Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Over-active imaginations see Nazi links in new Northlink Viking logo

Northlink Logo to 2013

Northlink Ferries logo up to 2013

Sometime I have to recover from the effects of seeing some stories that make it into the news, either through having to wait for the fits of laughter to subside, or for the bandages to come off if I fell off my seat and landed badly.

I think both came into play when I looked in disbelief at stories of some really ludicrous suggestions made by  people who must have had some agenda or grievance against Northlink Ferries – this could surely be the only motivation, unless they are deluded and need to be locked away for their, and our, safety.

Seen below is the recently introduced Northlink Ferries logo.

To anyone reasonably same and rational, and still in possession of most of their marbles, this probably looks something like the popular vision of bearded Viking in his horned helmet, pointing the way… somewhere.

But according to some, that would be wrong.

What you are actually looking at (to them at least) is some sort of homage to, and symbolism of, Nazi beliefs.

Well, if ‘they’ say so, ‘they’ being Dr Victoria Whitworth from the University of the Highlands and Islands, a lecturer in Nordic Studies based in Orkney, and Gareth Crichton, chairman of the Orkney Tourism Group.

Me? I’d keep a careful eye on that pair if that’s what they see in the new logo.

I’m surprised they didn’t publish an analysis of the former logo, explaining how the ‘N’ follows from stylised ‘SS’ formed by the sig runes in the organisation’s insignia (I’m better at this lunacy that the professional). It wouldn’t take much effort to morph the stylised ‘S’ into the ‘N’ of the logo. And that has been around for years, yet not a cheep from anyone who has been offended, or any tales of people refusing to travel on a ferry sailing under that symbol:

SS Insignia

There’s probably little to be gained in explaining to either of them that the Nazi salute was carried out using the RIGHT arm (Magnus is pointing with his LEFT arm), and that anyone issuing such a salute by pointing rather than holding their hand flat with all the fingers straight and in line would have been shot. Well, maybe not shot, but probably disciplined for making such a sloppy salute which would have been considered an insult to the Fuhrer.

Via Northlink defends Viking ‘Nazi’ salute logo – Transport – The Scotsman

As you’ll see from the Scotsman article reference, Northlink have little or no time for the claims of this pair, and have brushed off their comments, pointing at their own research into acceptance of the new logo by people who actually matter – their customers.

I also let this story lie for a while, to mature and either have a follow-up, or never be heard of again. Looks as if the latter option has prevailed.

It also gave the Comments section which follows the story in The Scotsman to build up a decent number of responses.

It’s pretty clear that the general opinion of the Nazi link connection is one of ridicule and disbelief.

The Viking image myth

What is actually more interesting here is the continuation of the horned helmet myth, and how little interest that generated.

Although it was pointed out that this is a “schoolboy howler” in the original text, nobody has complained about it, such is the extent to which this image has been carried on through the years. It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that people started drawing Vikings wearing horned helmets because the villains in a popular Wagner opera wore such helmets.

In fact, having taken a quick look at the background to the horned helmet (which can be traced even further back than I indicated above), it seems much of our concept of the Vikings, their habits, and their appearance is flawed, based more on imaginative writing an, more recently, Holywood, than on facts and reality.

Northlink Magnus


July 3, 2013 - Posted by | Maritime, Transport | ,

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