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Sparnota Latvija means 'Winged Latvia'

This site is a collection point for images and information about Latvian aviation, 1918 - 1940.

When the Soviet Union dissolved, historical material which had previously been kept from the public began to re-appear. Perhaps most interesting of all, this included old photographs of Latvia's first fliers, the aircraft they flew, and Latvia's earliest aerodromes.

I began purchasing and collecting these photos. I eagerly read everything I could about the subject, and the very scarcity of this material made the pursuit exciting. Eventually, I realized that I had accumulated a modest collection of images, many of them originals which, stored in my collection, were unavailable to others with a similar interest. More and more it seemed to me that this is a disservice to other such enthusiasts. So, I bought a book about web page design, and set about creating a public forum for this material. Since that time, my photos have been supplemented by images from many other sources as well. - GDZ

The "Swastika"
Ugunskrusts Image Let us deal with this issue right off the top.
You will notice that many of the aircraft depicted on this site carry the insignia commonlyknown as the Swastika. I am very aware of the painful association which many of us have withthis symbol. Please understand that the symbol had a history and usage which dates from long before thenazis co-opted it. In Latvia, it was called the Ugunskrusts (which translates as"fire cross") and was a positive cultural symbol centuries before the first nazi was born.The Latvian aviators adopted this symbol in 1919, and its use continued until1940.
The symbol appears here in this historical context only.
It would be a great error for the reader to infer any political statement from its inclusion here.




This site, for the time being, is written in English only. However, it is inevitable that Latvian namesand key words will occasionally appear here. The written Latvian language usesa character set which includes slight modifications of english language characters.As many computers are not equipped to reproduce these characters, I will simplify thetext by using the regular english language characters without the modifications. Latvianswill have no difficulty 'interpreting' the simplified text, and non-Latvians will not missthem in the first place. It is my hope, in the future, to add a Latvian version of this site.

Internet Beacon Award

Site contents copyright © the estate and heirs of Gunars Zulis, All Rights Reserved.
It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Gunars passed away on March 22, 2010. He will be mourned and missed by the many whose lives he touched with his spirit and talents.
LATVIANS.COM/LOBH.ORG is supporting the continued web presence of Gunars' work in tribute to his memory. We invite all who assisted Gunars in his research and passion to contact us (petersjv@aol.com) to continue to support and build on this valuable and truly unique archive.