An American flag using swastikas instead of stars, and Israeli flags with swastikas instead of Stars of David, are flying outside the home of a man living in Sacramento’s River Park neighborhood. Despite protests from neighbors, the man has refused to remove them.
In addition to the flags, the display features what looks like a man in Army green holding his hands up, and a Palestinian flag nearby. The display is lit by Christmas lights so it can be seen at night, KCRA reports.
Seth Brysk, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in San Francisco, told NBC Bay Area that the point of an Israeli flag using a swastika is to liken Israelis to Nazis. He wrote on the League’s website:
Such a gratuitous and offensive display of swastikas has no place in Sacramento or anywhere else. Of course the US Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech, including bigoted and anti-Semitic expressions like these. However, using the symbol of Nazism to make a political point is repugnant and highly inappropriate. It demeans the suffering experienced by the victims of the Holocaust and insults all those who were targeted by Nazi bigotry. We call on this individual to take down the repulsive exhibit to restore civility to the neighborhood.
Neighbors of the man told KCRA on Tuesday that they have asked him to remove the display, but he would not budge, referring to the display as his “art.” He refused to be interviewed by KCRA.
In January, members a Jewish fraternity at UC Davis found two huge swastikas spray-painted on their building; the action closely followed the passage by the Associated Students of UC Davis of an advisory resolution asking the University of California Regents to divest from any businesses working with Israel.