Did we fight for this? - Man Utd and army use Nazi-style imagery

By Charlotte Oliver, October 30, 2013
British troops posing for a photo in Afghanistan

British troops posing for a photo in Afghanistan

The Army and Manchester United Football Club have come under fire this week after being associated with Nazi imagery.

Last weekend, the Mail on Sunday revealed that two soldiers were investigated by the Ministry of Defence after they appeared in a photograph making Nazi-like salutes.

The unnamed men had posed for the photo at a British Army base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
The Union flag behind the two soldiers was inscribed with the words “Invicta Loyal” — the name of a Glasgow Rangers supporters’ club in Kent — and the flag of Northern Ireland.

There was speculation that the soldiers were giving a “Red Hand of Ulster” salute, a gesture used by Rangers fans to show their allegiance to Northern Irish Loyalists.

But chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism John Mann said: “Whether they call it a ‘Red Hand salute’ or whatever makes absolutely no difference — this is one of the most offensive gestures they could make in the modern world.

The logo on the United newsletter

The logo on the United newsletter

“These idiots need to be re-educated — they should be sent to visit Auschwitz to see what happened there and witness the evil that so many people fought to stop.”

An army spokesman said: “The two people doing the salute in the photo have been spoken to. This sort of behaviour has no place in the Armed Forces.”

He said that the photograph had been taken more than three and a half years ago, but “administrative action” had now been taken, which could lead to punishment.

Meanwhile, Manchester United has issued an apology after a “swastika-style” logo was sent to fans in a newsletter. In its weekly email bulletin, the club used a black and red logo made up of the letters M, U, F and C, which it published next to the Nazi-associated phrase “New Order”.

The club said: “While the headline was intended to reference the band of the same name, it has been pointed out that the graphic had design similarities to a swastika which, combined with other connotations of the phrase ‘new order’, has caused offence which was entirely unintended. For this, United unreservedly apologises.”

Last updated: 1:18pm, October 31 2013