NORFOLK, VA (WWBT) - A symbol of hate is conjuring up a major controversy in a Virginia neighborhood. It's a swastika, and it's flying in front of a Norfolk home.
By the time cameras arrived, the owner had taken it down, but this community is still outraged. Walking in this quiet Norfolk neighborhood, you would probably expect to see an American flag, but you would not expect to see a Swastika hanging in front of someone's home.
"It was a big Nazi flag," Vicki Wolfson said.
Sherene Silverberg and her son were just passing by on Mowbray Arch when the the flag caught their eyes. "You're a Jew, you're driving down the road and you see a Swastika. You immediately assume that is some kind of antisemitic statement being made."
Silverberg says seeing the flag was a hurtful reminder to the injustices her people suffered at the hands of Adolf Hitler in Germany. "Here's this squirming little coward putting up a flag to remind us all what was done to our people," she said. "When we saw that flag is like being kicked in the belly by a horse."
Beth Brooker shot video of the flag being taken down. She then confronted the people who put it up, letting them know just how upset she was. "You have every right to fly that flag. You do. But I also think you need to know how offensive it is," she said. In the video Wolfson recorded, the homeowner says the flag is in protest of President Obama.
"I don't think anybody should want to incite hate and distrust. I just don't think it's right," Wolfson said.
The homeowner confirmed he was protesting President Obama and his policies, most notably immigration. While he does have a right to free speech, the homeowner does admit how a Nazi symbol could be seen as offensive.