DES MOINES, Iowa – Vandalism calling a Des Moines man “Nazi scum” was discovered Wednesday morning at his southside home after he faced criticism for displaying a painted pallet depicting the Nazi flag.
The spray-painted graffiti was visible on pallet signs in the yard and a trailer on the property.
William Stark lives next door to Des Moines’ Morris Elementary School. Stark spoke with Channel 13 Tuesday after photos of the sign were posted on social media, causing outrage.
Stark says the sign is “pallet art.”
He also displays several confederate flag signs, a “Back the Blue” flag supporting police officers and an American flag with just 11 stripes and 32 stars.
Stark told Channel 13 the Nazi flag is not a racist sign but a historic one. He calls it a “World War II flag” and says anyone offended by it doesn’t understand history.
The Des Moines School District issued a statement Tuesday that read, in part, “We should all be sickened that someone would promote the hatred espoused by Confederates and Nazis within sight of the front doors of an elementary school.”
The district also says it has had issues with Stark before and are working with police to get a no-trespass order for him.
Police tell us they did not receive a report from Stark about the vandalism that was discovered at his home on Wednesday.
The Nazi flag pallet is no longer visible in Stark’s yard.