Lawmakers demand swastikas be removed from California house 

click to enlarge Robert Dixon, left, and Kraig Smith, demonstrate outside a home calling for the removal of swastikas displayed on the exterior in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. State lawmakers have demanded that the resident of the home remove the symbols calling the signs racist and vulgar but acknowledging the homeowner had a right to free speech. The flags show swastikas replacing stars in one American and two Israeli flags. - AP PHOTO/RICH PEDRONCELLI
  • AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
  • Robert Dixon, left, and Kraig Smith, demonstrate outside a home calling for the removal of swastikas displayed on the exterior in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. State lawmakers have demanded that the resident of the home remove the symbols calling the signs racist and vulgar but acknowledging the homeowner had a right to free speech. The flags show swastikas replacing stars in one American and two Israeli flags.

State lawmakers on Thursday demanded that a California man take down poster-size swastikas displayed in front of his house, calling the signs racist and vulgar but acknowledging the homeowner had a right to free speech.

"It's time to remove this disgusting display of racism from our community," said state Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, chairman of the Legislative Jewish Caucus.

The symbols desecrate the memory of 6 million Jews who died in concentration camps, he said.

On the front door of the Sacramento house is a depiction of the American flag with a swastika replacing the stars next to the stripes. Two other Israeli flags show swastikas in place of the Star of David.

A telephone message left at a number associated with the address was not immediately returned Thursday.

Police received a call about the house in the River Park neighborhood on Monday, and a welfare check found there were no reportable crimes, Sacramento police spokesman Officer Justin Brown said.

"We haven't received any other complaints," he said.

On Thursday, Block was joined by lawmakers, veterans and labor leaders in calling for the homeowner to voluntarily remove the signs.

Along with the flag displays, a crude wooden statue with arms raised is draped in green fatigues and wrapped by a string of lights. A Palestinian flag is flown on the side of the house.

Block said the homeowner has the freedom to deface his own home, but that doesn't make the use of the swastikas right.

"We have learned that the purveyors of hate tragically often follow their vile speech with criminal acts of terror," Block said. "We've seen it around the world. I pray that's not going to be the case in this instance."

The display has made some neighbors upset. Robbie Rose, who lives nearby, told KCRA-TV he has thought about taking down the swastikas himself.

"How do I explain this to my little one?" asked Rose. "I am all for freedom of speech, but this is just too much. I really do want to get out of my car and rip that down. But the only reason I don't (is) because I do believe in being a good American, and I do believe in freedom of speech."

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