Tight Lines Tuesday The Swastika
by John Etchieson
Tight Lines Tuesday The Swastika; The Swastika was not always an evil symbol – 100+ years ago in 1914 this very rare “Speckled Beauty” fly fishing line featuring the lithographic image of a leaping Brown Trout was introduced and sold by the Ashaway Line and Twine Company of Ashaway Rhode Island under their “Swastika Brand” trade mark. Ashaway had been using the U S registered “Swastika Brand” trade mark for at least nine years prior to that time since its meaning was both symbolic of, and synonymous with “good luck” or “good fortune” in the popular culture and also with their fishing customers who often relied upon a little luck as much as skill to catch fish.
In fact, the Swastika had conveyed this same positive meaning universally for more than 3000 years and had been used as decoration in many different cultures around the world including the native American Indians; and it can even be found still today adorning the architecture of ancient Buddhist temples and ancient Jewish synagogues around the world. This 3000 year old “Good Luck” Swastika symbol obviously only became corrupted and turned into an evil symbol after Adolph Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and his Nazi Party’s Swastika became Germany’s official national symbol until 1945. Coincidentally, 1933 was the last year that the Ashaway Line and twine Company was to ever again use their Good Luck “Swastika Brand” trade mark. It was retired after Hitler usurped it and it was replaced by Ashaway with another less offensive logo and trade mark. This “Speckled Beauty” fly fishing line is 1 of only 4 known to have survived these past 100+ years and is considered an extremely rare item to be found among the collectors of antique fishing tackle today.
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