The Netherlands
The Netherlands iStock

Police in the Netherlands have launched an investigation after a swastika flag was hung from a bridge in Gelderland on Saturday night.

The flag was found near a pile of tires burning in the grass next to the highway bridge in the center-east province, the largest in the country. Several bales of hay were also lit on fire nearby, according to the NL Times.

It is illegal to publicly display the swastika in the Netherlands.

The area had recently been the site of a large rally by farmers.

“This is absolutely nothing to do with us,” a farmer said, according to local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland.

Dutch Jewish advocacy organization CIDI condemned the incident.

"This is exactly the flag of Nazi Germany. We often see graffiti with a swastika, but this flag is associated even more quickly with hatred and violence," CIDI’s Aron Vrieler told the broadcaster.

“A symbol of hatred, very painful for people who experienced WWII, and their children. You can be so angry about things that happen (politically), the comparison with Nazi Germany is absolutely reprehensible, distasteful and hurtful,” CIDI said in a social media statement.

BoerBurgerBeweging MP Caroline van der Plas cautioned people not to speculate about who was behind the Nazi flag and to wait for the investigation to unfold.