A Minnesota town is in an uproar after the state’s transportation board banned the letter ö on road signs. For the last 20 years, passing motorists on Hwy 8 have been met with the same message: Welcome to Lindström. Named after Daniel Lindström, the eastern Minnesota city was a favorite of the Swedish adventurer in the mid-1800s. Today, most of the 4,500 residents are of Swedish descent, and every year the town — one of eight area towns with Swedish roots — is visited by 3,000 Swedish tourists. The decision to remove the diacritical dots from "Lindström" has consequently faced massive criticism.

“This is important for us, we are a Swedish mecca,” said John Olinger, city administrator. The o and the ö are completely different and are pronounced differently; the ö is part of the town’s Swedish identity. The unpopular decision was made because the letter ö is not part of the standard American alphabet for road signs. Perhaps it’s not surprising that some proud Swedish-American residents may just decide to paint the dots themselves.
For more info on Lindström, see http://www.lindstrom.mn.org


4/16/15 update: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton stepped in, and it turns out the Minnesota Department of Transportation would be “happy to make the change,” according to DOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht. The umlauts can be added without even taking the signs down, he said. “It’s a very easy fix. We can probably do it within a week.”