A swastika-like symbol on an antique flour bag is prompting death threats against a business owner in New Hampshire.
The threats were so serious, the owner shut down her Littleton store temporarily.
It all started over the weekend with a photo of business owner Nicole Guida next to an antique flour sack with a swastika-like symbol. The picture was posted to Facebook by an offended customer. Katherine Ferrier wrote in part “How do you think it’s okay to hang this thing here, front and center, given everything it stands for...”
Some nearby residents agree.
“It’s sad it was posted and I don’t blame people for being upset,” said Sarah Springsteen, who was shopping on Main Street Wednesday.
Guida responded with her own Facebook post explaining that the flour sack, worth upwards of $100, dates back to the early 1900’s, long before the Nazi era.
“It’s a sand script symbol for good luck,” said Guida’s attorney, Kirk Simoneau. “It is a symbol that’s actually been used for thousands of years that the Nazis appropriated and changed slightly.”
Still, the initial post sparked outrage. Simoneau says threats on Guida’s life and her business are pouring in from across the country.
“Basically saying she doesn’t deserve to draw breath, that she shouldn’t be allowed to run a business, that she’s a disgrace to the community,” Simoneau explained.
Some were so serious that Guida and her husband decided to close the store Monday and Tuesday for fear of what might happen if she was in there alone.
“I don’t see why it’s a big deal, everyone is just looking for a reason to argue about something,” said Littleton resident Arnold Tito.
It’s an argument that’s brought out the worst in some and the best in others. Guida’s Facebook page is filled with hundreds of messages of support. But Simoneau says, unfortunately, the damage is done.
“This is really the modern day equivalent of taking someone out to the village square and stoning them that’s what this is,” he said.
Guida declined an on-camera interview Wednesday, but told necn she’s taken down the flour sack and says it is no longer for sale.
Simoneau says Guida and her husband are considering legal action.