Navy Barrack Shape To Change After Revealed Swastika Resemblance

The U.S. Navy will spend as much as $600,000 to modify the appearance of a barracks complex that resembles a swastika from the air, officials said.

The Navy approved the spending for changes to the four L-shaped buildings' walkways, landscaping and rooftop solar panels after satellite images from Google Earth revealed the swastika-like shape, officials said.

"We don't want to be associated with something as symbolic and hateful as a swastika," Scott Sutherland, deputy public affairs officer for Navy Region Southwest, told the Los Angeles Times.

Navy officials said the buildings' shape was not noted until after the groundbreaking in 1967.

Since it was not visible from the ground, officials decided not to make any changes.

But aerial photos made available on Google Earth in recent years revealed the buildings' shape to a wide audience of computer users.

Online commentators remarked widely about the buildings' resemblance to the symbol used by the Nazis.

Dave von Kleist, host of "The Power Hour," a Missouri-based radio-talk show, said he wrote to military officials calling for action.

"I'm concerned about symbolism," he said.

"This is not the type of message America needs to be sending to the world."

The Navy decided to alter the buildings' shape following requests this year by Anti-Defamation League regional director Morris Casuto and U.S. Rep. Susan Davis.

"I don't ascribe any intentionally evil motives to this," Casuto said of the design. "It just happened. The Navy has been very good about recognizing the problem. The issue is over."

The funds to change the buildings' appearance were budgeted for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, officials said.


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