Websters dictionary describes Runes (or Rune Stones) as: "any of the characters of any of several alphabets used by the Germanic peoples from about the 3d to the 13th centuries"
According to the Serena Powers website: "Runes originated with the ancient Etruscans and Cast upwards throughout the Alpine regions to Northern Europe via the trade routes. The Germanic tribes took them and adapted them to their own needs and uses. The oldest and most widespread of the Germanic runes are the Elder Futhark or Common Germanic Runes. The word rune, which occurs in various forms in Germanic and Celtic languages, means "a mystery" or "holy secret" that is "whispered. Runes were traditionally carved into bone, wood or stone which accounts for their angular shape. The lack of curves made it easier to create the shapes in either hard wood or stone."
This further reinforces our cultural claim to the flag of the Kingdom of the Lombards (see above left) as truly a symbol of the Lombardian-Tuscan people. Our soul is Etruscan, but our cultural symbol is Lombard; and now we see that even our flag symbol has a partial Etruscan origin. To digress, you can see the red Othala in the middle of the black eagle.
Naturally the Lombards brought the Runes with them into the Po Valley. However, apparently, the Runes were just going back to where they had been originated in the first place. They may have been altered somewhat over the many centuries. It was a full millenium from the end of Etruscan civilization, to the time of the Lombard invasion.
Somewhat tied into this is the fact that the Lombards, although Arian Christian in faith when they arrived in the Po, had been Odinists for centuries. Arian (not Aryan in this definition) Christianity seems to have been a pagan-barbarian type of Christianity. The Lombard Queen, Theodelinda, converted the Lombards to Roman Christianity during her reign.
There's so much history here that I wish I could go on further. We'll have to cover items in small bits and pieces for now. There's a lot on the web about the Runes. Below are a few links which are related to the subjects covered today:
Casting the Runes (SerenaPowers.com)
Odal Rune (Wikipedia)
Comunita Odinista (international)
Comunita Odinista - Vinland (North America)