DF apologises after use of swastika in logo

Member of right-wing party says she mistakenly downloaded doctored image for advertisement in local Zealand paper

Sigmund Freud would no doubt have something to say about the slip-up made by Dansk Folkeparti (DF) in an advertisement it placed over the weekend in Lørdagsavisen Køge newspaper in which the image of a swastika can clearly be seen in the right-wing political party’s logo.

Anne Nielsen, a chairman of one of the party’s local associations, has taken responsibility for the gaffe, admitting she took the logo off the internet and didn’t at the time notice anything different from the official DF logo, in which the white letters ‘DF’ are surrounded by two arrows painted as Danish flags.

The advertisement was placed in a Køge newspaper to draw attention to a meeting involving the party’s MEP, Morten Messerschmidt, in Faxe. The error was particularly unfortunate, given Messerschmidt came under fire in 2007 for allegedly giving a Nazi salute at a Tivoli bar.

“It is a deeply regrettable mistake for which I apologise,” Nielsen told koegenews.dk, which perhaps understandably was the first to spot the swastika. “Mistakes happen. If I could do it again differently, I would. I should have been more vigilant. I’m really sorry.”

Carl Christian Ebbesen, the DF’s vice-chairman, also said it was “regrettable”, telling B.T. tabloid that it had been “emphasised very firmly” to Nielsen that she needed to use the party’s official logo in such cases.

It would appear that the swastika logo was designed by Ole Wolf, a blogger and co-founder of www.sataniskforum.dk, in May 2006 in a bid to create something that reflected the party’s policies “a little more accurately”.

Disappointed at the time that the DF did not adopt his logo, Wolf told Politiken newspaper he was pleased the party had finally “taken the suggestion”.

It remains unclear whether Wolf would own the copyright of his doctored logo, given the possible breach of copyright he committed making the logo.

In the past, DF has been careful to distant itself from the Nazis. In 2009 the Copenhagen Post mistakenly referred to the party as national socialists – an error that was quickly criticised by the DF in the national media.