by AJNews Staff
(AJNews) – There were two incidents of Nazi flags displayed outside at rural properties in Alberta this month – one near Breton, Alberta another near the village of Boyle.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) reached out to Breton RCMP to file a criminal complaint after being alerted to a Hitler Youth flag and a Confederate flag flying on a private property by a local resident. RCMP confirmed they then spoke with the property owner who initially refused to take down the flags. FSWC is urging police to launch a hate crime investigation.
“It is extremely disturbing and quite disheartening to once again see a Hitler Youth flag, as well as the Confederate flag, on display,” said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, FSWC’s Director of Policy. “These displays of hate go against the values that Canada stands for and are an attack on not only the Jewish and Black communities, but also on our veterans and fallen soldiers who made unspeakable sacrifices to defeat the Nazis and preserve our freedoms.”
The flags have now been taken down at both sites.
It is illegal in Canada to engage in the willful promotion of hatred.
FSWC contacted the local county council, alerting them to the problem and asked that they work with law enforcement to ensure the flags were removed and do not reappear.
“We urge police to investigate this incident as a hate crime and for community leaders to send a message loud and clear that hate will not be tolerated in their community,” Kirzner-Roberts added.
Steve Shafir, president of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, told the Edmonton Journal that the flags are proof that “antisemitism, unfortunately, is alive in Canada.”
“It’s disgusting,” he said. “It’s disconcerting, and it is downright scary.”
Shafir added that the outpouring of support from the general community was most assuring. “We know that the vast majority of Canadians are disgusted with the views that come with a symbol like that.”
County Reeve Bart Guyon called the flags “disturbing” in a phone interview with the Edmonton Journal.
In a followup statement, he added: “There is no place in Brazeau County for symbols of hatred and racism. These flags are disturbing, inappropriate, and do not represent the values of the people of Brazeau County.”