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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
[300 Latvian craftspeople] knitting 4500 pairs of woollen mittens as gifts for November's NATO summit have been told not to incorporate the lucky Latvian Thunder Cross symbol into their designs, as it looks like a swastika.An interesting site with other Latvian symbols says of the Thunder Cross: "this sign was popular to cut into the beds of children and to interweave into belts for newborn children to wrap them."
Unfortunately the Thunder Cross, despite its traditional use for hundreds of years and its use by Latvian Air Force (from 1918 to 1934), in insignias of other military units and other non-political groups, was tainted by its relationship with Perkonkrusts, a Latvian fascist group in the thirties.
NATO dignitaries will instead get mittens with other designs and "a jar of honey, a CD of local folk music, Latvian tea and a bottle of the national spirit – a 45% abv concoction of at least 25 different ingredients, known as Black Balzam."
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