Swastika, New York, was named for the Sanskrit symbol of good fortune in the 1800s. The hamlet kept the name throughout the Nazi era in Europe, World War II and the Cold War, but the recent surge of white supremacy in the U.S. had locals thinking about a new one. In a vote this week, though, the town board (based in the larger nearby community of Black Brook) decided unanimously to keep it.
Black Brook town supervisor Jon Douglass explains: "We regret that individuals, for out of the area, that lack the knowledge of the history of our community become offended when they see the name," Douglass said. "To the members of our community, that the board represents, it is the name that their ancestors chose."