Dear PoPville – How Do We Get Swastika Graffiti Removed?

by Prince Of Petworth February 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm 28 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

I walk to work down 14th street every day. There is a swastika drawn on an electrical meter box at the south end of Thomas Circle. I have called DC government and the relevant Councilman’s office and asked for assistance. Apparently, they don’t remove graffiti when its below 50 degrees. However, my first complaint about this situation was in November and while its been a cold winter, there have been plenty of days above 50. I guess my basic question is why is DC so broken that we have to live with swastikas for months at a time?

The picture attached is of the box with the graffiti but not of the swastika itself (I would not reproduce such a vile symbol).”

  • DDE

    Dress like Eisenhower, gather an army of your friends, and spray paint over it.

    • Yes

      You just won the response game.

  • Anonymous

    Offensive as it is, I would put this pretty far down on my list of things I’d want the city to fix, even if I had to see if every day. If it bothers you that much maybe you could cover it with a sticker or something?

  • Anonymous

    Fill in its blank spots and turn it into an “x” in a diamond.

  • Anon

    When I was living in Rosslyn, there was a sign (almost a blank rectangle) at the base of the Key Bridge, Virginia side, that was alternately blank, graffiti’d, and occasionally painted with a American flag. Then one day someone put swastikas all over it.

    We reported it to the police, but after a week, we just bought some paints and put the American flag back. We got absolutely no trouble from law enforcement, and I don’t see a universe in which you’d get flack for just covering it tastefully. Just get some gray paint and have at it, I say.

    Is it your job? No. But it’s probably a good thing to do.

  • Anonymous

    DC isn’t broken, your sensitivity meter is broken. Double up on your daily Xanax dose and go over it if it so mortally offends you.

    • Anonymous


    • LOL spot on. I’m definitely not one of those “if you can’t handle it move to Virginia” people, but this seems like a pretty simple self-fixer. It only requires a black permanent marker and 10 seconds of effort.

    • Anonymous

      +1. Thanks for saying what I was just thinking.

    • Alan

      Basically. Cheer up a little and take life less seriously.

  • Anonymous

    My guess would be that when the temps are consistently above 50 degrees, the problem will be addressed. So from November to maybe April, it’s likely not going to be. I would doubt that any employee would have this on the top of their To Do list such that they’re waiting avidly for the temps to hit 51 so that they can address it. As others have said, cover it with a sticker. I wouldn’t advise using paint — because then you’re likely breaking a law, and your reasons for doing would probably not be seen as mitigating if you get caught.

    • Anonymous

      If the OP is like me she has a pile of HRC bumper stickers waiting for a use like this. Cover the hate with love!

      • Anonymous


        • Anon

          “Cover the hate with love” +1

      • Anonymous


      • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Just connect the lines and turn it into Microsoft Windows graffiti. Though that would also be pretty offensive.

    • Beau

      I was going to suggest drawing another swastika, but turning the other direction to make a pretty window pane.

  • Anonymous

    call 311.

  • Disgusted in DC

    I find Communist and anarchist and clearly racist graffiti offensive as well, but I don’t go around having a case of the vapors over them either. Yes, the District government should get rid of all such graffiti including the Nazi one, but I am, frankly, more concerned about the *MOE* ones and other ones that represent active gang presences in the neighborhood which are an ongoing danger to the community. There are no organized Nazis present in the Thomas Circle/Logan Circle area – – at most a random kook or two.

  • Steve

    It’s those damn yoga gangs. The swastika originally and still is a tradition Hindu and Buddhist symbol that represented change. Now there are yoga gentrifiers comin into our city trying to intimidate us with their symbol of change. I would warrior 3 the sh*t out of whoever did this.

    • Anonymous


  • madmonk28

    Slap a sticker on it, anything you’d like, it’ll be better than a what’s there now. Also, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the city to be waiting for a 50 degree day just to mobilize on this one issue, there’s probably a lot of stuff that has been disrupted by the weather that they need to get to.

  • hma

    I can’t make anything out from that photo.

    • Anonymous

      “The picture attached is of the box with the graffiti but not of the swastika itself (I would not reproduce such a vile symbol).”

  • Jello Biafra

    Put a circle and a diagonal line through it. Much like the ghost busters symbol

  • annonny

    Spend $3.99 at the hardware store to get a can of “goof-off”, put it in your purse along with a wad of paper towels, and one warm day when you walk by the offending graffiti, wipe it off yourself. Seriously, that goof-off stuff is amazing. You’ll feel better and it will take you less than 5 minutes, I guarantee it.

  • Anonymous

    That box is actually a control box for the traffic signals.


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