisha War (fought between Peru and Ecuador in 1981), and the 1999 Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan are all mentioned on wiki as other examples of inter-democratic conflict, albeit not without some dispute as to their validity. There are also various examples of ancient Greek democracies fighting each other, although that's not usually the sort of democracy that people trotting this one out had in mind.

686597.  Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:09 am Reply with quote

The United States, despite what any of our presidents say in speeches, is not a democracy. We are a democratic republic.

The continental Congress at the time, were really not democratically elected-but elected by the colonies government.

The War of 1812 was declared by the United States-not Brittan, so you guys are innocent of that one.

686927.  Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:26 pm Reply with quote

And I thought it was Napoleon... "attacking" Moscow... but we did finish him off (with a little help).

Sadurian Mike
686962.  Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:38 pm Reply with quote

Napoleon's attack on Moscow was just part of the ongoing campaigns France had been fighting pretty much non-stop since before the Revolution, although most historians group the wars into pre-Revolution, Revolutionary, and Napoleonic (post revolution).

In retrospect it was the best thing that could have happened to Europe (unless you are a Bonapartist) because after then his army was never the same high quality. The subsequent retreat was hounded all the way into France by Russians, Prussians, Austrians, Swedes, and many smaller German states. The Anglo-Portuguese army came up at Paris from the south.

The 1812 War in the US was a bit of a sideshow. Britain had to divert troops to defend Canada against the attempted US invasion, and there were several naval clashes between Britain and the US, but that didn't alter the end result in Europe.
1352206.  Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:54 am Reply with quote

Finland's air-force has, this month, dropped the swastika from its insignia.

Alexander Howard
1388016.  Sat Aug 21, 2021 1:56 pm Reply with quote

During the War, 273 Squadron RAF tried to adopt a squadron badge which incorporated a swastika, to represent its being an eastern unit, so using a Hindu emblem. It was turned down, unsurprisingly.


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