Witnesses: Plane with swastika banner spotted flying over Brighton Beach

The banner advertised the website pro-swastika.org.

The banner advertised the website pro-swastika.org.

BROOKLYN - A plane towing a swastika banner flew over Brighton Beach Saturday, according to witnesses.

Beachgoers say they saw a plane flying overhead with a banner that showed a swastika plus a peace sign, equaling a heart. The banner advertised the website pro-swastika.org.

The website says Saturday marked the conclusion of "International Swasitka Rehabilitation Week," which seeks to change the message conveyed by the swastika, most often associated with Nazi Germany. The website is run by a religion called the Raelian Movement, which considers the swastika a religious symbol.

A spokesperson for the religion says long before Nazi Germany, the swastika was a symbol prevalent throughout history, transcending continents and cultures. He says their goal is to promote peace, not Nazism.

The group says that this weekend, they have 40 banners flying over 40 different cities across the world. The banner was also seen flying over Long Island Saturday.

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