From Iceland — Justice Minister Bans Police From Wearing Racist Imagery

Justice Minister Bans Police From Wearing Racist Imagery

Published June 15, 2021

Photo by
Screenshot/Mbl.is/Eggert

After last autumn’s dust-up over a photo of a police officer wearing hate symbols on her uniform, Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir has issued new regulations which, in part, ban the adornment of known hate symbols on the official police uniform, as well as tattoos displaying the same.

As reported at the time, in the aforementioned photo a police officer can be seen wearing three flags, one of them the Icelandic version of the “blue lives matter” flag, a symbol created in direct opposition to Black Lives Matter, and another flag was the Vinland Flag, a flag first popularised by the band Type O Negative but later appropriated by white supremacist hate groups in recent years.

Capital Area Police media contact Gunnar Rúnar Sveinbjörnsson responded to questions from the Grapevine about the matter, stating:

“The police do not in any way support hate speech or symbols that support it. Police officers should not wear any symbols that are not recognised as a part of the police uniform. This has been emphasised to all of our employees and will be abided.”

The new regulations now ban tattoos or insignia “which are generally known to promote discrimination or extremism”. Determination of what counts as such insignia is left to the police chief, who can refer the matter to the national commissioner. Further, police are now forbidden in general to wear anything but official insignia on their uniforms.

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