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It’s strange the sort of things you end up talking about when standing in the queue for the “Back to the Future” ride. Andrew, for reasons we cannot remember, started complaining that Christmas trees were really Asherah poles, or at least general fertility symbols. We all then got involved in a meta-symbolic argument: does a particular meaning for a symbol become invalid when the symbol becomes used to represent something else?

The swastika is a better example: in the West it symbolises racial hatred to a lot of people after being used as a symbol Aryan supremacy by the Nazi party, but in the East it retains its original meaning as a blessing or good luck charm.

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