Hammer and Sickle

hammer and sickle

The hammer and sickle is a part of communist symbolism and its usage indicates an association with Communism, a Communist party, or a Communist state. It features a hammer and a sickle overlapping each other. The two tools are symbols of the industrial proletariat and the peasantry; placing them together symbolizes the unity between industrial and agricultural workers. This emblem was conceived during the Bolshevik Revolution. It is best known from having been incorporated into the red flag of the Soviet Union, along with the Red Star.

Many symbols having similar structures, for example, the Angolan flag shows a segment of a cog, crossed by a machete, and crowned with a socialist star. Tools represented in other designs include: the brush, sickle, and hammer of the Workers’ Party of Korea; the spade, flaming torch, and hoe used prior to 1984 by the British Labour Party; the monkey wrench and tomahawk of the Earth First! movement; the pickaxe and rifle used in communist Albania; and the hammer and compasses of the emblem of the East German flag. The Far Eastern Republic of Russia used an anchor crossed over a spade or pickaxe, symbolising the union of the fishermen and miners.

The Communist Party of Britain uses the hammer and dove symbol. Designed in 1988 by Mikhal Boncza, it is intended to highlight the party’s connection to the peace movement. With differing intent, the eagle on the Austrian flag holds a golden hammer in its left talon, and a golden sickle in its right talon. The tools were not meant to be references to communism (indeed, the eagle also wears a golden crown) but, rather, were meant to represent the industrial and agricultural laborers, united with the former aristocracy, in one republican democracy.

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