Plane with Swastika banner flies around New York

By Melissa Barclay,

People on the beaches of New York City and Long Island got a surprise when they looked up and saw a plane carrying a banner with the swastika logo.

The International Raelian Movement was behind it, reported the Associated Press.

Each year, the group displays the swastika publicly to remind people of the original meaning of the symbol, before Hitler used it.

A heart symbol and peace symbol were added together to equal a heart. The website of the organization, ProSwastika.org, followed the symbol.

According to the Daily Mail, the website released a statement saying the event was a part of a campaign called Swastika Rehabilitation Week.

"There's even a town in upstate New York that was named "Swastika" after gold was found there a century ago. And although most people in the West don’t realize it, the swastika is still a revered symbol for billions of Asians, for whom it signifies good luck and good will,” Thomas Kaenzing, the head of the swastika rehabilitator, told the Huffington Post.

Raelians believe that a man named Claude Varilhon was contacted by an alien race in 1973, telling him they created Earth’s life.

New Yorkers, however, aren’t buying into the message.

“You can't rehabilitate something that elicits such strong feelings,” said David Bellmore, a Long Island resident.

The group said it has joined forces with other organizations that use the symbol to create the Pro Swastika Alliance.

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