Truck Flying Nazi Flag Spotted In California

Authorities are investigating social media reports of a vehicle bearing a Nazi flag spotted in Empire, California.

A left-wing group named Sacramento Radical Education, which describes itself as a "working-class political education" group, on Monday tweeted undated photos of a "Nazi sighting."

The images showed a blue pick-up truck with the German Third Reich flag flying on the back. The car appeared to have two occupants, but neither could be identifiable in the photos.

Empire is a community in California's Stanislaus County and part of the Modesto Metropolitan Area. According to a 2010 census—the latest listed on the Stanislaus County website—it has a population of approximately 4,189.

A spokesperson for District 1 Supervisor Buck Condit, whose district includes Empire, told Newsweek: "The Stanislaus County Sheriff's crime analysts are looking into this matter and investigating the validity of the image posted online."

"We take incidents like this seriously, but were not made aware of this and have received no crime report or call from any resident notifying law enforcement," she said. "The Sheriff's Office is investigating."

Newsweek has contacted the Stanislaus County Sheriff for comment.

Nazi sighting in Empire, Ca. (Close to Modesto.)

— Sacramento Radical Education (@sac_rad_edu) June 14, 2021

In May, a teacher at the Rio Americano High School in California's Sacramento was investigated after displaying a Nazi flag during a lesson.

In a statement, the San Juan Unified School District said the flag was displayed among several other German flags, but did not identify the teacher or clarify which subject was being taught.

"The Nazi flag is a long-standing symbol of hate and does not represent the culture and values of our school or our district," the school district said. "The symbolism of these flags is deplorable and we denounce it—hate has no place at our schools."

The school district has not yet provided a significant update pertaining to the investigation, apart from saying it was ongoing as of late May.

California has also seen several recent crimes bearing Nazi symbolism. In February, a swastika was drawn on a synagogue in Fremont. In the same month, swastikas and antisemitic graffiti were spray-painted on a Jewish fraternity house at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

While April's nationwide White Lives Matter rallies ended up with low turnouts for the most part, one march in California's Huntington Beach appeared to have gathered the largest amount of far-right white supremacists.

The event ended in a brawl after Neo-Nazis were vastly outnumbered by some 200 counter-protesters. A man with a swastika tattoo was arrested after assaulting an Asian man who walked alongside him while questioning his ideology.

The monthly demonstrations ended in disappointment for white supremacists, as only a handful of people—if at all—attended the gatherings. In early June, the White Lives Matter California channel said protests have "grown exponentially each month," but shared a photo of almost a dozen protesters in Texas.

Update 6/19/21, 9:45 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add a statement from a spokesperson for District 1 Supervisor Buck Condit.

Counter-protesters demonstrate against White Lives Matter rally
Counter protesters gather on the pier as a man holds a sign with a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) symbol blocked off during a demonstration after a planned White Lives Matter rally on April 11, 2021 in Huntington Beach, California. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images