The ABC has obtained a 2007 image of a swastika being flown above an Australian military vehicle in Afghanistan, and has cited unnamed military sources who allege the Nazi emblem was flown for a prolonged period of time.
The image, taken during an August 2007 operation, shows the flag being flown above a vehicle carrying several Defence personnel.
One source told the ABC the person who flew the flag intended it as a joke, not as a genuine expression of Nazism.
Nazi swastika flag flown on Australian Defence vehicle in Afghanistan https://t.co/SjSwk9LViQ pic.twitter.com/BMr8TVXsdi
— ABC News (@abcnews) June 13, 2018
But the Australian Defence Force has issued a response to the image, saying the person responsible was immediately reprimanded over the incident.
“It is totally inappropriate for any ADF vehicle or company to have a flag of this nature,” the Defence spokesperson said.
The revelation of the image comes amid a period of intense scrutiny on the culture of Australia’s military forces.
The ABC recently outlined a 2016 report on the internal behaviour of Australia’s special forces, which alleged sectors of the nation’s most elite fighting units suffered from a dysfunctional culture.
In addition, a Defence inquiry is reportedly being conducted to determine if Australian forces were involved in the extrajudicial killing of three Afghan men during a village raid in 2012.