"To hell with Hitler. We had the swastika first." This was the road sign a few fiercely proud residents of Swastika, Ontario put up while others removed the new signs renaming their community "Winston" after Winston Churchill. When the Nazis had invaded parts of Europe in 1940, the Ontario government changed the village's name without its consultation. As evidence that a place's traditions can be stronger than sinister connotations to its name, Swastika's residents fought the government to keep its moniker, and they won.
The village got its moniker after a visitor's swastika good luck charm inspired the name of a gold mine in the area. For thousands of years the swastika had been an Indo-European symbol for good luck. The northeastern Ontario community, part of the town of Kirkland Lake, developed around the mine and was officially named in 1911. Before it took on its diabolical symbolism from the Nazis, the "crooked cross" would be proudly displayed in the community's buildings and sweaters of their local hockey team. But today the community is more discreet to avoid offending visitors.