Village Named Swastika Keeps Name, Despite Complaints

Village Named Swastika Keeps Name, Despite Complaints

The rural upstate New York hamlet of Swastika is keeping its name, despite a complaint that “it symbolizes the hate and intolerance of the Nazi regime”.

The unincorporated crossroads in the Adirondack Mountain town of Black Brook, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of the U.S.-Canada border, has been known as Swastika for more than a century.

But town council members considered a name change after a visitor from New York City said “it was offensive, and disrespectful to the memory of the World War II veterans” buried in graves in the nearby countryside. Michael Alcamo said he was bicycling through the area this summer when he came upon Swastika.

“I was stunned that the people who live there wouldn’t have a meeting and pick a different name sometime after 1945, if not prior,” Alcamo said Thursday.

Council members met Sept. 14 and unanimously nixed a name change.

“We regret that individuals, from out of the area, that lack the knowledge of the history of our community become offended when they see the name,” Black Brook supervisor Jon Douglass wrote in an email Thursday. “To the members of our community, that the board represents, it is the name that their ancestors chose.”

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