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YouTube screenshot of Proswastika.org banner that flew over New York beaches on July 12. / Screenshot via YouTube

A banner of a swastika flew over Coney Island and Long Island beaches on Saturday.

The organization promoting the banner, Proswastika.org, aims to reclaim the swastika as a symbol of a peace, its meaning long before it became associated with the Nazis.

The banner shows the swastika over the Star of David. It flew as part of Swastika Rehabilitation Week starting July 5, according to the group's website.

"The swastika symbol is one of the oldest symbols on the Earth and can be found in all religions and traditions, on all continents!" according to Proswastika.org.

But Mark Treyger, the New York councilman who represents Coney Island, is not buying that argument.

"I will not accept their twisted logic. And I am also going to speak out against sending chilling messages of fear and intimidation to residents," Treyger told CBS New York.

The Las Vegas-based International Raelian Movement paid for the banner, according to Proswastika.org.

Raelians believe extraterrestrials created humans thousands of years ago. The group is not anti-Semitic, Raelian spokesman Thomas Kaenzig said in an interview with USA TODAY Network.

"We are a pacifist, peace-loving organization," he said.

Kaenzig said the goal of the banner is not to offend people, but to educate the public.

Follow @JolieLeeDC on Twitter.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Swastika banner flies over New York beaches

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