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Yorkshire Man Explains Why He Flew Nazi Flag Outside House

Jake Massey

Published 
| Last updated 

Yorkshire Man Explains Why He Flew Nazi Flag Outside House

Featured Image Credit: Yorkshire Live/MEN Media

A Yorkshire man has explained why he decided to fly a Nazi flag outside his house.

The man - who understandably wished to remain anonymous - erected the flag on Friday (27 May) outside his home in Harrogate, and it caused quite a stir among locals.

The flag in question is the flag of Nazi Germany's navy, the Kriegsmarine, and it features a swastika.

A picture of the flag flying alongside another bearing the White Ensign and the Naval Poppy, which both represent the Royal Navy, was posted on social media, along with the caption: "No words."

The tweet went viral, with people shocked by what they were seeing, but the man behind the flags has clarified that he is by no means a Nazi.

People were shocked to see the flag flying in the street. Credit: Yorkshire Live/MEN Media
People were shocked to see the flag flying in the street. Credit: Yorkshire Live/MEN Media

Speaking to YorkshireLive, he explained that 27 May was the anniversary of the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck during the Second World War, which resulted in the deaths of more than 2,000 German soldiers.

This was three days after the Royal Navy battlecruiser HMS Hood was sunk by the Bismarck during the Battle of the Denmark Strait in 1941.

The 57-year-old flag enthusiast said: "That's what it was in memory of. My father fought in the Second World War and as a naval tradition you show respect to your enemy as well as your own flag. 

"There was no intention of causing any offence to anyone. It's not glorifying war, it's commemorating it.

"It was a matter of showing respect. I would have thought people would have understood that with the Poppy being flown at the same time."

But of course, the mark of respect wasn't clear to most - whereas the swastika most definitely was.

Indeed, the man said police had been round to speak to him on Sunday after complaints were made, and they then came around a further two times that day as they were 'concerned about threats', before coming over again on Monday morning.

The man added that he's had an interest in flags throughout his life and had been erecting them outside his home for a number of years, along with notices explaining what they represent.

Asked if he could see why the Kriegsmarine flag could have caused upset - due to its associations with the war, the Holocaust and wider atrocities of Nazi Germany - the man said: "I'm surprised it would cause that much offence when I have given enough information. Going forward that flag won't be flown again.

The man said the flags marked the anniversary of the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck during the Second World War. Credit: Yorkshire Live/MEN Media
The man said the flags marked the anniversary of the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck during the Second World War. Credit: Yorkshire Live/MEN Media

"I'm the opposite to what that flag was intended for. I would classify myself as a pacifist, not a warmonger. It had nothing to do with politics or anything like that, it was more to lighten up people's day when they go past and see a flag.

"If people ask what the flags are for I'm more than happy to explain."

One neighbour, called Laura, attested to the fact the flags bring a 'bit more colour' to the community, and she said the culprit was a 'really nice guy'.

But others were less sympathetic, with one woman saying that seeing the flag was 'a bit strange', and another adding: "I think it was a silly mistake to be honest."

Topics: UK News

Jake Massey
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