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You're missing my point: I mean yeah the triquetra and valknut date to 8th century Europe but somehow managed to avoid all religious or spiritual connotation so fer sure "semiotics we share" goes back a bit.

But the recontextualization-as-speech meme factory comes from imageboards and prior to 4chan, those images were things you observed, rather than things you interacted with and redefined to suit your purposes.