A Lithuanian court ruled on May 19, 2010 that a swastika is part of the country's historic legacy, and not a Nazi symbol, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) website reports today.
The ruling capped a three-month case involving four men who displayed swastikas at Klaipeda's national independence parade.
Effraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi hunter and Israel director, called the decision "outrageous" and likely to lead to a tremendous increase in the use of Nazi symbols by Lithuania's ultra-nationalists.
Swastikas previously have been displayed in Lithuania on May Day, and in front of the Presidential Palace in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, according to news reports. Neither instance prompted police or legal action.