Yarriambiack Shire Council CEO Jessie Holmes said the council did not have the power to request the home owner to take the Nazi flag.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on January 15, 2020

A Nazi flag is flying above a house in Australia and authorities appear helpless to take it down.

The flag, which features the swastika and other Nazi symbols, is still flying over the home in Beulah, a town in Victoria’s famous Silo Art Trail in the state’s Mallee region.

The home owner, Cheryl Lawdorn, has reportedly defended her actions, arguing the ensign – which resembles a Wehrmacht flag used between 1935 and 1938 to represent the armed forces of Nazi Germany – is part of her German ancestry. The Wehrmacht flag was replaced by another flag when Adolf Hitler became the commander-in-chief of the armed forces in 1938.

The Nazi flag, which has been flying for several weeks, has outraged several neighbours, who have complained to Beulah police, and has been condemned by both the Victorian government and the opposition.

“We are currently investigating and awaiting legal advice as to what, if any, offences have been committed,” Leading Senior Constable Shayne Riggall said.

The matter has also been brought to the attention of Yarriambiack Shire Council, which administers Beulah. CEO Jessie Holmes said the council did not have the power to request the home owners take it down.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria has described Lawdorn’s actions in flying the Nazi flag as “pure evil”.

“The Jewish Community Council of Victoria strongly opposes any display of a Nazi flag in private or public areas,” the council’s president, Jennifer Huppert, told 7NEWS.

“The symbol represents pure evil and has no place in our Victorian or Australian society.”

Huppert said with the International Holocaust Remembrance Day approaching on January 27, all Australians need to be reminded of the WWII atrocities under the Nazi regime.

“This incident shows that there is still much which can be gained from educational programs which deepen our community’s understanding of the harm of symbols of hate and how they oppose Australian values and beliefs,” she said.

Australian Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dvir Abramovich has asked the Victorian Government to ban the display of Nazi memorabilia and flags.

“They are using the swastika as a rallying cry to celebrate the murderous legacy of the Third Reich, and they have the law on their side,” Abramovich told the ABC.

“Anyone who loves this country and believes in the core values that binds us together, of respect and freedoms, would be horrified.”