There have been new calls to ban the swastika after a couple in Victoria displayed the hate symbol outside their home.
The flag has been flying over the home in the north-western Victorian town of Beulah for several weeks on the couple’s private property, according to The Age.
Neighbours have complained about the flag to police. A senior constable told The Age, police were investigating and “awaiting legal advice” and the state and opposition government have condemned the couple displaying it.
However, the local council said they do not have the power to remove, or force the couple to remove the flag.
Yarriambiack Shire Council member Jessie Holmes acknowledged the flag was causing concern within the community, stating it was not inline with the council’s values.
“However, we don't have a particular level or provision that enables us to act on that. We have received no specific complaint from a person in the community but it has been raised with us that it's there,” Ms Holmes said.
The home owner, Cheryl Lawforn defended her right to fly the flag over her home, pointing out her German ancestry, when The Age contacted her for comment.
Seeing this #Nazi flag fly high in an Aussie town is not only appalling, but ignorant to the plight of the prosecuted Jewish population of the time, as well as a kick in the face to the Aussies who fought against Hitler’s genocidal regime. This family should be ashamed #auspol pic.twitter.com/xlvKhP6r1k— Peumike Dissanayake (@Peumike_D) January 13, 2020
The swastika has been widely recognised as a symbol of hate, with links to anti-Semitism and white supremacy.
“The murderous legacy of the Nazi regime, especially the Holocaust, permanently converted the swastika into a symbol of hate, anti-Semitism and infamy,” the Anti Defamation League says.
Today, the swastika is still used by white supremacists, while it is banned in places like Germany.
“The Nazi swastika represents racial supremacy and is in reality a symbol of mass genocide,” Liberal MP James Newbury tweeted.
“The Victorian Parliament is currently reviewing our state’s anti-vilification laws.
“My view is that the flag incites hatred and has no place in our modern society.”
#Nazi flag fly high in an Aussie town is not only appalling, but ignorant to the plight of the prosecuted Jewish population of the time, as well as a kick in the face to the Aussies who fought against Hitler’s genocidal regime,” Peumike Dissanayake tweeted.
“This family should be ashamed.”
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