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'Swastika Acres' in Denver Decides Now is a Good Time to Change Its Name

Things were different in 1908.

Back then, when a local land company decided to name a new Cherry Hills Village subdivision Swastika Acres, it didn’t prompt the same reaction people would have today.

Neither did the name of the land company, itself: Denver Swastika Land Company.

“When the land company elected to use that name there was no negative connotation to that name,” said Dan Sheldon, a current Cherry Hills Village City Councilman. …

According to research by Cherry Hills Village, the original name given to the land had no relevance or relation to the meaning associated with swastika today. At the time, village research found, the symbol was associated with good luck and prosperity. …

In an email to one city council member, a homeowner asked the city to keep the name. …

She wrote that she is Jewish, had several family members killed in the Holocaust, and is scared and saddened by the swastika symbol. However, she also pointed out the symbol had a different meaning before Nazis claimed it, and asked the council to consider that in their decision.

“Swastika is an Indian design with peaceful meaning,” she wrote.

At the risk of taking a controversial stand on a divisive, hot button issue of our times and risk alienating a substantial segment of the public, but I wholeheartedly support the idea of no longer calling your subdivision “Swastika Acres.”

I generally consider myself to be one of the first people to speak up when I see the world getting too PC. Getting offended by things that never used to bother anyone no longer used to mean you have a stick up your ass and need to lighten up. Now we wear our outrage proudly, like a medal we won in battle. But even I have to admit that if you were to draw up a ranking of the things we can live without starting today, I’d have to say the Swastika is right at the top of the short list. And unless you want to try to sell your house in a subdivision that sounds like a rest home for retired Gestapo torturers, you have to join Team Cherry Hills.

Again, I don’t want to take a stand that might bother some of the good people of Cherry Hills who want to remind you the Ol’ Twisted Cross is an obscure Indian symbol of peace, good luck, prosperity and rainbow unicorn farts. But when the Nazis took it, they took it for good. I mean, legally or not, they really trademarked the shit out of that one.

It’s unfortunate. Just like it’s unfortunate they ruined the name Adolph and that little square mustache which used to be pretty popular with the ladies back in the day. But in the whole catalogue of thinks they ruined, I think we need to start with “1. Tens of millions of lives” and work our way down to happy, arcane, indigenous symbols.

So with all due respect to this Jewish lady who took the time to write to the Swastika Acres Cherry Hills city council, she might want to consider whether the most recognizably iconic symbol of evil ever used, one that was the final thing seen by countless lives as they were snuffed out, is the hill she wants to metaphorically die on. I mean, I’m big into shamrock motifs. But if an alien race came with a bigass green clover on their space ships and started leveling cities, I’d learn to do without. You pick your fights. And 80 years after Hitler invaded Poland and 74 years after Berlin fell, I’d say enough is pretty much enough on this one.