14 June 2018Hot off the Press
Image credit: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The ABC has revealed a photograph that displays an Australian Army vehicle flying a swastika flag while on duty in Afghanistan in 2007.
The photo, which was obtained exclusively by the state broadcaster, was taken in August of 2007. It shows the swastika emblem hoisted high above the Australian military vehicle.
It has been reported that further images of the flag in Afghanistan have been circulated among Australian soldiers.
One Defence source, also obtained by the ABC, attempted to give an explanation, saying that the bearing of the swastika flag was more of a “twisted joke” rather than evidence or expression of support for neo-Nazism.
The source claimed the flag was up for a “prolonged period”.
However, a Defence spokesperson, in reply to ABC’s request for comment, said the flag was hoisted up only briefly.
The spokesperson condemned the flag and its symbolism, saying, “Defence and the ADF reject as abhorrent everything this flag represents. Neither the flag nor its use are in line with Defence values. The flag was briefly raised above an Australian Army vehicle in Afghanistan in 2007.”
“The commander took immediate action to have the offensive flag taken down”, they continued.
“The personnel involved were immediately cautioned at the time and subsequently received further counselling. Additionally, steps were taken to reinforce education and training for all personnel who witnessed the flag.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has publicly slammed the conduct of the Australian soldiers who chose to hoist up the flag, saying it was “completely and utterly unacceptable.”