No punishment for 'Nazi flag' US marines
Los Angeles - A group of US Marines posing in Afghanistan with a Nazi-like flag for a photo that was posted online have been given a warning but escaped punishment, the US military said on Thursday.
The photo taken in September 2010 showed several Marines "with a flag that depicted what appeared to be a Nazi-related symbol", said a statement from Camp Pendleton, in California.
Authorities were only notified about the case in November 2011 after the picture was posted online. The Marines involved were members of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
"The photo appears to have been taken in Sangin, Afghanistan," a military spokesperson, Mark Oliva, said.
A statement added: "The incident was found not to be racially motivated. Those involved acknowledged that the symbol could be misinterpreted and is not in keeping with our Marine Corps ethos and values.
"The commander determined that disciplinary action was not warranted. Further, all Marines in the unit were reminded that any such behaviour would not be tolerated and further display could result in punishment."
And it said: "The history and the connotations connected with this symbol are not in keeping with our highest traditions of our Core Values and aren't in keeping with good order and discipline."
Last month, the Pentagon launched an investigation into a shocking video of US Marines urinating on the corpses of insurgents in Afghanistan. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta condemned the acts as "utterly deplorable".