Symbols often have long histories, even ones that have become synonymous with evil. The Nazi appropriation of the swastika overwhelmed any later sense of that long history, and so there is shock at seeing Rabbit Maranville, an baseball player in the early 20th century, wearing a cap with a swastika on it:6CC7A3BE-2CA8-45A4-9C60-FF483AB65638.jpg

Was Rabbit Maranville a Nazi? Should be referred to as Herr Maranville, or better yet, “Hare” Maranville?

The answer is, of course, no, but the investigation at Baseball Researcher is well-worth reading. Nor was the usage confined to baseball players. A quick search of the New York Times prior to 1918 revealed a sailing boat named “Swastika”, an antique Chinese rug on auction with a lovely “swastika border,” and a “Swastika edition” of the works of Rudyard Kipling.

(Updated title per this kind correction)