Class Year




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Document Type

Student Research Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2006


A symbol is unique as a form of communication in that it holds no meaning standing alone, but rather gains meaning by people. As such a symbol can sometimes lead one astray for its meaning is liquid. A symbol that once represented something beautiful can be used by a sinister group, and through that become an icon of evil. Such a symbol can be found here at Gettysburg College: the Swastika. I found this symbol decorating the floor tiles of the second floor entrance to Breidenbaugh Hall. What the symbol represents may not be as ambiguous as it may seem, as the Swastika has been around almost as long as man has, its significance ever changing. I had a hunch as to its meaning but in order to uncover what indeed was behind this symbol when it was first laid down I must examine multiple the conditions under which the building was constructed, and the times in which it was completed. [excerpt]

Course Information:

  • Course Title: HIST 300: Historical Method
  • Academic Term: Spring 2006
  • Course Instructor: Dr. Michael J. Birkner '72

Hidden in Plain Sight is a collection of student papers on objects that are "hidden in plain sight" around the Gettysburg College campus. Topics range from the Glatfelter Hall gargoyles to the statue of Eisenhower and from historical markers to athletic accomplishments. You can download the paper in pdf format and click "View Photo" to see the image in greater detail.


Gettysburg College, Hidden in Plain Sight, Breidenbaugh Hall, swastika, Nazi, symbolism


European History | Public History | United States History

Department 1


Campus Location

Breidenbaugh Hall

The Remnants of a Shard of Hope Tainted by the Shadow of Evil