The Nazi Imperial Eagle

EagleAnother very powerful Nazi symbol (although not nearly as powerful as swastika) was the Reichsadler – the Nazi Imperial Eagle. Although technically Reichsadler was the heraldic eagle (derived from the Roman Imperial Eagle) used in coats of arms of several German states – the Second German Empire, the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich, it is now rimarily associated with the latter.

The Reichsadler can be traced back to the banner of the Holy Roman Empire, when the eagle was the insignia of Imperial power as distinguished from the Imperial states. It was (of course) meant to embody the reference to the Roman tradition.

During Nazi rule, an Imperial Eagle was redesigned and combined with the swastika (the Hakenkreuz) which radically increased the spiritual power of this traditional German symbol. It was made the national emblem by the order of Adolf Hitler in 1935.

The Nazi Party had used a very similar symbol for itself, called the Parteiadler (“Party’s eagle”). These two insignia can be distinguished as the Reichsadler looks to its right shoulder whereas the Parteiadler looks to its left shoulder. The SS and Luftwaffe used their own version of Reichsadler.


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