Yarriambiack Shire Council CEO Jessie Holmes said the council did not have the power to request the home owner to take the Nazi flag.
A Nazi flag is flying above a house in Australia and authorities appear helpless to take it down.
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 Nazi swastika represents racial supremacy and is in reality a symbol of mass genocide. 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.https://t.co/OMDwCJWgvN
— James Newbury MP (@newbury3186) January 13, 2020
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.”