Tiled Swastika Flooring Discovered Underneath Hardwood in Indiana Jewelers

A jewelry shop in Indiana lifted up the hardwood flooring in the store to uncover tiles covered in swastikas.

Redditor Brocknachos shared a picture of the intricate flooring to the site's Damn That's Interesting forum on Monday, where it's already amassed more than 35,000 upvotes.

They said: "This tile floor was found under the hardwood while renovating a jewelry store in Indiana."

The design shows tiled swastikas, inside squares, in a repeating pattern with an intricate border around the edge.

The shape is most often associated with the Nazi party, led by Adolf Hitler, and the horrors of the Second World War.

But the symbol itself pre-dates the war, with a long history of use spanning more than 15,000 years, after it was found scratched on an ivory figurine made from a mammoth tusk, Encyclopedia Britannica noted.

The website explained: "It has been used by cultures around the world for myriad different purposes throughout history: as a symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism; as a stylized cross in Christianity; in ancient Asiatic culture as a pattern in art; in Greek currency; in Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture; and on Iron Age artifacts.

"While the symbol has a long history of having a positive connotation, it was forever corrupted by its use in one cultural context: Nazi Germany."

Photo of the swastika floor, Indiana.
Photo of the swastika floor in Indiana. A jewelers lifted up the hardwood to find the original flooring. Reddit / brocknachos

The Redditor shared more information in the post's comments, although they didn't name the shop, claiming: "The building was built in the 1880's and this is the original floor. This is not a Nazi floor."

While they added: "No doubt it was built pre-WW2." It's highly likely the floor could have been covered post-Second World War, so as not to link it to the atrocities.

The National WW2 Museum estimates the worldwide casualties from the bloody conflict stand at 15 million battle deaths and 45 million civilian deaths.

The swastika's roots didn't go unnoticed by Redditors, with hundreds commenting on the flooring.

Rocketkt69 wrote: "Also predominantly used by the public as a general sign of peace, the swastika was NOT a negative symbol until mutilated and modified by the Nazi regime."

Swimming_singularity commented: "Swastikas were used by Shogun in Japan in the 1500s. And probably even farther back if we check other parts of Asia."

Redacted_G1iTcH added: "They were used in India far before, and are popular symbols in Hinduism (a religion that dates back to somewhere around 2000 BCE.)"

SheriffBartholomew wrote: "My friend's dad has an old Boy Scout coin with the reverse swastika on it. The coin is from 1919, so definitely not a Nazi coin."

"It's also worth repeating that the swastika was a nearly universal symbol. They adopted it because it was popular as a good luck charm in Europe for thousands of years," BoltgunOnHisHip commented.

While Ohiolongboard said: "Some Asian cultures still use the swastika, I notice it a lot in my customers' homes."

The Smithsonian shares some background on the Nazis' use of the swastika, explaining that Hitler adopted the emblem in 1920.

The museum claimed Hitler was convinced the party needed "a symbol of our own struggle," as well as something "highly effective as a poster."

It officially became the symbol of the Nazi party on August 7, 1920, when it was unveiled at the Salzburg Congress.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler's 1925 autobiography, he explained his reasoning behind co-opting the design, writing: ".... in the swastika the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work..."

Newsweek reached out to Brocknachos for comment.

Adolf Hitler pictured in 1935.
German chancellor Adolf Hitler salutes crowds from a podium draped in swastika banners during a May Day Nazi rally, at Templehof Airport, Berlin, Germany, May 1, 1935. A swastika floor has been found in Indiana. FPG/Getty Images