The Canadian Town of Swastika Refuses To Change Its Name

The 500 or so people from Swastika, Ontario, are well aware that their town’s name has negative connotations, but for 80 years they’ve resisted a name change for one reason: They thought of their name before Hitler. “You don’t write off history just because one person does something wrong,” said town historian Carolyn O’Neil. The town was named after the Swastika Gold Mine, which took its name from the Sanskrit word for “good luck.” During World War II, the provincial government removed the Swastika sign and replaced it with a sign that read “Winston.” The residents promptly removed the Winston sign and put the Swastika sign back, along with a message: “To hell with Hitler, we came up with our name first.” Today, the town retains its original name and has no plans to cater to those whose feelings are hurt.