The British Swastika, 1918

It was a bit startling to see this in a newspaper from 1918. I had to check the date first as a swastika seems strangely out of place in Western history outside of Nazi Germany. And then there’s the fact that it was used officially by the UK Government to promote war savings certifcates – with the word “war” right in the middle to look extra-sinister.

The National Savings Movement, as it was called, actually ran until 1978 and was of particular value in World War Two to support the war effort. Although unsurprisingly the logo had been changed by then to one showing St George slaying a dragon.

Sunday Pictorial, 24th November 1918

Sunday Pictorial, 24th November 1918

Sunday Mirror, 11th August 1918

Sunday Mirror, 11th August 1918

The adverts themselves are interesting though – with tips on how to save money. Your newspapers can be sold, your bottles can be reused and your tincans can be recycled into munitions.

I like this advert from The Liverpool Echo, which informs you in detail exactly how many armaments could be funded from your war bond contribution. £5 could buy two 20lb bombs, £100 could buy a machine gun and 3000 rounds of ammunition, and £5000 could pay for two aeroplanes for “our splendid airmen.”

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