After Adolf Hitler had seized power in Germany, Nazi emblems were soon nationalized. The swastika became national emblem of the Third Reich and Poles from the Union of Poles in Germany could not use their national symbols anymore, because they were prohibited. Dr. Jan Kaczmarek approached the supreme council with the following proposal:
"Our acceptance of the swastika and the German greeting could only signify agreement to total germanisation. Therefore we must find a way, without risking the accusation of anti-state activity; of not accepting Heil Hitler and the swastica (...) we should at last have our own national symbol, which would, enable us publicity to set ourselves free from the Nazi swastika."
The Rodło graphics was conceived in 1930's by graphic designer Janina Kłopocka, who sketched the "emblem of the Vistula River, cradle of the Polish people, and royal Kraków, cradle of Polish culture". The white emblem was placed on a red background – the Polish national colors. It was adopted in August 1932 by the leadership of the Union of Poles in Germany.
The Rodło has since been adopted by other organizations of Poles in Germany, notably the Scouts, who have used it alongside the fleur de lys. After the World War II it was also used by organizations working in Poland, on the territories gained from Germany as the result of war.
- (Polish) (English) (French) Helena Lehr, Edmund Osmańczyk. Polacy spod znaku Rodła. MON, Warszawa 1972
- Edmund Osmańczyk. Niezłomny proboszcz z Zakrzewa, rzecz o Księdzu Patronie Bolesławie Domańskim. Warszawa 1989, ISBN 83-07-01992-3
- Edmund Osmańczyk. Wisła i Kraków to Rodło. Nasza Księgarnia, Warszawa 1985, ISBN 83-10-08675-X
- W Wrzesiński. Polski ruch narodowy w Niemczech w latach 1922-1939. Ossolineum 1993
- Bogusław Czajkowski. Rodło. KAW, Warszawa 1975
- Helena Lehr, Edmund Osmańczyk: Polacy spod znaku Rodła. MON, Warsaw 1972
- Bogusław Czajkowski. Rodło. KAW, Warsaw 1975