A 52-year-old Lindenhurst resident annoyed his neighbors by hanging a Nazi swastika flag from the chimney of his house - until his mother made him take it down.
At least one neighbor called Suffolk police Sunday night to complain that the symbol of hate was hanging in public view from the home on 41st Street. Property records and neighbors say the home is occupied by Richard Greggs.
Though police said they are not investigating Greggs, Commissioner Richard Dormer said, "While courts have upheld the rights of these individuals to promote these disgusting symbols, all decent people must denounce it vigorously."
The complaints generated enough media attention that Greggs' mother, 75, who also lives at the brown-shingled cape house, ordered him late Sunday to remove it.
Greggs' mother, who spoke to reporters Monday but declined to give her name, said Richard "shouldn't have done it," but stressed her son is a World War II buff who did "nothing illegal" by flying the flag.
"He's just into everything with World War II. He has no affiliation with" the Nazi Party, she said.
Several neighbors said Greggs has irritated the community by displaying the swastika flag several times over the past few years. It has also appeared on his shed, they said.
Brian Ruzalski said he was offended by the flag, but not as much as he was by an earlier instance, when Greggs flew the swastika on Easter Sunday.
"You look out your window and you're staring at a Nazi flag," Ruzalski said.
Added Frank Schipani, another neighbor: "He's an insult to the neighborhood."
The incident isn't the only time swastikas have caused controversy in Lindenhurst recently. In June 2008, eight cars parked along Farmers Avenue and Heathcote Road were defaced with swastikas and offensive phrases.
Police did not say whether the two crimes were connected.
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement yesterday condemning Greggs' actions.