Last night I watched a documentary called “Why Trains Crash”.
This may come as a surprise to you, but the main cause of train crashes are humans being dumbasses.
Which brings me to my next story.
Some dumbass in Saskatchewan decided to hang a Nazi flag atop a house in the small village of Kelliher. Since it was buy-one-get-one-free day at the flag store he picked up a nice little Confederate flag to go along with it.
Neighbours complained to the mayor and the police. The police knocked on the door and made a request, something like, “While it is not illegal to fly this flag, can you please take it down for the sake of being a reasonable human being? And take that tacky Confederate flag down too.”
“But it’s raining.”
He had a point. So the friendly officers and the man agreed upon his terms. He would take the flag down when the rain stopped.
Meanwhile, a vigilante had other ideas. He would deal with the flag himself, and it would be much more satisfying if he could generate some “likes” on social media. Donning a Confederate flag mask (presumedly the one from the rooftop) he burned up that Nazi flag.
“Stop racism. Shit ain’t cool,” he says in the video he posted on Facebook, “It has to end now, and not later.”
I like this guy’s style, but he’s a little bit of a dumbass for posting it on social media. I mean, technically he was committing a crime.
Now the RCMP are annoyed because they have to waste time and effort to investigate the burning of someone’s personal property. If only the local cops had convinced the homeowner to put on his raincoat and rubber boots on.
So, is it, or is it not illegal to hang a Nazi flag in Canada? Let’s see what the Criminal Code has to say about it:
Wilful promotion of hatred
(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of
- (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
- (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Is a flag a communicating statement? I would argue that it is. Just ask any NASCAR fan.
Does a Nazi flag promote hatred against an identifiable group? I think several identifiable groups might say yes.
There have been a handful of cases over the years tried under this section for everything from being a dumbass to being a really big, stupid, dumbass. As far as my research tells me, no one has been charged under this section of the Criminal Code for flying a flag.
Are we really going to waste federal government resources over this? One dumbass hung a Nazi flag and another dumbass posted its burning on social media.
Case dismissed. [insert gavel pounding sounds here].