The owner of a downtown Yellowknife building is asking a tenant to remove a swastika being displayed from a window.
The swastika, on a flag displayed from the window of a top-floor room of the Northern United Place and Aurora College complex, was clearly visible from street level on Monday.
The flag and swastika bear a close resemblance to the flag of Germany’s Nazi party, used today by various neo-Nazi groups. However, the swastika on the flag is the reverse of the image used by the Nazis.
The identity of the room’s occupant, or occupants, isn’t known.
A passerby alerted Cabin Radio to the flag’s presence on Monday morning. “We were quite shocked to see it,” the individual said, adding they had contemplated filing a report with police but were unsure of the legality of displaying such a flag.
Canada has no law specifically banning the ownership or display of Nazi flags or neo-Nazi emblems.
Sections of the Criminal Code related to incitement of hatred do provide some powers if such flags are used to communicate hatred in a public place.
In the past, RCMP have been known to intervene and request that owners take down flags of this kind.
“We were not previously aware of the flag hanging in the window,” said the building’s manager, Gail Leonardis, by email.
“Due to the connotations associated with this particular flag, we will be asking the tenant to remove it.
“However, we as the landlord, have no ability to force them to remove it as this is their home and they can display anything they wish inside of the unit.”
Leonardis said privacy legislation prevented any public identification of the unit’s occupant, or clarification regarding whether the room serves as accommodation for college students.
The complex houses Aurora College as well as accommodation for some students and a number of seniors.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education, Culture, and Employment said the apartment in question was “not an Aurora College residence.”