WEST BEND, Wis. (WFRV) – A volunteer’s decision to display swastika imagery at a Wisconsin farmers market resulted in the county’s Republican Party apologizing to the community.

A sign that was displayed at a Republican Party’s booth reportedly showed swastika imagery at the West Bend Farmers Market. It was reportedly an attempt to associate the Democrat Party with ‘extremism’ and ‘totalitarian’ regimes. The idea reportedly came from an ‘over-zealous’ volunteer who was working the booth in the morning.

There were statements from the mayor, the farmers market, and the Washington County Republican Party.

The Washington County Republican Party responded to the social media posts with the following statement:

In regard to social media posts about a sign displayed in our booth at the West Bend Farmers Market on Sept 23: it was the idea of an over-zealous volunteer staffing our booth that morning. It was an ill-conceived attempt to associate the Democrat Party with extremism and totalitarian regimes. It was done without approval of myself, or our Executive Board. That imagery and implied rhetoric is unacceptable in political discourse. The Republican Party of Washington County condemns its use and apologizes to our community.

Randy Marquardt – Chairman

West Bend’s Mayor issued a statement on the matter:

I was appalled by this symbol of hate being used for political reasons at our West Bend Farmers Market in downtown City of West Bend. Regardless of political differences, using this imagery is never appropriate nor representative of who we are as West Benders. We should be able to participate in political discourse without resorting to such inappropriate content.

I have reached out to the local party leadership who are disavowing this behavior, and I plan on evaluating our public policies for farmers market with the Downtown West Bend Association, who host this event, to ensure that we can be a better and more welcoming community for all.

Chris Jenkins – Mayor of West Bend

The West Bend Farmers Market also issued a statement:

The Downtown West Bend Association Farmers Market condemns the use and will not tolerate the display of symbols of hate. We are devoted to lifting up the community with no room for political agendas. The imagery and rhetoric displayed last Saturday at the market are completely unacceptable and do not reflect the mission and values of our organization. We are taking further steps to ensure that this will never happen again at our market.

West Bend Farmers Market

Based on images posted on social media, the sign shows a donkey with a swastika and the Chinese national flag. The donkey is the symbol normally used to represent the Democratic Party.

There was no additional information provided.