Group Claims It Wants To Return The Symbol To It's Original Intent
Beach goers in New York were shocked this weekend when a plane towing a banner with a pro-swastika message flew over Long Beach Island. The banner could reportedly be seen from Manhattan to the Jersey Shore.
A group called the International Raelian Movement was reportedly behind the banner, which it says was intended to "rehabilitate" the swastika into a symbol of peace. They say actions by the Germans in WWII changed the meaning of the swastika worldwide.
The banner depicted a swastika intertwined with a Star of David, which the New York Post reports one witness said was "disgusting."
The International Raelian Movement is often described as a "UFO cult" which believes the human race was created by scientists from an advanced race. They say the swastika represents peace and infinity, and the banner was part of a "rehabilitation day to explain the true meaning of the symbol," according to Thomas Kaenzig, an organizer based in Las Vegas. He said continuing to view the swastika as a symbol of "violence and hatred" only legitimizes the Nazi ideology."
The group has produced a video which talks about the swastika as a symbol in many cultures and religions. The Jewish Community Center of Long Beach said it does not yet know enough about the group's intentions.