Picture:
Picture:
LegacyBLN/YouTube

Swastikas didn't use to be hate symbols.

As is pretty common knowledge by now, the religious symbol used in India and South East Asia in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism was commuted by the Nazis as an emblem of Aryan race identity and eventually become known as a hate symbol of ethnic genocide.

So when you see one in a public place in Western Europe or the United States, especially in graffiti form, it probably has no place being there.

Ibo Omari, who runs Berlin graffiti store Legacy BLN, recalled how he started the #PaintBack movement to the Verge.

The movement attempts to remove swastikas from public places, by transmuting them into nicer paintings:

A man walked into his Berlin graffiti store and asked for a few cans of spray paint. The man had been playing with his son at a nearby playground and noticed a huge Nazi flag painted on an adjacent wall. The father wanted to paint over the flag himself, but Omari wouldn't let him.

'We said we are going to take care of it — don’t spend any money, don’t get your hands dirty'.

'So we went there and made something beautiful out of it.'

#PaintBack began then and there, and over the coming months the group transformed over 50 swastikas into other graffiti, documenting a few as they went.

The concept spread internationally and was covered by mainstream media, most recently by BoredPanda.

Here's a few of their more popular designs:

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