The SS Flag

If you remember the discussion on this post, this will be the most disappointing/least surprising thing you’ll read all day.

Obviously, I have no way of knowing for sure that the people in that thread were Marines, just because they claimed to be. But I think we can safely say that, if they were, that’s evidence going back three years that they do indeed know what the insignia means and, in fact, use it for precisely that reason.

And, as I said in that thread, they’d better hope they never run into World War II vets who have learned of this nonsense, because it is completely dishonorable and spitting in the face of those men. And I wonder how they will feel in 50 years, if Marines start tattooing some kind of tribute to Bin Laden on their bodies, because he was “so brilliant” or “so ballsy” or whatever dumbass thing they come up with.

But most of all, I wonder how the hell these kids come home and be a part of society again.


4 thoughts on “The SS Flag

  1. If it were my call, the use of SS symbols and Nazi flags would be prohibited for military personnel because of the message that it sends. I would feel the same way about a unit with the hammer and sickle.

    One theme that keeps coming up which I believe is greatly responsible for the mythology surrounding the SS symbol is incorrect belief that the Waffen SS were superior soldiers. With exceptions owing more to leadership and combat experience, Waffen SS units were not better than front-lline Wehrmacht units.

    The myths about the Waffen SS owe a great deal more to the ‘SS’ than to the ‘Waffen.’ The key advantage of Waffen SS units was about equipment and support. SS units like the Herman Goering Division or the Das Reich or the Adolph Hitler Body Guard {I cannot spell the German title} had larger allotments of tanks and artillery as well as first claim on the best equipment. An SS Panxer division might have 1/4 or 1/3 more tanks than a regular Panzer division and similar extra artillery and other weapons. Provided training comparable to the outstanding training and tactics of the regular Army, it is not surprising that these units were more feared and able to offer more resistance..

    The early Waffen SS units did benefit from their self-image as an elite. However units on the eastern front had a stronger reason to fight to the death. The Russians adopted a policy of shooting Waffen SS soldiers even if they surrendered. While this was a response to a German policy for all units to execute any captured Soviet Commisars, it did a great deal to ensure that Waffen SS units fought to the last.

    For American troops to look to the Waffen SS are examples of military excellence is both sad and ironic. Sad because it shows a lack of understanding of history and ironic because a contemporary American combat unit is far better trained than the Waffen SS ever was.

  2. Mark, my understanding is that military personnel are prohibited from displaying racist paraphernalia or having racist tattoos.

    And yes to everything else.

  3. Perhaps we should consider that military excellence is not the entirety of the message the SS flag is intended to convey. The symbol, historical accuracy notwithstanding, also connotes ruthlessness, ideological dedication, and, of course, white supremacy. Though we’d have to agree to accept a rather fuzzy, not-purely-Nazi definition of ‘whiteness’*, I’d say the SS flag is an appropriate symbol for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.


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