- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
The uniforms for Italy’s new “national guard” have raised some eyebrows:
The Italian National Guard was launched at a news conference over the weekend, sparking outcry from the center-left opposition, Jewish groups, police unions and others that it evoked Italy’s fascist-era paramilitary Black Shirts….
The Italian National Guard uniforms feature an imperial eagle, a symbol often associated with Fascism. In addition, on the armband is a black-rayed sun, or Sonnenrad, an image found in a castle used by the Nazi’s paramilitary SS.
The guard was introduced by the right-wing fringe Italian Social Movement at a Milan party conference during which at least two speakers gave the straight-armed Fascist salute….
However, government officials said they would go ahead with legislation allowing unarmed citizen patrols to help beef up security in Italian cities and towns. The plan is part of a crackdown by the conservative administration on illegal immigration, which Italians increasingly link to crime.
Italian President Silvio Berlusconi is in Washington today for a meeting at the White House. Perhaps President Obama could mention that state-sanctioned anti-immigrant vigilante groups wearing fascist symbols don’t really do much for his country’s image.
Image: Daily Mail