Some Irked that Banner at Lodi's Sikh Temple Doesn't Include American Flag

May 30, 2007

Author: Ross Farrow

Source: Lodi News Sentinel

The new Sikh Temple in south Lodi has a 60-foot-high canary-yellow banner with the faith's emblem, but some Lodi residents wonder why there isn't an American flag to go with it.

"It's almost a slap in the face as an American and as veterans," said Lodi resident Robin Sarisky. "You're an American first; then everything else falls under that."

Sikh temple leaders say that they don't mean to offend anyone. In fact, the banner isn't really a flag, according to two Lodi Sikh board members, Nirmal Samra and John Takhar.

It's a symbol of their religion, not India, the country where a majority of Sikhs were born.

"That's what American people should understand. It's not a flag," Samra said. "It's like a cross in the Christian church."

The universal Sikh symbol is a glyph (called a Khanda) composed of a central, straight-edged sword, symbolizing truth, surrounded by two curved swords representing temporal power and authority, according to

Sikh members are confused if some people are offended by their banner. They maintain the banner at the temple doesn't show preference to their native country. It's symbolizes their religion.