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Man Flying Swastika Flag Says He Is ‘Absolutely Not’ Honouring Nazis

For the second time in less than a year, a Burnaby man has drawn the ire of his neighbours because of the flag he has chosen to fly.

A Second World War-era German naval flag, which includes an image of a swastika, hangs on a line in the man’s yard.

“That is a German WWII naval battle flag. That flag was on the Bismarck today – 77 years ago – when it sunk the Hood,” said Tom, who would only tell us his first name.

On May 24, 1941, the German ship Bismarck did sink HMS Hood in a battle that lasted less than 10 minutes and claimed the lives of more than 1,400 British sailors.

A few days later, Allied forces sank the Bismarck.

Tom is also flying Canadian and British military flags from the era and claims he is not honouring Nazis.

“Absolutely not. It’s a German battle flag, real simple. And if the people want to come out and argue about it, I’ll show them what a battle is,” he said defiantly.

By noon on Friday, though, he had taken the German battle flag and the British military flag down.

Several people living nearby told CTV News they were not happy to see the swastika on a flag flying over their neighbourhood, but none were willing to speak on the record.

Last August, in the wake of white nationalist rallies in the United States, neighbours were also troubled to see a Confederate flag flying over Tom’s yard.

He told CTV News he was flying that flag to honour an American friend who was on his deathbed.

After flying it for more than two weeks, he took it down because he said his family had received threats and Burnaby RCMP had visited his home.

“Find out who keeps phoning in,” he said Thursday. “Ask them if they got the guts to actually talk to me face-to-face instead of hiding behind a phone call.”

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