US Postal Service Makes Nazi Emblem into Stamp
The Racial and Authoritarian Symbolism of the Iron Eagle
By Robert Manis, The Manis Report , April 10, 2002
I learned two important lessons yesterday: sometimes a nation’s material artifacts are more revealing than its professed “values”, and that it pays to surf conspiracy theory websites.
While browsing through the notorious “Al Martin Raw” website I was astonished to read that the USPS has appropriated the Nazi Eagle on its new 57 cent stamp. I was more than astonished - I didn’t believe it - but a quick search of www.usps.gov , showed me it was true.
The stamp, retitled the “Art Deco Eagle” was immediately recognizable as the Waffen SS Eagle, familiar to all students of WWII, and featured prominently in the notorious Nazi Rallies in Nuremburg, Germany. What Martin points out is that it is completely faithful to the original, down to its use of “Icelandic blue” coloring, renamed by Moh’s colors in this era of political correctness, from its original name “Aryan Blue.”
Martin points out that particular eagle was appropriated by Nazis themselves from the Roman Empire, as the ultimate symbol of Imperial State Power. He then degenerates into conspirator-speak, but it does makes you wonder what the US is really up to.
Is it possible that through symbolism and action, that the current administration is gradually preparing our society to descend into fascism? Al Martin apparently thinks so, and I am starting to wonder.
Let’s define fascism first. I would define fascism as the close cooperation of military, government and economic elites to reorganize society along racial and/or national lines, along with the militarization of society and the suppression of civil liberties, creating an authoritarian society.
Much has been written about the Bush administration’s close ties with other elites, and much written about Bush’s permanent war, and Ashcroft’s views on civil liberties. I’ll leave those alone.
Let me focus on racialism, nationalism and authoritarianism. Martin is explicit in pointing out their symbolic presence in the Nazi Eagle. But it is not the only example. Others have noticed an uncomfortable symbolism in “The Office of Homeland Security,” currently inhabited by J. Edgar Hoover look-a-like Tom Ridge.
The term “homeland” is not a term in common colloquial usage. By contrast, a Democratic, and perhaps the average Republican president would have probably named it the more neutral “Office of Domestic Security.” Homeland reminds me of the German “Fatherland,” and the Russian “Motherland.” These two terms are used to build an ethnic identification with the land itself, a linkage between blood and nation.
As a nation of immigrants, this is unfamiliar to Americans [except for Native Americans], whose homeland is variously seen as Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Britain and so on.
Homeland also evokes the image of defending our homes against terrorists.
But there is one more angle: You may recall that before 9-11, whenever Bush’s poll numbers started to sag he retreated to the Midwest, which he frequently referred to as the “Heartland,” there to launch attacks against the “Washington insiders”, liberals and other favorite targets.
Perhaps this is too much to read into a stamp, an office, and a few lost civil liberties. That is what conspiracy theorists tend to do. Let’s hope Al Martin is doing just that.