Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

Was ‘Swastika’ Blanket That Caused Uproar A Native American Symbol?

Last month, a group of activists rallied at a Flea Market in Utah to protest what they said was a swastika-decorated blanket on sale.

But flea market organizers said this this was no swastika — but instead a sacred Native American symbol.

“I know antiques and I knew exactly what it was when I saw it,” Michael Sanders, who organized the flea market, told the Salt Lake Tribune, “a Native blanket with a rolling-log motif.”

The “rolling-log motif” is a Native American symbol that resembles, but pre-dates, the Nazi use of the swastika.

At the August 13 market, the activists demanded the blanket be removed. “They started screaming ‘Nazi’ and ‘white supremacist’ and cursing at the vendor; they made a big scene,” said Sanders, who was later harassed on social-media over the blanket. “Then the vendor decided to pull it.”

Activists continued to rail against market organizers online, calling another a “racist” who “looks like a neocon.” One of the posts was hashtagged with #punchanazitoday.

The swastika has a long history outside of its use by the Nazis. Over the years, American Indians have denounced the Nazis use of the symbol.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum




Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.