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Flag scandal in German state of Hesse drags on

The Attorney General Eva Kühne-Hörmann (CDU) in the German state of Hesse has been trying to claim that the demonstrative hoisting of the state's flags upside down constitute a criminal offense.

Published: May 16, 2019, 8:34 am

    Frankfurt

    The reason for her unhappiness stems from the so-called flag scandal of Schlüchtern. On Holocaust Remembrance Day in January, four officials in the East Hessian city allegedly hoisted the German and Hesse flags in front of the police station upside down, reported the Frankfurter Rundschau.

    As reported, for about two hours on the morning of January 27, the flags of Germany and Hesse hung half-mast in front of the building, but upside down.

    This action was a way to challenge the authority of the government according to  Kühne-Hörmann. It was done “as a sign to turn away from the State” she said.

    “We have to think, do we want to have these signals in society?” In order to demonstrate the “resolve of the rule of law”, she believes such an action should be made a punishable offense because the flags may have been deliberately hoisted in the wrong way for political reasons.

    The Frankfurt public prosecutor’s office has reviewed the incident and subsequently closed the investigation. The hanging of the flags upside down do not constitute a criminal offense they said, because even a state of emergency is sometimes proclaimed in this way. But the disciplinary investigations have continued against the four police officers.

    The Interior Minister of Hesse, Peter Beuth (CDU) confirmed the disciplinary investigations against the police officers. They were also transferred to other departments.

    “I can confirm that there is a corresponding procedure in the area of ​​the police headquarters southeast Hesse. The criminal investigations are on suspicion of a criminal offense under § 90a StGB (denigration of the state and its symbols) and a criminal offense under § 130 StGB (incitement),” Michael Schaich, spokesman for Ministry said.

    But it remains unclear who is responsible for the Schlüchtern flag scandal. According to prosecutors, the officials deny that they had anything to do with the case.

    The spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior did not want to comment on these considerations.

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