PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The eyebrow-raising name of Swastika Mountain, located outside Cottage Grove in Lane County, will soon be changed.
The Oregon Geographic Names Board confirmed Wednesday that the mountain’s name, which refers to a symbol the German Nazi Party used to identify itself or the Southeast Asian symbol of good luck or spirituality, will be changed.
A final decision on its new name will come on Dec. 6.
So far, two name change proposals have been submitted to the Oregon Geographic Names Board for the mountain.
One came from Joyce McClain and the other came from David Lewis.
McClain suggests the summit be renamed to Umpqua Mountain and Lewis suggests Mount Halo.
The mountain is more than 4,000 feet tall and is located in the Umpqua National Forest. In her proposal, McClain included an email from Jeremy Johnson, the cultural resources program manager for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, where he voiced his support for the suggested name change.
Lewis’ proposed name Mount Halo refers to Chief Halito, leader of the Yoncalla Kalapuya tribe, whose name was commonly shortened to Chief Halo.
All U.S. states are in the process of renaming many geographic features after Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland asked them to change the names of features that include words considered derogatory toward Native Americans.
Secretarial Order 3404 formally identifies the term “s—-” as derogatory and, according to a list from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Board on Geographic names, there are 18 locations in Washington, 53 locations in Oregon, and two locations in both Oregon and Idaho that include the term in their name.