Okay, folks, thank you for your many emails. Yes, yes, we know the swastika is an ancient symbol that pre-dates the Third Reich by thousands of years. And there are plenty of non-evil reasons to explain why the flooring on Amity St. is bedecked with the cross. (One reader offers this intriguing answer, "There are a bunch of buildings in upstate NY (particularly Buffalo) that pre-date WWII that have these kinds of symbols on the floors because they are an old Iroqouis symbol. There were also a number of members of the Mohawk Nation who lived in the Boerum Hill/Cobble Hill area who were known for being steel construction workers on many of the mid-century skyscrapers in Manhattan. Perhaps there is a connection.")
But whatever the origin of this particular flooring ? the Iroquois, "some well-intentioned Hare Krishnas," as another reader suggests, or an ancient Greek architect (unlikely) ? the question you have to ask yourself is do you want to cue up Wikipedia every time your dinner guests recoil in horror at the sight of your hardwood?
· Swastika [Wikipedia]
· The Amity St. Horror [Curbed]