A Swastika Dialogue between Foreigner and Finn

In Finland, the swastika continues to be an official emblem of the Air Force command. It is also used in some other parts of the Finnish armed forces.

As I have been studying conversations around this issue, let me offer a brief synthesis of some of the dialogues that take place during my World Political City Walks. I will explore this issue more in my forthcoming book on Finnish nationalism.
-Foreigner: What the fuck?

-Finn: You should understand it is our traditional symbol and has nothing to do with the Nazis.

-Foreigner: Well, there truly is something very special about you Finns, if you believe the world agrees that your swastika has nothing to do with the nazis.

-Finn: OUR swastika truly has NOTHING to do with the nazis. We used it before there was any nazi party.

-Foreigner: Weren’t you allied with the nazis anyway?

-Finn: It has nothing to do with this.

-Foreigner: Some weird stuff. Do Finnish people ever travel or learn about the world?

-Finn: Your should know that our Air Force got the swastika symbol from a Swedish count in 1918. No nazi party existed at the time. See?

-Me: It could be helpful to remember that the count later become a founder of the Swedish National Socialist Party and his sister-in-law got married to Hermann Göring.

-Finn: It has nothing to do with this. Besides, OUR swastika looks CLEARLY different from the nazi one. EVERYONE can see it has very little resemblance with the nazi symbol.

–Me: Have a look, both of you, at the CURRENT emblem of the Finnish Air Force command (see below)

-Foreigner & Finn: What the fuck?




How Finns Party’s Racist Turn Might Shake Government of Finland?

Now it’s real. Finland’s government includes a party that just elected a person convicted for a racist crime (ethnic agitation) as its new leader. The question is obviously not simply about Jussi Halla-aho’s criminal behavior, but that the party has decided to take a turn away from its agrarian populist roots and toward racism. Continue reading

A Tweet of May that Matters. First Reflections on a Hung Parliament after the UK Election

Tweets matter. Among the many moments in the month of May that Prime Minister Theresa May may regret, there exists one tweet.

On May 20, she declared:

Was this tweet “the shortest suicide note in history”? Can its message be undone? There surely would be nothing new in post-electoral deeds that deviate from pre-electoral words. Continue reading

Reformlessness Debt: Conceptual Innovation by PM Sipilä

A new political concept emerged today. Uudistamattomuusvelka. My immediate rough translation is reformlessness debt. For clarity, we could also say debt due to an accumulated lack of reform.

In my understanding, the concept refers to a metaphorical debt that has accumulated because previous governments have been unable or unwilling to make reforms. To the extent these reforms are necessary, the debt can be considered a reason for making the needed reforms with a bang, in a hurry, today. Continue reading

Chancellor of Justice and Constitutional Scholars Criticise Government of Finland

Criticism of the government in Finland has transgressed standard opposition talk.

Today the main newspaper Helsingin Sanomat published an interview of the Chancellor of Justice Jaakko Jonkka. One of his main tasks is to supervise the lawfulness of the official acts of the government. His comments suggested in calm but clear manner that the current government has repeatedly sidestepped constitutional considerations when making law proposals in the parliament. Continue reading

Should the Air Force of Finland Get Rid of the Swastika?


One thing that keeps amazing me is to see the Finnish military marching and some of the Air Force guys carrying a swastika. I am not talking only about documentaries from the 1930s. I am talking about today. The image posted above is the current emblem of the Air Force Command.

Swastika-like figures appear in some other official Finnish symbols, including the presidential flag. My focus here is on the one used by the Air Force since it is probably the one that has clearest resemblance with the Nazi symbol. The colors and the position are a bit different, but the association is difficult to avoid. Continue reading