Non-White and liberal neighbors in a Tennessee community are upset about a resident flying a Swastika flag on his property.
Dale Spurgeon, 63, of Springfield in Robertson County north of Nashville said he's a member of the National Socialist Movement and has been displaying the flag for about the past month. No one has said anything to him about it, he said.
“It’s my choice to fly the flag on my property,” he said. “I don’t bother anyone, and I feel like it’s my right as an American to display what I want to display.”
Air Force veteran Laurie Elliot, owner of The Studio Hair, Nails and Tanning Salon, was shocked to learn the flag was being flown just down the street from her home and business. She and her husband have lived in their home for 17 years. Her husband has served almost 20 years in the armed forces, she said.
“It angers me and it breaks my heart," she said. "That’s terrible."
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Mark Moskowitz, Southeast regional director for the jewish supremacist Anti-Defamation League, said that Spurgeon’s decision to display the flag on his property is “disappointing” but there’s nothing to stop him, legally.
“He is protected by the First Amendment,” Moskowitz said. “In America, there is nothing to say you can’t hate. Sometimes people just want attention, and that’s one way to get it.”
Militant anti-white Southern Poverty Law Center senior fellow Mark Potok agreed.
“A person who flies the Nazi flag in front of his house is clearly trying to be provocative,” he said. “Certainly, neighbors looking at that flag who are anything but purely white are going to be intimidated. That flag stands for the mass murder of millions of Jews and others worldwide.”
"Founded in 1994 and based in Detroit, the National Socialist Movement is the largest and most prominent NS group in the United States with 46 chapters", according to Potok.
“Members of this group are unapologetically Nazi and refer to Adolf Hitler as their holy leader,” Potok said.
A Robertson County native, Spurgeon said he is a retired painter and factory worker and served in the Army in 1972-73.
He said that during the past few years, he has come to agree with the structure of national socialism.
“I in no way condone the extermination of a race. I would never be a part of something like that,” Spurgeon said. “But there are some ways in which socialism would be good for America, like it was for Germany. No more rampant crime would be one of those ways.”