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St Jean-Baptist

Posted By: Joye
Date: Sunday, 7 January 2001, at 8:31 a.m.

Dear Tom: found your site using a search engine looking for summary of history of Connecticut. I never found what I was looking for, but your site is so neat, I just started reading about the history of Northeastern Connecticut.

I was surprised and pleased to learn of the origin of St. John the Baptist day. Have long been a student of comparative religions and philosophies and was also happy to find a site on the web that understood and properly used the sign of the ancient swastika. I know it is a fine symbol of religious, philosophical and mysthical meaning to many cultures, including the Hindus, Buddhists, and even Native Americans, I believe.

What prompted me to write you was to tell you that in Davenport, Iowa in the late 1800s (maybe early 1900s) there was a cigar company, called "The Litttle Papoose." It had an illustration very much like the one on your French -Canadian page, with the four corner symbols and a Native American baby wrapped in a carrier (forget the name of the device, but it was one they used to carry the babies on their backs). It was in the same light, almost pastel colors as the design you have shown. I have always been saddened at the way human beings can twist and distort the meanings of symbols that were once honorable and well-loved. I know that the swastika is still respected, with its original meanings, in other cultures, and I hope that someday we can recover from the damage done to that symbol, and recognize that it was (and still is) a powerful symbol of hope and inspiration, to those of goodwill, and friendship towards all. At any rate, thank you for putting that on your site and explaining its earlier importance and how it differs from the one used by the European war machine of World War Two. Perhaps if more people would display it and explain its real meaning, we could discourage the knuckleheads that still would use it to instill fear and hate in others. So far, the world has not been able to figure out how to do that without offending those who have already been hurt by the misuse of the symbol. Yet, I would think that someday, the Truth of its right use, would show up the Lie of its misuse, and render it less powerful as an instrument of propaganda.

Ah, well, you asked for comments, and perusing the pages of your website was an informative and welcome diversion from my original search, which I now return to. My very best wishes to you and the fine folks you represent in Connecticut.