Symbols of hate show up in North Idaho ahead of Election Day

Communist flag Idaho
Communist flags planted next to North Idaho campaign signs
Copyright: KXLY 4 News Now

POST FALLS, Idaho– Swastikas and communist flags are supposed to be buried deep in North Idaho’s past– but now they’re resurfacing ahead of Election Day.

One swastika was spray-painted on a Post Falls school board candidate’s sign and another was spray-painted inside the “O” of GOP on an abandoned home.

On Thursday, communist flags were lined alongside candidate boards on Highway 95.

Jeanette Laster has been in the community for 15 years. For the past seven, she’s been the director for the Human Rights Education Institute.

“l’ll tell you this is the most extreme we’ve ever seen a pre-election, at least since I’ve been here in North Idaho,” Laster said. “I think a lot of what we’re seeing is mirrored behavior, very intentional intimidation, in regards to the election however it’s hard to tell because we have had some uptick in extremist literature.”

While all the extreme symbolism was removed Friday, Laster is asking candidates to step up.

“If truly this is not coming from somebody’s camp, then it would be very easy to say this is not us and this is not our community. And I’m not hearing that language, I’m hearing a lot of blame,” Laster said.

Post Falls School Board candidate Guy McAninch, whose sign was vandalized, posted to Facebook saying he was disappointed in the community.

Coeur d’Alene School Board candidate Lindsey Swingrover also sent us a statement saying, “It makes me sad to see the negativity and the division in the community. I was disappointed to see that someone trespassed on private property. I know our community is better than this.”

The Post Falls Police Department is investigating but says it has not found a suspect yet. Investigators are asking anyone with information to call 208-773-3517.