A flag enthusiast who thought it would be a grand idea to hoist a Nazi swastika high in the friendly sky from a 20ft pole outside his house has apologised and admitted, “I’ve dropped a massive blunder.”
When 54-year-old flag collector Martin Baker decided to hoist a new flag on his pole last weekend, the flag mad Brit from Barnby Dun, Doncaster, had more than 100 to choose from. The flag crazed collector has been accumulating flags for nearly a decade, and as such, one would hope Mr Baker would know a thing or two about flag designs, their meanings, and what they represent.
Yet judging by the choice of standard Mr Baker selected to proudly raise for all to see over the weekend, it would appear Mr Baker’s ignorance of the significance of certain flags is all too evident
The Mirror reports that Mr Baker decided to fly a red and black Waffen SS flag – a symbol of the vile paramilitary arm of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party.
The Waffen SS flag was notorious for striking fear and dread to all those who were persecuted by the Nazi party. The Waffen SS were the armed wing of the Nazis and, prior to World War Two, gradually developed into a multi-ethnic and multi-national military force of Nazi Germany.
At the post-war Nuremberg Trials, the Waffen-SS was condemned as a criminal organisation due to its connection to the Nazi Party and involvement in numerous war crimes.
To this day, the Waffen SS flag represents the horror and brute savagery carried out under its standard. Consequently, it’s definitely not the sort of flag you’d want to be associated with, let alone hoist high from a 20ft pole in your backyard.
However, Mr Baker swears he was unaware of the flag’s significance and after receiving an abundance of angry phone calls and livid Facebook messages, Mr Baker told the Doncaster Free Press he wants to apologise.
“I want to say sorry to everyone who might have been upset by the flag. I didn’t know exactly what the flag means and I still don’t. I don’t want to upset anyone so I took it down as soon as people started contacting me explaining about the fuss it was causing.”
“I put it up on Friday night and it was taken down on Saturday morning. I normally keep them up for a few weeks but the phone started ringing and people were telling me about the anger it was causing on Facebook.
“I want to put the record straight. There was no motive behind it, it was purely down to my ignorance as to what it represented then and what it represents now. I am still not sure what the flag means. I Googled it and realised I had dropped a massive blunder. I just want to apologise for any upset I might have caused.”
Mr Baker, who purchased the Waffen SS flag on the internet, insists that now he knows its true meaning he will be purging it from his collection, and confessed he will think very carefully about the next flag he flies.
“I normally fly flags on a two week cycle but I am not putting any more up for a while. The next one I put up will say ‘love, peace and happiness on it. I will be more careful next time.”
[Picture via The Mirror.]