Hate crime investigation underway regarding Nazi flag being flown in central Alberta

By Darcy Ropchan

Brazeau County, Alta. (CityNews) – RCMP are investigating a property owner flying a symbol of hate in central Alberta.

The property, located just outside of Breton, Alberta, a village rich with Black Alberta history, was seen with swastika and confederate flags flying at the entrance to the land.

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center For Holocaust Studies (FSWC) called on the RCMP to launch a hate crimes investigation after being notified of the flags over the weekend, just a few days after learning about another Nazi flag being flown in the village of Boyle, a couple of hours north of Breton.

CityNews was able to speak to the property owner as he came home, however he refused an on-camera interview. The owner said it’s his right to fly these flags on his property. Saying it’s no different than a jolly roger pirate flag.

When asked how he thought this flag would make a Jewish person or holocaust survivor feel, he said “they’re free not to look at it.”

Those who live in Breton were quick to say this man’s views were repulsive and do not represent the village.

RCMP confirm they’re investigating and the property owner has refused to take the flags down at this time.

The symbols of racism are flying near the historic home of where Black American settlers set up homesteads to escape from the United States when they immigrated in 1909.

“African Americans were the largest group and they came primarily from Oklahoma to escape the Jim Crow laws and the discrimination they were experiencing down there, and they looked northwards towards Canada. It was the homestead act, any male over the age of 18 could apply for a homestead,” explained Allan Goddard, museum owner.

Like most in Breton, Goddard was upset when heard about the flags.

“About the only comment we as a museum can say, is that we’re disappointed,” he added.

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