Critical Swavastika Update

This morning, my Windows machines are prompting me to download a “critical” update. The details read: “This item updates the Bookshelf Symbol 7 font included in some Microsoft products. The Font has been found to contain unacceptable symbols. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.”

Of course, I unchecked this item (1 of 3) so that nothing would change until I discovered the “unacceptable” character(s). First, I was suprised to find a font named “Bookshelf Symbol 7”; next, I was surprised to find a swastika in it. I’m surprised that made it through the first go round of whatever figurative and real eyes and hands worked on the product.

I have a vague recollection that this symbol was considered benign or positive prior to Hitler’s appropriation of it—and he actually used a swavastika or sauvastika. I don’t think I can add anything new to discussions about what to do with regard to these symbols, and apparently, discussion of this problem in Bookshelf Symbol 7 started over on Typographica back in December.

Author: Gary

Writer and editor living in Seattle.