EXCLUSIVE: Durham Polo Club confirms investigation into believed neo nazi flag incident at ball
A guest is said to have waved a Neo Nazi flag
Durham University Polo Club have confirmed that they are investigating after an incident is said to have occurred at the Polo Club Ball this Friday, where a guest allegedly waved a Neo Nazi flag.
Reports suggest that the guest was allegedly seen brandishing a flag associated with Neo-Nazi extremism at their annual White tie Polo Ball at Beamish Hall on Friday night.
The flag was allegedly pulled out and waved during a rendition of Jerusalem at the end of the night. The flag itself is said to have bared an Imperial War Ensign 1903-1919 design which has been adopted by right wing German extremist groups due to flags with the swastika on being banned in Germany.
An eyewitness at the event claimed: “Once the band finished playing at around 2am, a version of the hymn Jerusalem started blaring over the speaker, everyone started singing along and then this guy pulled out the flag and wore it across his back.”
Guests at the ball paid £85 for a three-course meal including a cheeseboard. Guests are invited from across university Polo Clubs across the country.
At this moment it is unclear whether the guest was a student at Durham University.
The Durham Polo Society told The Durham Tab: “We are aware that an incident has occurred and are investigating. None of our exec members actually saw this occur and we don’t have a copy of the photograph either so it’s proving difficult for us to piece together the specifics, but we were alerted on the night by a guest. As people were proceeding to coaches at the time and we didn’t have all the information on who/ where/ when we were unable to take any action there and then.
“The matter is being taken to the police today and therefore we are limited in how far we can comment as this will possibly soon be an open police investigation. However, based on the information we have, we believe the individual in question is not a member of the polo club and may possibly not even be a member of Durham university.
“Due to the nature of our ball we get quite a lot of guests who are external to Durham. Our club does not condone this kind of behaviour in any way. We are incredibly upset that someone has taken it upon themselves to do this at our ball, and we are taking it very seriously – we are in touch with the university and will be in touch with Team Durham upon opening tomorrow.”
Professor Jacqui Ramagge, Executive Dean (Science), Durham University, said: “We do not accept any form of prejudice or discrimination, and we condemn any such incidents in the strongest possible terms.
“As soon as we became aware of the photographs, we launched an urgent internal investigation and the matter has been reported to the police. Although we believe the photographs were taken at an event hosted by a student sports club, we believe the individual photographed was from a visiting club. We are seeking to contact this club urgently.
“We are working to eliminate discrimination, prejudice and harassment and nurture an open and inclusive environment where all members of our community can achieve their full potential.”
If you witnessed this event or have any pictures of the alleged incident, please contact maddy@thetab or DM The Durham Tab on Facebook or Instagram.