Vox pop

Following the furore over Prince Harry wearing Nazi insignia in public, should there be an EU-wide ban on the swastika symbol, which is already banned in Germany?

‘German sensitivity is understandable, but there is no good reason to implement a belated ban. The symbol has a long, complex history, dating back to ancient times. There have even been attempts to reclaim its earlier, spiritual meanings, though that seems extremely unlikely. The Punks played around with swastikas – tasteless, perhaps, but hardly a crime.’

Rick Poyner, Writer and curator

‘The British infatuation with all things Nazi to me seems just what it was for Harry: a juvenile joke, albeit in bad taste. The preoccupation with that particular past has nothing to do with today’s Germans, but a lot with backward-looking Brits who refuse to grow up and face a world that does extend to territories beyond the Channel. Making a symbol illegal will only make it more attractive. Anybody with only the slightest appreciation of history would never use a symbol that has such evil associations. I’m happy to let all the other idiots make fools of themselves.’

Professor Erik Spiekermann, United Designers Network, Berlin

‘If the Nazi swastika is banned on grounds of the atrocities it stands for, so should the Red Star of Soviet/ Chinese-style communism, for they were anything but sympathetic to dissenters. Banning political symbols is censorship, the first step towards Fascism. While I may disagree with what you say, I defend your right to say it.’

Bruno Maag, Director, Dalton Maag

‘Growing up in Germany and being educated in a very graphic and truthful way about the horrors that the Nazis inflicted, I have an instant emotional response to seeing the swastika symbol: I recoil in shock. But this doesn’t seem to be true for the majority of people here. I think improving the education system should take priority over banning an ancient Hindu good luck symbol.’

Elke Dossler, Designer

‘I’m against any form of censorship. I’m for responsibility and empathy. To ban a symbol will not make people think more or less favourably about what it stood for. The only thing that should be banned is stupidity.’

Tim Fendley, Creative director, Applied Information Group

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