An Australian state has just banned public displays of Nazi flags and swastikas 3 months ago

An Australian state has just banned public displays of Nazi flags and swastikas

The ban on Nazi flags and the swastika was recommended in February

The Australian state of New South Wales is set to make it illegal to wave a Nazi flag or display memorabilia bearing swastikas.

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The state is preparing laws to ban the swastika after a parliamentary inquiry in February recommended a ban on the public display of Nazi symbols.

David Hudson, Deputy Commissioner of Investigations and Counter-terrorism at NSW Police Force, said that the "majority of mainstream Australia find it abhorrent and disgraceful."

He adds that such symbols are used by "pathologically violent extremist groups" to "spread hate and incite hate crimes."

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But Hudson has previously suggested that a blanket ban on the swastika may not be the right approach, ABC reports.

He told an inquiry examining the proposed ban: "When you force something underground it gains a certain mystique and attraction for certain individuals.

"We're not dealing with people who are mainstream Australia, we have individuals who align themselves to extreme right-wing ideology.

"The type of individuals that we deal with, will certainly be attracted to the prohibition of this type of symbol."

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Under the new legislation, the maximum penalty for an individual who breaks the ban would be a $5,500 fine or six months behind bars, according to the Australian Associated Press.

There are however some exceptions, with the swastika able to be used in historical or educational settings. This means it would still be allowed to be displayed in religious contexts.

The swastika has a history much older than its association with Nazism. The symbol has been used in Buddhism and Hinduism for thousands of years, and in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, the word swastika means "well-being," the BBC reports.

Last year, Victoria became the first state in Australia to ban the public display of the swastika.

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