Finland quietly removes swastika logo from its Air Force

The swastika symbol has been featured in Finland's Air Force since 1918

An official logo for Finland’s Air Force that prominently featured a swastika is no more.

The Nordic country’s military branch, which had been using the symbol decades before it became linked to Nazi Germany that ravaged Europe during World War II, has quietly changed a unit emblem to now showcase a golden eagle surrounded by a circle of wings.

"As unit emblems are worn on uniform, it was considered impractical and unnecessary to continue using the old unit emblem, which had caused misunderstandings from time to time," an Air Force spokesperson told the BBC.

The old logo for Finland Air Force Command on the left, and the new logo on the right. (Finland Ministry of Defense)

The old logo for Finland Air Force Command on the left, and the new logo on the right. (Finland Ministry of Defense)

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The change to the Air Force Command logo was made in January 2017, the spokesperson added, but it wasn’t noticed until University of Helsinki professor Teivo Teivainen recently spotted the difference.

The swastika became a fixture in Finland’s Air Force at its founding in 1918. Count Eric von Rosen of Sweden gifted the military branch a plane that had a blue swastika on it, viewing the symbol as a good luck charm, according to the BBC.

Its Air Force then kept a blue swastika on white background logo on its planes until 1945 – the year World War II ended.

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Following the war, the swastika was still featured on some Finnish Air Force unit emblems, flags decorations and uniforms, the spokesperson said.

Despite the change to the logo of the Air Force Command – which represents the military’s branch’s top brass – the logo of Finland’s Air Force academy still contains a swastika superimposed with a propeller, the BBC reports.