Beachgoers in parts of New York and New Jersey saw a startling image in the sky Saturday afternoon: A plane towing a banner with a swastika-themed message.
The banner had swastika imagery and promoted the website "proswastika.org."
An organization called The International Raelian Movement was behind the banners, and the group’s spokesperson, Thomas Kaenzig, told NBC 4 New York they aim to reclaim a symbol they believe was “hijacked by the Nazis.”
“As long there are people still offended by it, it means we need to continue our work, we need to continue to rehabilitate the symbol," Kaenzig said.
Several NBC 4 New York viewers called to say that they saw the banner and were offended by it, and a city politician said it is extremely insensitive.
"I am deeply offended and hurt,” said Councilman Mark Treyger of Brooklyn. “Try explaining to someone who witnessed their loved ones who were butchered by people under that Nazi symbol that it's anything but a hateful one."