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Patriots Owner Calls for Wyoming’s Swastika Lake Name Change

Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, wants Swastika Lake in Albany County, (located in Southern Wyoming in the Medicine Bow Forest) to be renamed.

According to Cowboy State Daily, Kraft sent a letter to Albany County Commissioner Pete Gosar on Friday, requesting the commissioners support recommendations to change the name of the lake.

The lake which shares a name with the official symbol of the Nazi Party has drawn a nationwide response, as reported by the Casper Star Tribune.

According to Yahoo, A Republican Wyoming county commissioner is arguing that the controversially named Swastika Lake should keep its name, despite multiple proposals to rename the body of water in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.

“Why would we remove the teaching opportunity to explain the history of the swastika, both good and bad?” Albany County commissioner Terri Jones said at a council meeting last week, according to the Laramie Reporter. “The bad was very bad. However, the good predated the bad by eons. And the good is truly good and represents hope and goodwill.”

Robert Kraft believes the name glorifies the Nazis and their treatment of the Jewish community.

“The swastika is still being utilized by many white supremacist and anti-Semitic groups to glorify the Nazis and signal their hate to the Jewish community,” Kraft writes. “We urge you to stand beside the Jewish people and rename Swastika Lake so as not to contribute to the re-traumatization of many Jewish people and members of other communities across the United States who were victimized by the Nazi regime.”

According to multiple reports there is no record of how Swastika Lake actually got its name, but the first time the name appears as Swastika Lake is in 1922.

The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being.” The motif, which is a hooked cross, first appeared in Eurasia as early as 7000 years ago.  To this day, it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism. It is a common sight on temples or houses in India or Indonesia. Swastikas also have an ancient history in Europe, appearing on artifacts from pre-Christian European cultures.

The symbol was appropriated and used as a symbol of “Aryan identity” and of German nationalist pride in the early 20th Century.  The theory is that people using the symbol is likely why the Nazi Party formally adopted the swastika or “hooked cross” as its symbol in 1922.

The Nazi Party was not the only party to use the swastika in Germany. After World War I, a number of far-right nationalist movements adopted the swastika. As a symbol, it became associated with the idea of a racially “pure” state. By the time the Nazis gained control of Germany, the connotations of the swastika had forever changed.

Albany County Commissioners will decided whether or not to approve changing the name Tuesday.

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