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Critical Bookshelf
frustration, computer problems, oops
In other news, Windows Update informed me it had a "critical update" to install.
    Critical Update for Windows (KB833407)
    This item updates the Bookshelf Symbol 7 font included in some Microsoft products. The font has been found to contain unacceptable symbols. (blah blah must restart)
A critical update to a font? Hm. A quick Google for the case number later and I stumbled upon a comment in a captainblue entry (from February - why is this showing up now when I only reinstalled 2K3 so recently?), so I pull up Character Map and lo and behold!

Bookshelf Symbol 7

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(Deleted comment)
It's related to Hinduism, Buddhism, and other faiths. It goes back millennia.

I think it's used on Japanese maps... not sure what it represents; I believe it was temples.

Presumably from the Buddhist meaning of the sign.

My guess is that this was done for legal reasons. Apparently Germany still has laws in effect that prohibit the display of a swastika.

Now, there have been some cases, such as this, where Germany has drawn a distinction between the two meanings of the symbol. However, these cases seem to be very recent.

And since I was bored, here's more on the German Penal Code from the German Law Journal:
The Penal Code's section on "Threats to the Democratic Constitutional State" (§§ 84 to 91) contains provisions forbidding the dissemination and use of propaganda by unconstitutional and National Socialist organizations (§§ 86 and 86a). This prohibits, for instance, displaying National Socialist "flags, badges, uniform parts, passwords, and salutes" (§ 86 a (2))—particularly the Nazi salute and the swastika.

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