Nazi Flag – Free Speech?

While it may seem insensitive, apparantly there is nothing by law than can prevent an Adelaide man from flying a flag bearing the Nazi swastika emblem in his back yard.

I have some notion, illfounded or otherwise, that’s it’s illegal in parts of Europe, anyone care to clarify or comment?

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36 Responses

  1. I guess Godwin’s Law will not apply to this thread.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwins_law

  2. While I am horrified to think someone would fly that flag and feel for the victims of the holocaust. It seems the more you try and outlaw something the more the extremists in our society will use it. It then gets publicity which is exactly what the extremists want.

  3. I’m pretty sure such things are prohibited in Germany at least?

    A tricky one, while obviously what the symbol represents is abhorrent I do not believe in censorship.

    EDITOR REB: How would you feel if it was next door?

  4. Reb

    Is it was being flown next door I would move because obviously my neighbour is a person who condones genocide and violence to achieve goals therefore I would feel as safe as a CEO at a AGM these days 🙂

  5. I have a lifelong habit of ignoring my neighbours so I guess that would continue.
    Don’t get me wrong, there is no place in a civil society for nazism, ever. Whoever is flying that flag is either ignorant or misguided, or both. The principle behind the flag is apalling by any standards & deserves to be decried.
    My opposition to censorship probably has root in my own “questionably graphic” metal T-shirts etc., as unsavoury as they are I don’t believe that I shouldn’t be able to wear ’em as they may (almost certain in most cases) cause offence to precious petals in public.
    That said I know that there is a league of difference between graphic apparel & support for the swastika. I am wary of government deciding what ultimately is, or isn’t fit for collective mental consumption. It wouldn’t phase me at all if the swastika was banned, but it would make me a hypocrite to support censorship. A grey area IMHO.

  6. “I have a lifelong habit of ignoring my neighbours”

    humandividend – on behalf of your neighbourhood, I’d like to say THANKYOU!

  7. I don’t know whether it’s illegal or not, but I’m certainly not offended by it. If anything I feel pity that such people find expression in having swastika tattoos, Hitler t-shirts or Nazi flags.

    A former boss had a Collingwood flag in his office. I found that offensive.

  8. I am also against censorship.

    However I am also against discrimination against, and persecution of, minority groups.

    I see a lot of gothic kids, punks and skinheads etc, and I think it’s fine that they should be able to express their individuality, it’s all part of being a teenager/young adult.

    However I think there are occasions when people cross the line. And these circumstances are typically characterised with someone doing something that is designed to incite hatred and/or violence against an other.

    I think the individual flying the swastika flag is doing so to be deliberately provocative. Of course this is just pure speculation, the individual may well have some pride in the Nazi flag, which he is entitled to if that’s his beliefs.

    However, I think that this is likely to cause a great deal of offence to others, and possibly pyschological trauma.

    All it would take is for one person to write to the Council saying that they have been deeply traumatised by seeing this flag, threaten to sue for damages, and then I think they would act to have the flag removed.

  9. While writing that last post, I thought, “what if this individual had the flag hanging like a curtain on their bedroom window, would this also be offensive?”

    It seems to me that if it were just hanging in the window, I wouldn’t find this as offensive as “a flag”, just in poor taste perhaps.

    And I’m not sure why this is…!!

  10. humandividend – on behalf of your neighbourhood, I’d like to say THANKYOU!

    If I knew any of ’em I’d pass on your sentiments Tom, however I suspect that some may be Union members & therefore I won’t approach them in case they eat my daughter or pets in my absence.

    Seriously though, I know my neighbours here well now & my youngster is good friends with their daughter & plays over there regularly; they aren’t the swastika type.

    I think miglo summed it up pretty well, pity is appropriate…or maybe contempt.
    I agree with your gist reb, especially re incitement to hatred or violence but as I said it would be hypocritical of me to support censorship. In the case of the flag above, as you note, a little background info & context may be helpful in determining the motive & intention.

  11. All over.scaper

    Thanks for the link, all’s well that ends well I guess?

    Still it has raised an interesting conundrum.

    WTF did he raise the swastika for a party?

  12. Maybe a nazi fancy dress party.

    I went to one years ago and it was fun taking the piss out of the Germans…their was a pig on a spit that was presented with a German helmet on his head…all good fun in my opinion.

  13. And let us remember that the Swastika symbol is actually a sacred symbol in many eastern religions, and it is only the Nazi flag that presents the real problem.

    And for those in Sydney, one of the CBA buildings on Martin Place actually has the swastika motif in the stonework.

  14. When I travel around the Shire in Sydney (Cronulla, Caringbah etc.), I see many Australian flags hanging in apartment windows, on cars (usually one of each side above the car roof etc.) and I just know that in most cases it’s for offensive, racist reasons – the followon from the Cronulla riots.

    So where would we stop with banning flags? I would rather know my neighbour is a Nazi or homophobe or whatever. Expose badness to the light where hopefully it will wither.

  15. “And for those in Sydney, one of the CBA buildings on Martin Place actually has the swastika motif in the stonework.”

    So does the old Maritime building in Circular Quay – in the floor tiles if I remember rightly.

  16. Hi humandividend. My neighbours these days would be grateful that I participate on this blog and its predecessor.

    They no longer have to put up with my response to a “How are you?” I used to say “I’d be fine if it wasn’t for all the blood sucking unionists screwing up the country!!!”

    Yes, this blog serves a great social purpose. My neighbours now think I am less insane.

  17. Oh come on Tom…. surely the question from your neighbours would include a few swear words if they were union members?! hehe

  18. Another good reason to include history in the national school curriculum….

    Sans Blog
    I would rather know my neighbour is a Nazi or homophobe or whatever. Expose badness to the light where hopefully it will wither.

    There’s a flag for homophobia? The mind boggles! 🙂

  19. re homophobia flag… it is the Liberal Party flag

  20. You were too quick for me, Joni. 😉

  21. I think I might start flying the following flag:

  22. re homophobia flag… it is the Liberal Party flag

    No, joni, that would mean that I’m gay! Anyway doesn’t Liberal mean accepting of everone? LOL!

  23. Hi Sans Blog. I think you’re flying the flag upside down, this means you’re straight.

  24. “You’re straight”

    Oh no … that’s too frightening a revelation, Tom. Too think of all those men I’ve led astray over the past 50 years.

    That’s nice: Photobucket let me turn it upside down. Whew … now those years weren’t wasted!

  25. It’s about the same as running around in a white sheet carrying a burning cross and proclaiming to be a reincarnation of a Confederate soldier. Some people take offence, especially if it was your grandpa or uncle who was burnt alive (some people are funny that way).

  26. Miglo..I am not biting re comment about the Collingwood flag…pursed lips and furrowed brow….

    Oh dear, I suppose if some wanker decided to fly the Nazi flag next door to me I would drop by each and every day and I would provide my opinion (aka lecture) about human rights and how that if he/she had issues that there were better ways of getting one’s feelings across. And then on Day 2, I would drop by and… And then on Day 3 I would drop by…

    If he/she had reasons…then let me know.

    But on the other hand, if it was my son (in the navy) he’d probably just knock on the front door and tell him where to shove his flag.

    Note: all above is an imaginary scenario. In true life I would probably whinge to hubby and just put up with it.

  27. Come on fellas and gels..do better than that. Now what would be the homophobia flag?

    We have Gay Pride as a rainbow. The only thing that I can think of is a piece of dull sad, torn piece of material. No sorry, that’s too good for homophobia. When I think of the people who have suffered and died simply because of who they are, there is no flag for them.

  28. I would not have a clue what I would do if the person next door hung such a flag.

    I do know that if it persisted it could get ugly.

  29. This post is just a test to see if my photo worked after signing up with WordPress.

  30. It worked!

  31. WOW! Everyone is getting an avatar!!!
    woohoo!

  32. I guess you could save up all the animal shite you could find, liquefy it and squirt it onto his flag under cover of darkness. Or spray acid on it.
    Or you could hoist the Israeli flag on a bigger better flagpole, or have a photo of Uncle Joe or Uncle Mao hung in opposition. There would be so many ways to give it to the idiot without exchanging a word.

  33. Joni, I hope you don’t me saying it, but if people (like me*) don’t want to sign up with WordPress they can use gravatar.com with the same result.

    *I use to have several WP blogs (hence Sans Blog) and I think I’ve used up all my email addresses with them.

  34. Of course not SB, if you have a different and/or better way – let us know and we will put the information up onto the blogoFAQ page.

  35. Joni,

    If people sign up with

    http://www.gravatar.com

    then the gravatar will be available on all sites that use gravatars. When I first joined them, for $5 you could have as many email addresses as you wanted and a separate pic for each, if required – made me think I had multiple personality disorder at one stage! 🙂

    Cheers,
    ~Ron~

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