This is the ultimate symbol of Communism. This symbol is distinctly modern in its origin although its components are ancient. The hammer is the symbol of the Norse God Thor and represents enormous power. The sickle is the symbol of the Reaper representing the transition from life to death.
Using literal symbolism, the items combined could read either “Through hard work – life after death” or “the power over life and death”. The truth is that the two independent symbols were apparently chosen for their humble origins as implements with which the Russian proletariat could empathise.
The original symbol (flag) featured a plough instead of the sickle and was meant to depict the unity of industry and agriculture to build a better world. Academics still argue about when it was first used but it was widely accepted by 1923 and, as such, that is the official date attributed to its origin. To the communist East it once represented Liberation, Freedom and Hope but over time became to mean Suppression, Exhaustion and Corruption. To the West it once meant Fear, Expansionism and Nuclear war.
With the fall of the Soviet Union it is slowly sliding into Pop Culture.