Thursday, September 3, 2009

Secret Swastika: Idaho courthouse won't remove old swastika tiles

From the Salt Lake Tribune. The Associated Press 9/03/2009
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho » Bonneville County officials say there's no plans to remove the swastikas emblazoned on the courthouse floor, despite remodeling work underway.
The swastikas, lined in tile, are often painted over, the Post Register reported. But as the paint wears down, they show through.
Historian Julie Brawn says not much is known about the decision to use swastikas, but the intentions were not likely evil. The building -- and floor -- was built in 1921, more than a decade before Adolf Hitler took power and adopted the swastika as the Nazi symbol. Brawn says the design has appeared throughout much of history, often as a symbol of luck or fertility.
Idaho Falls attorney Reginald Reeves says the design hurts Idaho's image and should be removed. But Braun disagrees, saying a placard explaining the history should be installed instead.
I'm looking for photos from this piece but can't find any at the moment.


  1. Manny people seem to forget,
    that a swastika doesn't really stand for the german nazi-regime in the 30s / 40s,
    hitler more or less stole it and used it for his own purpose.
    I have a buddha statue here in this room with a swastika on it,
    and it also can make up some neat patterns if you put some together.
    I say leave it there. :D

    If you find pictures, please post. :D

  2. I agree that the casual use of the swastika (when used to provoke) is impossible for me to justify. When I stumble upon a swastika, used in pre-Nazi context (as on small tiles on our hearth), I remind myself how powerful reframed imagery and words can be. I'd vote to explain the tiles rather than 'erase' them.