A plane trailing a banner advertising the website Proswastika.org flew over the beach at New York’s Fort Tilden yesterday, part of the sixth annual Swastika Rehabilitation Day. (Sorry we couldn’t make it to the barbecue.)

“We’ll be flying banners featuring swastikas in several cities around the United States, including New York, and for the first time this year, Chicago,” Thomas Kaenzig, president of the ProSwastika Alliance, said in a press release.

The “Rehabilitate the Swastika” movement is, apparently, an international one. Yesterday, promotional events were held all over the world, in South Korea, France, and Mexico, amongst other places. (And also Long Island.)

“The swastika is found in cultures around the world from the very earliest times,” Kaenzig said. “In the United States, you can see it in a New Orleans synagogue, and in lots of pre-Nazi-era monuments and historical sites. That’s because, until the 20th century, the swastika had nothing to do with Hitler, who used it for evil purposes.”

“And remember, lots of bad things were done in the name of the cross. Think of the Ku Klux Klan! But the cross is still a revered religious symbol for countless people worldwide. So is the swastika, and it’s time for that to be acknowledged in the West!”

In addition to being president of the ProSwastika Alliance, Kaenzig is also a member of the International Raelian Movement, which is quick to identify itself as a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization and describes itself as “Intelligent Design for Atheists”:

At the age of 27, on the morning of December 13, 1973, while he was still leading his successful racing-car magazine, RAEL had a dramatic encounter with a human being from another planet, at a volcano park in the center of France, known as “Puy de Lassolas”. This extra-terrestrial gave him a new detailed explanation of our origins and information on how to organize our future, as recorded in the book: Intelligent Design. After six consecutive meetings in the same location, Rael accepted the mission given to him, to inform humanity of this revolutionary message and to prepare the population to welcome their Creators, the Elohim, without any mysticism or fear, but as conscious and grateful human beings.

In 1997, Rael founded a Bahamas-based human-cloning company called Clonaid. Raelians believe that cloning is the path to immortality. The Raelians are also responsible for Go Topless Day.

The swastika is a revered symbol for members of this... community. Raelian symbology combines the swastika with the Star of David: “The star of David represents infinity in space whereas the swastika represents infinity in time i.e. there being no beginning, no end in time and everything being cyclical.”

Kaenzig and Proswastika.org did not immediately return requests for comment.

Contact the author of this post: brendan.oconnor@gawker.com.