The paperclip was used as a symbol of resistance during World War II. In the autumn of 1940, students at Oslo University started wearing paperclips on their lapels as a non-violent symbol of resistance, unity, and national pride. Symbols related to the royal family and state had already been banned, so they came up with a clever way of displaying their rejection of the Nazi ideology. In addition to wearing a single paperclip, paperclip bracelets and other types of jewelry were fashioned, symbolically binding Norwegians together in the face of such adversity.

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