The swastika in a decorative Hindu form. The swastika (from Sanskrit: svástika स्वस्तिक ) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing (卐) form or its mirrored left-facing (卍) form. The swastika can also be drawn as a traditional swastika, but with a second 90° bend in each arm. Archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates from the Neolithic period. It occurs mainly in the cultures that are in modern day India and the surrounding area, sometimes as a geometrical motif and sometimes as a religious symbol. It was long widely used in major world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Etymologically it means su + astika or good existence or swa + astika self existence.
Though once commonly used all over much of the world without stigma, because of its iconic usage in Nazi Germany the symbol has become controversial in the Western world. Steven Heller, of the School of Visual Arts, has argued that from the moment it was “misappropriated” by the Nazis, it became a mark and weapon of hate, and could not be redeemed.