Finland considers ban on swastika

Central Helsinki skyline viewed from Kauppatori.
Central Helsinki skyline viewed from Kauppatori. Source: Kai Vare/ERR

Finnish national broadcaster Yle reports that following a proposal by MP Ben Zyskowicz, the Finnish government is considering a ban on the swastika.

The proposal by Zyskowicz is part of a larger package being prepared by a working group tasked with proposing concrete measures to effectively combat racism and discrimination.

The Finnish government established the task force after a number of racism-related controversies erupted in the country during the summer. The working group has also discussed the swastika's prohibition. According to Yle, however, there is no consensus among the ruling parties on the issue.

In addition to the swastika, Zyskowicz suggested that the hammer and sickle, the symbol of the Soviet Union, should also be prohibited.

Parliament is expected to vote on the working group's proposals in early September.

In ancient Scandinavia, the swastika may have represented the world's rotation around the North Pole; however, it became a negative symbol in the West when Nazi leader Adolf Hitler combined the swastika with the three colors of the German Imperial flag (red, black, and white).

There are a number of countries in Europe where the swastika is now banned.

The swastika is not banned in the United States; the U.S. believes that the government cannot judge people's political or religious beliefs.


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Editor: Karl Kivil, Kristina Kersa

Source: Yle

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