Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Vandalism calling a Des Moines man “Nazi scum” was found Wednesday at a home that displayed a painting of a swastika and Confederate flags. 

William Stark displayed six wooden pallets painted as various flags in front of his home in the 6000 block of Southwest 15th Street. One was a “German war flag” with the swastika on it. Others included Confederate flags, a “back the blue” flag supporting law enforcement officers, an American flag and a combination U.S.-Confederate flag.

Stark’s house shares a property line with Morris Elementary School and sits within eyesight of the school’s front entrance. A playground at the school borders the side of Stark’s home. 

Spray-painted graffiti covered several pallets in Stark’s yard Wednesday afternoon. A vandal wrote “Nazi Scum” on a trailer and a pickup truck, as well. 

Stark told the Register on Tuesday that the flags were not meant to be offensive. 

Stark wore a hat with Confederate flags on it Tuesday when he said he hadn’t painted the flags out of prejudice. He’s not racist or a white supremacist, he said, adding that he would paint any flag if asked.

He said he sold the swastika flag, which featured the swastika in the center in front of perpendicular black bars and a red background. The buyer had dared him to display it in front of the house.

“The guy that wanted me to make him a swastika one (said), ‘Bet you won’t put that out there …’ ” Stark said.

Police had not received a report from Stark about the vandalism Wednesday, Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek told the Register.

Philip Joens covers breaking news for The Des Moines Register. He can be reached at 515-284-8184 at [email protected] or on Twitter @Philip_Joens. 

Your subscription makes our journalism possible. Subscribe today at

Read or Share this story: