I am looking for writings in philosophy, semiotics, or psychology that deal with the shifts and ultimately the inversion of practical meaning in symbols. This would be something like Orwell's concept of doublespeak or Jung's references to Heraclitus and enantiodromia.
Let me give an example of what I'm thinking about. In the Roman Empire, the cross was a symbol of public execution and violent bodily domination. Under Christianity it inverts into a symbol of hope, life, and disembodied liberation. Then, in the political culture of the Ku Klux Klan, it again inverts back into a symbol of violent domination and public execution.
In other words, a "symbol" that abstractly unifies ("throws together") a society begins to undergo a doubled meaning or diabolism ("throwing apart"), forming a contradiction and generating a social schism. This is a bit like a Hegelian dialectic in reverse. I imagine there must be some well-known works on such phenomena, but I'm not sure what to call it or how to search for it.