SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The election of Donald J. Trump as the next President of the United States prompted a San Francisco homeowner – and internet pioneer – to fly a Nazi flag over his home.
The large Tudor-style home on Sanchez and 21st streets – built by former San Francisco Mayor and California Governor James Rolph in 1930, reportedly to house his mistress – sits on a large, gated plot. The red flag with a swastika symbol was clearly seen Wednesday atop a flagpole which stretched above the top of the two-story home.
The owner is listed as Frederick Roeber, who bought the home in 2008 for $4.3 million according to real estate records. Roeber is a physicist and software engineer who is described as one of the founding fathers of the World Wide Web.
Another feature of Roeber’s home is a large fountain adorned by a statue. The San Francisco Examiner reported it was donated by Benito Mussolini to a previous owner of the house, an eye surgeon who had performed work on one of Mussolini’s relatives.
A woman who identified herself as Roeber’s ex-wife told KPIX 5 Roeber is not a Nazi, and was likely flying it to make a statement against President-elect Trump.
Roeber confirmed to a neighbor who did not appreciate the gesture that the Nazi flag was a commentary on the presidential election.
The neighbor, later identified as Francine Miller, told KPIX 5 this form of political protest rubbed her the wrong way.
“I had a very visceral reaction. I went across the street as soon as I saw it. I think that there is just general unease right now, with Trump being the president elect,” said Miller. “And I think if you woke up this morning and you’re a woman, you’re a Jewish person, you’re gay, you’re a Latino, you’re a little on edge. And so I felt really uncomfortable.”
Shortly after the confrontation, the Nazi flag was replaced with a rainbow gay pride flag.
Carlos E. Castañeda is Senior Editor, News & Social Media for CBS San Francisco and a San Francisco native. You can follow him on Twitter or send him an email.