Finland’s Air Force unceremoniously dropped its logo used since 1917, which prominently displayed a swastika, it was confirmed Wednesday.
The Air Force Command unit has swapped out its old logo, a golden swastika placed in the middle of a set of wings, with a more generalized insignia featuring a golden eagle on a blue badge, an agency spokesperson confirmed to BBC News Wednesday.
“As unit emblems are worn on uniform, it was considered impractical and unnecessary to continue using the old unit emblem, which had caused misunderstandings from time to time,” the spokesperson said.
The change was first spotted on Twitter Tuesday by Finnish professor Teivo Teivainen of the University of Helsinki. The Air Force had been gradually phasing out swastika emblems for the eagle design over the last few years, he said.
Before being indelibly linked to Nazism and the Holocaust, swastikas were a common design motif worldwide dating back thousands of years, adorning anything from buildings to sports uniforms.
Finland’s Air Force, while an ally of Nazi Germany during WWII, had made use of swastikas on uniforms, planes and in other capacities dating back shortly after its independence in 1917.
The agency told BBC the swastika remains in some Air Force unit flags and decorations, but is no longer prominently used as the badge of the central Air Force Command.
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