Australian police confiscated a Nazi flag that was being flown from an apartment window overlooking a Brisbane synagogue on Saturday.
Congregants of the synagogue were shocked to see the flag flying out of the nearby UniLodge student housing and accommodation building as they attended Shabbat services, The Guardian reported.
“That flag and that symbol, the Nazi swastika symbol, represents one of the most evil moments in human history,” Queensland Board of Deputies Vice President Jason Steinberg said. “For that to appear in 2021 in Brisbane over a synagogue is just atrocious.”
Queensland police said that they visited the apartment and removed the flag, issuing the occupant a public nuisance notice.
Steinberg told Perth Now that he was calling on the state to enact a law banning displays of Nazi symbols.
"The state parliament is reviewing the hate crime legislation as we speak," he said. "We called on the banning of the swastika to be displayed and Nazi flags like this because at the moment ... it doesn't breach the serious hate or vilification law."
In September, Victoria announced that it would become the first state in Australia to ban any public display of Nazi symbols as part of a comprehensive package of reforms designed to eliminate “hateful behavior” and discrimination based on race, religion, orientation, illness, or disability.
The ban on displaying Nazi symbols cane in part due to the government’s recognition that there has been a recent rise in neo-Nazi activity, leading to more “hate behavior.”
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner called the incident "sickening" and "pure evil.”
"Under the current inadequate laws, this is likely to be classified as nothing more than a low-level ‘public nuisance.’ Not good enough!” he tweeted on Sunday.
Queensland Multicultural Affairs Minister Leanne Linard wrote in a Facebook post that the incident was “disgraceful.”
"Incidents like this are why the Palaszczuk Government launched an inquiry into serious vilification and hate crime," Linard wrote. "This is not who we are as Queenslanders and should be called out at every opportunity."