[Clipart] Nazi flag
Jonadab the Unsightly One
jonadab at bright.net
Sat Aug 6 16:52:08 PDT 2005
Wolfgang Scheuing <scheuing at realss.com> writes:
> You have explained it to me. Decide yourself: Is it past (German
> Reich?, Nazi Germany?) or is it simply "Germany"?
It is not "simply Germany". An individual keywords is not intended to
fully describe everything about an image; most of the images have
multiple keywords, e.g., the nazi flag has the following keywords:
"German Reich" and "Nazi Germany" are phrases, not keywords, but the
image does have the "nazi" keyword, as well as "historic". Together
these keywords are supposed to help categorize the image.
We are contemplating removing the "germany" keyword from the Nazi flag
for the next release, but we have not made a decision yet; it's still
open for discussion. If we did remove the keyword, that would make it
the only historic national flag without the national keyword attached,
which seems incongruous, but on the other hand it would keep the image
from coming up in a keyword search for "Germany".
> What can I find with the keyword USA in future? Guantanamo pictures?
> Hiroshima bombing? Vietnam war?
I suppose. And lots of other things too. (Except, the keyword would
probably be "unitedstates" rather than "USA", but that's not the
point.) I don't wish to hide from my nation's history. I'd rather
study it and learn from it.
> > However, the flag in question was at one time the official flag
> > of a major world power; that in itself is a good reason to
> > include it in the flags collection, just as also include
> > historical flags of other nations.
> So you should know that the "positive" use is not the typical
> use. This flag is mainly used to make the bad ideas of nazis and
> faschists more popular.
That's patently absurd. I have seen this flag hundreds of thousands
of times in my life, and I have yet to *ever* see an example of its
being used after the end of WWII to promote Naziism or Nazi ideals.
Yes, that *occasionally* happens, but it is *mostly* used when
discussing history. Perhaps that is not done so much in Germany, but
the rest of the world uses the flag in this way.
> If you really believe that this flag is used in a good way, then you
> are a dreamer and have no experience with nazis, faschists etc. and
> what they have done.
I have studied enough history to know pretty much exactly what was
done, but it is just that: history. Yes, there are a few scattered
neo-nazi groups in various parts of the world, (only about half of
them in or near Germany), but they do not hold any significant amount
of political power, anywhere, and in any case they account for only a
relatively small amount of use of such symbols, when compared to
historical studies and so forth. (Fascism as a broader category is a
different matter; there are governments in the world today that could
reasonably be described as Fascist; but as far as I am aware none of
them use the Nazi flag to represent their fascist ideologies. As a
general rule they have their own flags.)
> Nothing is missing in this world if you delete this flag.
History is not nothing.
And, incidentally, history cannot simply be deleted. Many governments
have tried that, in many places and at many times, and the results
have never once been good.
> I didn't try this keyword and I have forgotten the URL of this
> website. BUT if you really have tagged your content with "nazi"
> then I consider you as completely stupid: Is there any reason
> to provide your customers with nazi material? Do you porn with
> children too? Do you have other "interesting" keywords? Can I
> find Osama Bin Laden and his al'kaida group? I can't believe
We had to add the keyword so that certain redistributors could filter
out those images that they do not wish to distribute. Debian, for
instance, filters out images with the "nazi" keyword from their
distribution. Images with the "nazi" keyword would also probably be
filtered out when doing localization for Germany. (As I said, we have
not gotten around to producing localized packages yet, but we do have
plans for it, in some detail.)
You are over-reacting, assuming that just because we have a collection
of historical flags we must necessarily promote every ideology that
they represent. We do not. We just have a collection of useful clip
art, which includes a useful collection of flags; the collection
includes current national flags, a few current provincial and even
city flags, and a number of historic national and political flags,
from various nations and eras. A history or geography teacher, or
even an elementary teacher, would surely consider this a marvelous
> Nothing is missing in this world if you remove the keyword "nazi".
Nothing is missing? Redistributors such as Debian would not be able
to filter the collection if we removed the keywords. We would not be
able to create a localized collection for German audiences with those
images removed, if they did not have that keyword.
The image did not have the "nazi" keyword originally, but it was added
after a discussion with the Debian developers, who encouraged us to
take some action so that such images could be easily filtered out and
removed. Debian uses this keyword to filter out images that have it
from their distribution, because they distribute in Germany and do not
wish to test the limits of the law there.
First you don't want to see the image, and then you don't want us to
tag it with a keyword that will enable people to filter it out and
> > Additionally, when we localize the collection (which,
> > unfortunately, is a step we haven't gotten to yet, but we have
> > plans for it), we would not include items with this keyword in
> > the localized releases for places where the symbol is problematic
> > (primarily, Germany).
> I hope you understand the difference between "problematic" and
The nazi flag is a political symbol, so it is not illegal in any
nation with free political speech and press, i.e., most nations where
very many people have internet access to download our collection in
the first place. (China is the most notable exception to that rule,
but I suspect the Nazi flag is legal in China, although certain other
flags might not be, such as the Taiwanese flag (which is helpfully
tagged with a "taiwan" keyword, so that it can be filtered out for
Chinese localization). Germany appears to be the other exception.)
> I hope you don't believe what you have written. Germany has NO free
> press, but USA have?
I have not studied Germany law and am only going on the assumption
that what people keep telling us about Germany's law is correct. It
may not be true; I haven't checked. There is at least one person on
the mailing list who claims that it is greatly exaggerated. But *you*
told me that the image of the Nazi flag is illegal in Germany. Are
you now going to tell me that Germany has free political press, after
first telling me that certain political symbols are illegal there?
> ?? Dream on! Many people of the US don't understand, that they
> accept "FREE PRESS" only in their way of understanding. In many
> parts of the world is a completely different understand of "free
> press". In USA someone can see a naked breast in the TV and the
> whole nation is excited.
I was talking about the freedom to express political ideas. The
censorship of pornography is not dangerous to society, because it does
not enable the suppression of "unapproved" political ideas. It is the
censorship of *political* speech that is dangerous.
> The US treats their islamistic prisoners not following international
> rules and not as their own american soldiers.
It is worth noting that that happened in locations outside the actual
borders of the United States, in locations where there is not really a
complete freedom of the press, e.g., in Iraq or in Cuba, both
locations with no free press in any meaningful sense. I was going to
bring this up myself, but you are making my point for me.
You see, it's not that Americans are somehow better than Germans (or
whoever else) and above mistreating other people. They're not. Many
Americans, and, no doubt, many American politicians, would do those
things in a heartbeat if they thought they could get away with them.
The thing is, they can really only get away with such things overseas,
where they can hide better from the press (and even then, only for a
while). Why do you think those prisoners were held in Guantanamo Bay,
rather than on American soil? It is because on American soil they
could not get away with such things for so long a time; they would
have been exposed *MUCH* more immediately. It would have been all
over the news the same day it happened, not months later. That was my
whole point. Those prisoners were held at Guantanamo Bay *because*
there's no free press there, because the people who decided their fate
*knew* that they couldn't do such things where there *is* a free press.
And when those things eventually got out anyway and were published,
what happened to the people who published them? Did the CIA or the
FBI or the military come knocking at their door? No, they're still in
the news business.
Not that the press is all good. They're not. But they create a
threat of public exposure, which serves as a restraining influence on
extremely outlandish behavior and so helps to protect society from the
most severe atrocities.
> The problem is, that the USA believes that they are the best
> and only acceptable people on this earth.
The United States is a *LONG*, *LONG* way from being the only nation
on Earth that allows free political speech. Almost every western
nation has freedom of political expression that allows the Nazi flag
and any other political flag to be displayed publically. This is not
just an "eccentric US-american standard"; we inherited it from
England, actually, but that is neither here nor there.
> > Similar examples of that sort of cruel oppression, such as the
> > killing fields of the Khmer Rouge or, to a lesser degree, the
> > gulags of Soviet Russia, have historically seemed to occur
> > mostly in nations with restrictions on the publishing of
> > political ideas, symbols, and information.
> You have forgotten Guantanamo, AbuGurheid and some unknown,
> illegal american prisons.
Are you really comparing these to the Nazi holocaust or the Khmer
Rouge killing fields? These incidents you list are not even the worst
atrocities the United States has committed; the worst ones were the
things we did to certain Native American Indian tribes -- but even
those things are *nothing* like the kind of holocaust that happened
under the Nazis.
> Please have alook what americans are doing TODAY!
Again, are you seriously comparing that to the Nazi holocaust?
You lecture me that I "have no experience with nazis", and then you
make statements like this, which actively demonstrate a complete lack
of historical perspective.
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