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Letters to the editor: Know thy swastikas


May 14, 2021

There was an error in the coverage of the recent Veterans Park vandalism, which reported that vandals “spraypainted a Nazi swastika” on the restroom shelter.

At best, this is an unsubstantiated claim; at worst, it’s factually inaccurate, and it’s worth discussing why. The swastika in question appears to be a left-facing swastika (or aswastika), which is a Buddhist symbol for love or mercy, while the Nazi swastika typically faces right.

To be clear, I doubt the vandals themselves knew this, as vandals do not tend to be particularly sophisticated thinkers. In fact, it is darkly amusing to consider the possibility that, in attempting to propagate hatred, they inadvertently spread a symbol of peace.

In any case, it was definitely not the Nazi swastika, and the Pine Knot inappropriately ascribed motive to the design, which cannot be determined until the perpetrators are caught.

Jason Johnson,



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