Sonnenrad

Sonnenrad
Alternate Names:
Sunwheel, Black Sun

The sonnenrad or sunwheel is one of a number of ancient European symbols appropriated by the Nazis in their attempt to invent an idealized "Aryan/Norse" heritage. The sonnenrad appears in the traditional symbology of many countries and cultures, including Old Norse and Celtic cultures. It has countless variations; the swastika and similar rounded variants are actually sonnenrad forms, as are certain versions of the Celtic Cross. In Nazi Germany, the Nazi Party, the SA and the SS all used sonnenrad symbology at times, which has led neo-Nazis and other modern white supremacists to adopt such images. One sonnenrad version in particular is popular among white supremacists: two concentric circles with crooked rays emanating from the inner circle to the outer circle. Often white supremacists will put another hate symbol such as a swastika in the center of the inner circle.

Because sonnenrad imagery is used by many cultures around the world, one should not assume that most sonnenrad-like images necessarily denote racism or white supremacy; rather, they should be analyzed carefully in the context in which they appear.

Additional Images:
Sonnenrad
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