YESTERDAY a photo emerged of an Australian military vehicle flying a swastika flag.
The design was the national flag of Germany from 1933 to 1945 but has come to mean so much more.
In those 12 years, German chancellor Adolf Hitler brought into action a lot of his plans to create a master race.
While the rest of the world stood and watched, he started to bring about lots of his brutal plans.
It all ended rather badly for Germany with plenty of old scores settled along the way, but not before the plan for domination had seen tens of millions of people killed.
Present day estimates vary, but the figures are all more than 50 million.
So the flying of this flag, if the photo is genuine, shows stupidity of those involved to the highest level.
This flag of Germany represents a time when the country was responsible for the deaths of so many, mostly civilians, the persecution of whole races and religions and the total disruption of the world.
Why would anybody want to be associated with the flag?
Even today, most commentators describe it as the Nazi flag rather than the German flag.
Any reference on yesterday’s news bulletins referred to the offending item as the Nazi flag, rather than apportion blame to present-day Germany.
Germany would certainly not claim it with any pride, in fact it is a banned symbol in Germany and France.
So a tiny minority of our diggers flying the flag of an army which was ultimately soundly defeated makes no sense to me.
Why would you bother celebrating Germany’s
failure? But perhaps the most stupid thing the photo represents is its pure brazen approach.
There is a camouflaged military vehicle surrounded by a group of camouflaged military personnel in a subdued desert background and they are flying a bloody great red flag.
I think the armed forces decided red was a pretty stupid colour to be wearing in about 1900, let alone 2007 in Afghanistan.
All of this aside, all it really does is bring the wrong kind of attention to those in the Australian Defence Force, the vast majority who are doing the right thing.
Thankfully I don’t know the stresses of being in a combat zone, and maybe the flying of flag, perhaps naively, was thought of as a harmless prank when so much serious stuff was going on all around.
But I would hope this event, if nothing else, indicates it was not OK to do it.
Germany has dumped its use of the swastika and left it firmly in the past, I think it would be sensible for us all to do the same.