December 7, 2023


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Australia will impose a national ban on Nazi symbols.

2 min read

In an effort to crack down on far-right groups, Australia has announced a national ban on Nazi insignia.

Displaying the swastika or SS emblems in public is punishable by up to a year in prison. The Nazi salute, on the other hand, will be exempt from the new laws.

Nazi insignia are already prohibited in certain states, but the administration claims they will be prohibited everywhere.

The move coincides with a recent spike in far-right activism.


In March, a group of neo-Nazis showed up at a rally in Melbourne organized by Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, a vocal opponent of transgender rights, and did Nazi salutes on the steps of the Victorian Parliament.

Ms Keen-Minshull denied any involvement with the organisation, but the incident sparked a political response, with calls for further efforts to combat Nazi regalia displays.

“There is no place in Australia for symbols that glorify the horrors of the Holocaust,” Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said when the new legislation was announced.

“We will no longer allow people to profit from displaying and selling items that glorify the Nazis and their evil ideology,” he stressed.

The commerce and public display of flags, armbands, t-shirts, insignia, and the publication of emblems advocating Nazi philosophy online are all prohibited, according to Mr Dreyfus in a statement.

However, public exhibitions of the Nazi swastika and SS emblems will be permitted for academic, educational, artistic, literary, journalistic, or scientific purposes.

Mr Dreyfus added that the restriction was carefully written to avoid the display of the swastika, which has spiritual value in various religions.

The Nazi swastika is based on an ancient hooked cross pattern that is still revered in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

“We have consulted with these communities to ensure that nothing in these laws will impinge on the use or display of these symbols in association with those religions,” Mr. Dreyfus said.

He further stated that the Nazi salute was not included in the statute since it could be dealt with at the local level.

“There are state police on the street dealing with street behavior like this, and we believe it is better handled by state laws,” he said.

The Nazi salute was banned in Victoria and Queensland earlier this year.

The move was regarded as “a joyful and profound moment that represents the culmination of a six-year personal campaign to defeat homegrown neo-Nazis who seek to keep Hitler’s legacy alive” by Dvir Abramovich of Australia’s Anti-Defamation Commission.

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