Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Shrinner yesterday called for the banning of Nazi insignia. He made the call following the display of a Nazi flag from a window of an apartment building next to the Brisbane Synagogue.
Update: Police charged a 45-year-old Brisbane man with public nuisance over the incident and he will appear in court 30 November.
The Nazi flag symbolised the regime that systematically murdered six million Jews and eleven million other people during the Holocaust. In addition to political dissidents and prisoners of war, the non-Jewish victims included Slavs, Romanis, LGBT people, People of Colour, the mentally or physically disabled, and people of faith.
Lord Mayor Adrian Shrinner described the incident as pure evil.
“This is sickening. For someone to fly this symbol of hatred and genocide right above the Brisbane Synagogue on Margaret St is pure evil.
“It’s time for this vile flag to be banned in Queensland.”
Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies vice president Jason Steinberg said the flag was first noticed by a pedestrian. Members of the Brisbane Synagogue arriving for a service about 9.30 am also saw the flag.
Queensland Police arrived at the scene about 10.45 am and the flag was subsequently removed.
Dvir Abramovich from the Anti-Defamation Commission last year described displays of Nazi insignia as a ‘growing societal virus’.
He leads a national campaign to ban the public displays and sale of Nazi materials and insignia.
Current Queensland laws allow the possession and display of hateful emblems such as the Nazi flag.
A Queensland parliamentary committee is currently conducting an inquiry into serious vilification and hate crimes. The committee will consider making the display or possession of insignia like the Nazi flag, a criminal offence.
Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said earlier this year that Parliament also needed to assess the suitability of existing laws to deal with modern challenges like online vilification.
The Nazi flag frequently makes an appearance at the time of the annual Brisbane Pride celebrations.
A group plasters stickers of the flag up and down Brunswick Street and throughout New Farm Park before the Pride Rally, March and Fair Day.
One year, the vandals even made ut past security to place stickers on the main stage.
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