This post first appeared in The Times of Israel.
All that beach-goers this past weekend wanted was some rest and relaxation, but instead they got some swastika rehabilitation.
As New York-area residents from New Jersey to Manhattan to Long Island looked up to the clear blue sky on Saturday, they saw a giant swastika on a banner flying overhead. The sign, pulled along by a small airplane, was printed with “Proswastika.org,” symbols equating the swastika with love and peace, and the Raelian logo of a Swastika superimposed over the center of a Star of David.
The Raelians, a UFO enthusiasts group (some would call it a cult) founded in 1974, believe that the swastika has gotten a bum deal. For the past three years, they have been holding annual “World Swastika Rehabilitation Day” events in cities around the world, including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Vancouver, Melbourne and Tel Aviv, among others. They just want people to understand the original meaning of the ancient symbol, which in Sanskrit means “to do good.”
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© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.