Swastika found flying in Wyoming public park in place of US flag
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Swastika found flying in Wyoming public park in place of US flag

Authorities quickly take down the Nazi flag in Laramie and strongly condemn incident, but add there is 'no evidence' of a crime

Illustrative: A Nazi flag flown in the United States. (Screenshot: YouTube)
Illustrative: A Nazi flag flown in the United States. (Screenshot: YouTube)

A swastika flag was discovered on a flagpole in Wyoming this week in place of the United States flag, with local authorities and a Jewish organization expressing strong condemnation of the act.

The switch was discovered Monday morning in a public park in the city of Laramie, US media reported.

Police officers quickly removed the Nazi flag and restored the Stars and Stripes to its previous position after it was found crumpled next to the pole, police official Gwen Smith told CNN.

But she added that there was no evidence of a crime, since neither the US flag nor the flagpole were damaged. The public display of Nazi imagery is protected by the US Constitution’s First Amendment.

The Anti-Defamation League condemned the “outrageous” incident.

“It is appalling and outrageous that anyone would cast aside the American flag in a public park and replace it with an ugly symbol of the Nazi regime,” said ADL senior associate director Jeremy Shaver.

“We all have a responsibility to speak up when such hateful incidents take place in our communities,” he added, commending the officers for their “respectful and professional” removal of the Nazi symbol.

Laramie Mayor Andrea Summerville also said she “vigorously and strongly condemns” the incident.

“The City of Laramie will remain watchful for and vigilant against any other use of hateful Nazi symbols or propaganda,” she told CNN.

It was the second appearance of Nazi symbol in public in the US in the past week, after a synagogue in Indiana was vandalized with a swastika and Iron Crosses last Friday in an overnight attack.

I’m disgusted and furious tonight that this has happened and that my beautiful State of Indiana is one of only five…

Posted by Debby Barton Grant on Saturday, 28 July 2018

The Iron Cross was a German military medal which has been adopted as a symbol by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

The Shaarey Tefilla Temple congregation in Carmel said that religious services on Saturday morning had not been affected by the attack, and that the incident had been reported to the police.

Times of Israel staff and AP contributed to this report.

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