Subway commuters on the L line enjoyed a typically frustrating commute this morning, as Manhattan-bound trains mysteriously stopped running shortly after 8 a.m. Although the MTA did not immediately acknowledge the delay, NYCT Subway eventually tweeted an explanation: Swastikas had been spotted inside the cars, prompting the MTA to take an L train out of service in the middle of rush hour.

People then began tweeting things like, "Nazi hate: now also responsible for subway delays," probably thinking that when the transit authority said there were swastikas inside a train car, it meant graffiti—the traces of a hate crime. A reasonable assumption to make, sadly. But according to an NYPD spokesperson, the Citywide Vandals Taskforce actually showed up to investigate those Antifa-style stickers that have been showing up on the subway for years now.

You know the ones: They feature a white swastika inside a red circle with a bar through it, often seen plastered alongside the "please don't" decals intended to discourage you from inconsiderate subway behaviors like smoking and littering.

Good modification to the R train this morning

from r/nyc

The MTA did not immediately return our request for comment, but thanks to the NYCT Subway Twitter account, we know that the train in question was taken out of service at the Myrtle-Wyckoff station in Bushwick. Turns out, I briefly boarded this very train, so I can offer you a timeline of events.

The train pulled into Myrtle-Wyckoff around 8:20 a.m., and MTA workers allowed commuters to sit inside for a few minutes before they announced it would head back to Rockaway Parkway and everyone needed to vacate, STAT. We trudged back onto the platform to wait for the next one—a not irregular occurrence for this line and this station at this time of day—only the now-out-of-service train didn't leave.

We stood for five, 10, nearly 15 minutes as straphangers continued to flock down the stairs, watching an MTA worker walk through the cars, up and down the length of the train, inspecting them as if to prevent any stray passengers from being carted back to Queens. We weren't given any additional information to explain the delay, though, and the MTA advertised "good service" on its advisories page—by no means an extraordinary experience.

Then, around 8:40 a.m., the train suddenly rolled out of the station the way it came, just as I was about to hit send on a What Gives tweet. Another train trundled in to replace it, and we all sardined our way inside, cruising past overcrowded platforms on our way toward 8th Avenue. An apparently average, if sweaty and aggravating, morning on the L.

These stickers have been documented within our subway system for at least two years, cropping up in apparent response to the rise in white nationalist sentiment (and the attendant rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes) that coincided with Trump's political ascent. Although the stickers are intended to condemn neo-Nazi sentiments, it's worth remembering that hate symbolism remains hate symbolism regardless of whether or not you put a bar through it: People still have to look at a swastika. And as we learned this morning, the MTA can act swiftly and decisively, when it wants to.

Update: The MTA has confirmed the existence of service-disrupting stickers. In a statement to Gothamist, MTA spokesperson Shams Tarek said: "This morning at approximately 8:30 a.m. a platform controller reported two unauthorized decals that had been placed on a Manhattan-bound L train preparing to go into service at the Myrtle-Wyckoff station. Due to their highly sensitive nature, standard procedure was followed and the train was taken out of service for an investigation and necessary cleanup work in order to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our customers."