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Australian state outlaws public displays of Nazi swastikas

35 Comments
By ROD McGUIRK

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A lot of angry people means fertile grounds to radicalize them for almost any extreme group needing new members. Point out all the things people have anger for, injustices and privilege and then turn people into instruments of hate, manipulate them so the leadership of the extreme organizations can become the privileged off the backs of their new members.

This is something happening all around the world and is not limited to certain nations.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

why stop at the Nazi swastika? They should ban the hammer and sickle of communism as well.

Missing the point entirely that this action is in response to the major threat of the day, i.e. extreme right-wing ideology a.k.a. Fascism. Old-style hammer and sickle Communism, not seen so much these days. In fact rarely seen at all, in this country at least.

But socialist lockdown tsar premier Dan Andrews is a fan, so I don't expect any action.

Here we go, the real agenda. Missing the point again, that this action is supported by all sides of politics in Victoria (and Australia). But, never a miss a chance to knock Dan Andrews - both a "Tsar" and a fan of Communism? A laughable assertion about a democratically-elected politician.

A bit like when the Box Hill police station in Melbourne flew a CCP Chinese flag a few years ago, apparently to support multiculturalism.

No, not like the Box Hill police station flying the Chinese national flag. That was during a one-day ceremony to recognise China's national day. It's China's national flag. Box Hill is a big Chinese area. China wasn't as on the nose then as it is today, and it wasn't "Tsar" Dan Andrews' decision, it was the decision of the local MP, probably to curry favour with local voters. Nevertheless, it was controversial. It wasn't repeated. How many times has China's national flag has been raised in various ceremonies in various communities the world over during the past few decades, with no subsequent increase in CCP-inspired domestic terrorism?

The only reason you've chosen to highlight this insignificant one-day event is to get in a cheap shot at a democratic leader you don't like because of his Covid policies, policies which had massive majority support in his own State at the time. Not that that seems to matter to you.

You miss the point. Again.

I don't think symbols should be banned

Well there you go. You support the flying of Fascist symbols - as well as Communist ones. Only one of them is in the ascendant worlwide at the moment. That's what this bipartisan decision is about.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Banning a symbol will have zero effect on people's views. Just more woke virtue signalling...

They will just adopt a new symbol. Probably the Azov flash from Ukrainian Nazis.... That won't be banned.

You’ve spent months trying to convince that the illegal invasion of Ukraine is about denazification.

Why would you be opposed to banning swastikas?

Russian invading Ukraine was ‘woke virtue signaling’?

You’re all over the place.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Wouldnt it be interesting if a buddhist or hindu site somewhere in Australia did the same thing. Personally id like to see it. Lets see how the argument would play it when it comes to religious freedom.

Sorry to puncture the hyperventilating, but the legislation seems to be able to distinguish between political Nazism and religious symbolism.

Victoria's Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes said the state government is "mindful of the need for exceptions that cover legitimate and appropriate uses of these symbols".

"We are very aware that some cultures use the swastika and other similar symbols as a positive sign of good fortune, and have done so long before they were co-opted by the Nazis – which is why we will have a strong focus on ensuring this use is not criminalised as we consult," Ms Symes told SBS Hindi.

https://www.sbs.com.au/language/english/swastika-ban-victoria-assures-new-law-will-not-impact-others-as-australian-hindus-fear-backlash

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Algernon LaCroix:

I’m not making a straw man out of you. You’re just setting yourself up for it. Looking at the implications of some of what you say, I suspect we would have some common ground when it comes to identity politics, for example. But you’re just plain dead wrong on Andrews and this issue, and the so-called arguments you try to marshal against it are feeble and misguided. No matter how deeply entrenched those elements are that you dislike so much, they don’t represent an ideology that murdered tens of millions of people, as those who followed the swastika did. To compare them is utterly illogical and morally skewed. The ban on groups flaunting swastikas is completely justified.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The symbol has become widely used to instill fear and hate.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Which is ascendant? If you suggesting the nazi flag is ascendant thats truly laughable.

What is the "nazi flag", Matt? We're talking about the use of the Nazi swastika symbol as a unifying symbol for extreme right-wing groups in Australia and elsewhere, and about those extreme right-wing groups being in the ascendant when it comes to the promotion and practice of domestic unrest and terrorism. Do you understand the distinction between "Nazi flag" as used by Germany 1933-45 and "Nazi symbol" as used and/or admired by domestic terrorist groups, Matt?

There are multiple countries that stil have the hammer and sickle on their national flag for heavans sake.

No, there are not, Matt. You've either just made that up for the sake of argument because you think you can get away with it, or you're still living in the 1980s. In fact I haven't been able to find a single one, just a couple of Russian regions and the unrecognised Independent Republic of Transnistria. Even the CCP doesn't have a hammer and sickle, for heavans (sic) sake.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Flags_with_hammer_and_sickle

https://www.soviettours.com/wanderer/which-countries-communist-hammer-sickle

So come on. You made the claim. Back it up.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I mean you could arrest all the 5 people that have ill-intent and the problem disappears

For... intent? I mean I'm OK with that, you must be OK with that if you're suggesting it, but banning the swastika from being used politically is a problem for you?

Hitler and his disgraceful regime tarnished the image and its about time people realized that.

Everyone with some degree of awareness and education realizes that. Some people also realize that there are others in the deep dark woods who do not consider Hitler's regime to be "disgraceful" and who consider both Hitler and the symbol he so disgracefully tarnished as being worthy of worshipping and adoption as their own. That's the problem. Symbols are important, and they can be powerful. Why do you think Hitler adopted the swastika symbol so enthusiastically and transformed it into a unifying factor in his regime? He needed a logo?

mean you could arrest all the 5 people that have ill-intent and the problem disappears. Thats the sort of numbers your talking about.

Five people? I think you need to read up a bit more.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far-right_terrorism_in_Australia

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don't think symbols should be banned, but if they're going to do it, why stop at the Nazi swastika? They should ban the hammer and sickle of communism as well.

It probably has something to do with the fact that Australia is seeing a rise in far-right radicalization and that such groups are active threats.

What about Hindu and Buddhist swastikas? Are they still okay?

Tell me you didn’t read the article without actually telling me you didn’t read the article

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Censorship never works and generally produces the opposite of the intended result. Banning a symbol, even a despised one, usually intensifies the ardor of the people who cling to that symbol. The only legitimate counter to groups with their hearts set on bigotry and hate is a well thought out counter argument. It is worth everyone's time to understand where their hatred comes from because there is very likely a concern driving it. Dismissing the concern and banning their symbol solves nothing. Understand the root of the hatred and deal with that directly. Even if their concern seems outlandish, if it is enough of a concern to drive people to violence then is enough of a concern for society to address forthrightly and directly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In Germany, many on the left now complain that these types of laws have actually backfired.

Oh, I'm sure there is a person or two. There is someone who will say something about anything anywhere. Doesn't mean they're worth listening to.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And regarding Andrews' covid policies, just because they're supported by politicians on both sides of politics doesn't inherently make them right.

And the vast majority of citizens of Victoria also supported Dan Andrews Covid policies.

@BigYen made good points.

The Hindu symbol has been around for thousands of years and the German Nazi Swastika is that symbol in reverse. There is no mistaking one from the other for anyone with knowledge of the subject. Original Hindu symbol is anti clockwise while Nazi symbol is clockwise.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The article clearly reads religious exemptions are allowed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Part of the society of a certain country that presumes freedom should do the same.

What about Hindu and Buddhist swastikas? Are they still okay?

Is that a serious question or a Joke???..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh pleas don't tell me that this law limits the freedom of expression, LOL.

Your freedom ends as soon as it infringes on the freedom of others.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

In Germany, many on the left now complain that these types of laws have actually backfired. They've helped rightwing movements clean up their optics and present a more respectable face than they otherwise would. These laws effectively require anyone advocating far-right politics in public to look reasonable and avoid talking about things that would turn most voters off.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Banning swastikas and other symbols is not going to de-nazify anyone. Educating teenagers to get them interested in history, politics, psychology, sociology and critical thinking is the only way to deal with the ignorance, fear and inferiority complexes that drive people down the right-wing road to finding relief in fascist memes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The question is why are people reacting and to what?

No, that's not the question. Their opinions invalidate themselves through their use of hatred and racism to express them. Once you start giving the a microphone, you validate their hatred and racism.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is a slippery slope, governments banning symbols, especially in a country with an appalling record on press and internet freedom. I hate neo-nazis, but I oppose censorship like this. Only weak and insecure people get angry about symbols. I hope this won't stop people exhibiting collections of early German stamps or advertising them online. What about political satire in art that uses a swastika to condemn the extreme right wing? Or TV series like ''Allo, Allo'? Or cosplaying as a 70s punk?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

GBR48

What will they do if Aussie fascists just switch to using the original Buddhist symbol that the Nazis pinched it from?

I can just imagine some white supremisist getting a reverse swastika tattoo. He would be the subject of ridicule, not the least because that symbol is not of white origin and is a symbol of peace.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well in that case i hope everyone realizes that the nazi swastika spirals to the right .

The symbol is also seen sometimes in other artworks or textiles spiraling clockwise and has absolutely nothing to do with the Nazi.

Be sure to recognize the difference before accidentally discriminating .

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Anyone who pays attention would realize that the symbols you see on Buddhist temples always spiral anti clockwise or to the left.

Iam astonished that i have to clarify that detail.

Attention to detail has become apparently rare .

Even for a news article !

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Five people? I think you need to read up a bit more.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far-right_terrorism_in_Australia

The number of real nazis, not just fools dressing up for a camera, but people with serious ill will wouldnt fill a bus in Australia. Its a made up story created by the media and played up by ASIO because it gives them an excuse to claim more taxpayers dollars. They also play it up because the media encourages them to play it up

Why, having spent nearly my entire life in Australia have I never come across anybody even mention anyone associated with such a group? And much of that time in regional Australia, where apparently these groups are rfie

Its a complete nonsense.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

These laws effectively require anyone advocating far-right politics in public to look reasonable and avoid talking about things that would turn most voters off.

You mean that the laws encouarge them to be less far-right / vicious / racist in order to appeal to voters? That sounds like a law that is working.

I can think of another country where that might work.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow, that was a quick downvote. What will they do if Aussie fascists just switch to using the original Buddhist symbol that the Nazis pinched it from?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

“I’m glad to see that no matter what side of politics, we can agree that this vile behavior will not be tolerated in Victoria,” Symes said.

Agreed.

Looking forward to other states following.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

What about Hindu and Buddhist swastikas? Are they still okay?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The hammer and sickle emblem is banned or restricted in the following countries...

Georgia, Indonesia, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary. So I guess that put a stop to any communists in those countries.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Banning a symbol will have zero effect on people's views. Just more woke virtue signalling...

They will just adopt a new symbol. Probably the Azov flash from Ukrainian Nazis.... That won't be banned.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Now Australia needs to look at why children as young as 13 are embracing extremism. A start would be to educate the parents as the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I'm against Nazis but banning their symbol won't stop them.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

What about Hindu and Buddhist swastikas? Are they still okay?

I saw the symbol painted on a budda in Thailand just 2 days ago at a temple in the north. Not particularly old either.

Wouldnt it be interesting if a buddhist or hindu site somewhere in Australia did the same thing. Personally id like to see it. Lets see how the argument would play it when it comes to religious freedom.

After all, Hitler used a symbol thats been used in various ways for millenia, West and East. It wasnt new at all and the fact he hijacked it for his own cause shouldnt stop others from using it.

I dont support banning it and I hope religious groups challenge it.

Only one of them is in the ascendant worlwide at the moment. 

Which is ascendant? If you suggesting the nazi flag is ascendant thats truly laughable. There are multiple countries that stil have the hammer and sickle on their national flag for heavans sake.

Those same flags no doubt appear at the U.N.

Where is the nazi flag flying at the U.N?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Sorry to puncture the hyperventilating, but the legislation seems to be able to distinguish between political Nazism and religious symbolism.

Hyperventilating about what?

What you just posted proves my point my completely. Its a symbol with a complicated history and for much of that history its meaning has been positive, not hateful. Hitler and his disgraceful regime tarnished the image and its about time people realized that.

So the argument is really about intent, not the symbol.

Does the government think a ban is going to stop the 00000000.1% of nazis that live in Victoria?

There intent is hateful. Deal with the intent.

I mean you could arrest all the 5 people that have ill-intent and the problem disappears. Thats the sort of numbers your talking about.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

BigYenToday  05:56 pm JST

why stop at the Nazi swastika? They should ban the hammer and sickle of communism as well.

Missing the point entirely that this action is in response to the major threat of the day, i.e. extreme right-wing ideology a.k.a. Fascism. Old-style hammer and sickle Communism, not seen so much these days. In fact rarely seen at all, in this country at least.

But socialist lockdown tsar premier Dan Andrews is a fan, so I don't expect any action. 

Here we go, the real agenda. Missing the point again, that this action is supported by all sides of politics in Victoria (and Australia). But, never a miss a chance to knock Dan Andrews - both a "Tsar" and a fan of Communism? A laughable assertion about a democratically-elected politician.

A bit like when the Box Hill police station in Melbourne flew a CCP Chinese flag a few years ago, apparently to support multiculturalism.

No, not like the Box Hill police station flying the Chinese national flag. That was during a one-day ceremony to recognise China's national day. It's China's national flag. Box Hill is a big Chinese area. China wasn't as on the nose then as it is today, and it wasn't "Tsar" Dan Andrews' decision, it was the decision of the local MP, probably to curry favour with local voters. Nevertheless, it was controversial. It wasn't repeated. How many times has China's national flag has been raised in various ceremonies in various communities the world over during the past few decades, with no subsequent increase in CCP-inspired domestic terrorism? 

The only reason you've chosen to highlight this insignificant one-day event is to get in a cheap shot at a democratic leader you don't like because of his Covid policies, policies which had massive majority support in his own State at the time. Not that that seems to matter to you.

You miss the point. Again.

I don't think symbols should be banned

Well there you go. You support the flying of Fascist symbols - as well as Communist ones. Only one of them is in the ascendant worlwide at the moment. That's what this bipartisan decision is about.

You'll say anything to defend that ratbag in charge of Victoria, and try to straw-man me, wrongly, as a supporter of the far-right. Those idiots are a minority fringe, and have far less power than the far-left ideologues who have dug their way into the public service and education system and the like where they're doing their damage at the taxpayers' expense to emerging generations, and enjoy the support of the current Victorian and now national governments. Maybe instead of banning a symbol, maybe try to address the issues that are attracting those people to it. But no, that would be too hard.

And regarding Andrews' covid policies, just because they're supported by politicians on both sides of politics doesn't inherently make them right. It just makes both sides wrong and egregiously so. I could go on abut that but the post will be removed for going off-topic. Let's just say you already know my position on it and leave it there.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

I don't think symbols should be banned, but if they're going to do it, why stop at the Nazi swastika? They should ban the hammer and sickle of communism as well. An equally abhorrent symbol of an evil ideology whose adherents have killed and persecuted more than the Nazis, and still counting.

But socialist lockdown tsar premier Dan Andrews is a fan, so I don't expect any action. A bit like when the Box Hill police station in Melbourne flew a CCP Chinese flag a few years ago, apparently to support multiculturalism. Yep, the flag of a foreign dictatorship over a police station. Nothing done about that offensive symbol.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

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