Symbols Matter

Flags are symbols that tell a story that is generally reflective of history and heritage. Those who display the flag are expressing their belief in whatever it symbolizes.  Sometimes, there are differing interpretations of what a flag stands for. But not always.

Here are a few facts:

The Nazi flag was designed by Adolf Hitler. The swastika reflected his belief in the superiority of the Aryan race, particularly over the Jewish race.

The Nazis were more than a military force; they were sadistic criminals who murdered indiscriminately and caused unimaginable suffering around the world.

More than 400,000 American soldiers from The Greatest Generation died in World War II, roughly half of them fighting against the Nazi flag and all that it stood for.

Here are a few opinions:

The Nazi flag stands for racism and hatred, and is the symbol of a criminal movement.

Those who carry the Nazi flag, or who use Nazi salutes or language, are spitting in the face of American military veterans, living and dead.

There is no place for the Nazi flag on American soil, or anywhere in the world.  And yet, this is America, where we believe in and uphold the right of free expression, no matter how odious. So, fine. Let those who want to fly the flag do so — on their private property. Let them goose step and salute and shout “Sieg Heil” on their property. Let them tattoo swastikas on their bodies, and proclaim what they believe in and cherish.  Let them support racism and hatred and genocide. But not on public property. When that happens, let everyone else stand up and say no. Let us stand up and defend our military heroes and the cause that they died for. Let us be as brave as they were.

And let us never accept that these Nazi worshippers might be nice people. Someone wiser than me recently said it: “There are no nice Nazis.”

Tell the Nazi story. Try to make meaning out of the events and facts.  Learn from the story. Standing by silently can lead to catastrophe.


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