The controversial history of the California US military building shaped like a swastika

Originally published at: The controversial history of the California US military building shaped like a swastika | Boing Boing


Maybe fill things in with some extra-wide breezeways?


I remember this making the news, this was my suggestion at the time.

RocknRoll defeats nazis


Those buildings to the southwest do bear a resemblance to bombers:


I’m having a hard time seeing how this is a problem. Do they think Nazis are more likely to join the Navy because they saw this on Google Maps? Fine, paint the roofs different colors, but otherwise this seems like a big waste of money and concern. I mean, there are literal Nazis in the military that need to be purged. Maybe start there.

That’s a good point. Paint some insignia on them looking like B-17s and let people infer what they will about the adjacent buildings.


Seems weird to have to explain why US government buildings shouldn’t be shaped like the symbols of epically monstrous regimes. So, here we go:


As an Art Director for many years, I’ve often declared the first two rules of art direction are:

  1. Find all the penises and get rid of them.
  2. Find all the swastikas and get rid of them.

They’re incredibly easy to make, when you’re just trying to augment or modify a boring old grid or rectangle into something more interesting.


Not sure it does that much to solve the problem though. Would you want to be one of the folks forced to live in those barracks, either before or after the adjacent buildings were painted to more strongly resemble bombers?


That’s a great explainer for why the people who (perhaps?) intentionally made a building shaped like a swastika that would not be evident to the general public for 50 years should be weeded out. Fortunately, my bet is that anybody involved in the design of this building is either long-since retired or dead.

It really is funny how people trip onto the design so often. My wife has a pair of socks that are iffy at best:

And shimano (another Axis power?!) has had a close call:


Welcome aboard, comrade, and thank you for your insight and a good giggle.

@DreamboatSkanky Demolitions Expert, “That should be just about enough dynamite to topple this monument.” [looks up at the symbol] “On second thoughts, give me another half a dozen more bundles; this shit needs to be disintegrated with extreme prejudice.”


Welcome aboard!


I’m a little surprised Google Earth has images of that base. I’ve been there and my experience was that Google Maps’ driving directions immediately stopped working as soon as we were on-base.


I don’t get what you say about these folks needing to be “weeded out”.

Everyone does this. It’s pretty much always unconscious, and the result of just trying to put some graphic flair into something by moving shapes around. Pinwheels are innocent shapes, innocently created and liked, and they’re often swastika-ish.

You need people in the decision chain to spot these things, and be able to make corrections, but in the main, no one is trying for this stuff, and no one should be “weeded out” for having done it. I always just pointed it out, and had someone edit their art to remove it. Most folks were abashed for having created something like that without realizing it.

In a building project like this, I’m a little surprised no one thought to switch things up at the blueprint stage, because it’s there that the design would be most obvious. But if you’re not looking at things with an eye towards graphic symbolism, it’s still pretty easy for a lot of folks to miss. It would not be a surprise to me were that the case here.


It literally is one of the oldest designs in human history and used in cultures all over the world who never had contact with one another. Pre-1930s is was a common art-deco motif in the US and a symbol for good luck. You can still find it hidden in some of the architecture. Of course it is tainted now for the most part, with it still being used in some cultures - especially the reversed version.

We should stamp out any fascists/Nazi/nationalist shitheads using it. Not every use of it has anything to do with Nazi symbolism. And certainly there are many examples of items with similar shapes, but aren’t intended to be actual swastikas.



It happens often. You don’t see it until you do, then you can’t unsee it



Yes, our family had a registered animal brand swastika (left-facing). The brand was allegedly designed off Native American iconography. When things began to get heated with other swastika-bearing parties across the Atlantic, my great-grandfather ceased using it, pulled the registration, and destroyed all but one of the animal brands (as well as getting rid of a pocket watch with the symbol).


Very probable. It was used by several tribes in the Southwest. You could find it on jewelry, baskets, blankets, etc.

They stopped using it ~1940.


Makes sense. Once you’re there, you no longer need directions.