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Welsh man thought Nazi flag was German navy symbol

Anthony Williams tells local daily he didn’t mean to cause offense when trying to sell Swastika banner at garage sale

Illustrative photo of a Nazi flag on display (CC BY-BPTakoma, Flickr)
Illustrative photo of a Nazi flag on display (CC BY-BPTakoma, Flickr)

A Welsh man who was asked to take down a Nazi flag he hung at a garage sale on Sunday said that he did not intend to offend anyone by displaying a Swastika and that he did not know the symbol was no longer used by the German military.

“I was told it was the German navy, which as far as I could see were not involved in the same way the SS were in the Second World War,” Anthony Williams told the Welsh newspaper the Daily Post on Tuesday.

“I saw that it had the Swastika on it. But I don’t know if it’s not still used today. I might be a bit of an idiot for not looking it up properly, but I won’t make that mistake again,” he added.

Williams, 56, also said that he did not meant to insult anyone by putting up the Nazi flag at the garage sale in the northern Welsh town of Wrexham. He said he does not have any problems with Muslims, and denied that he hung the banner “in support of Manchester” following the recent deadly suicide bombing there.

“What I said was I’m not happy about what happened in Manchester and I’m against Islamic State, not against Muslims because I have Muslim friends, and I’ve also been a pastor of a church and had a copy of the Koran,” he said.

“I was asked the once to take it down [by the garage sale’s organizers]. I did not refuse to take it down. It was late on in the day. The flag had been up since six in the morning. Muslims and whoever else had walked past and never said anything about it.”

Williams also told the Daily Post that before being asked by police to remove the flag — which he was selling for four pounds — a number of people considered buying it, including a couple he said he believed to be German.

In addition to the Nazi flag, which Williams said was brought by a friend, he also had a Confederate flag on display, which he said he owned for over 35 years and used in American Civil War reenactments.

As a result of the incident, the organizers of the garage sale banned Williams from future events. A spokesman for the North Wales police said an “out of court resolution” would be brokered between him and the organizers.

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