‘It’s a symbol of true hatred:’ Jacksonville tire shop flies Nazi flag in Spring Park

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville tire shop had a Nazi flag flying outside a busy highway, Wednesday afternoon. The Nazi symbol was being displayed alongside the American and Palestinian flags at the 904 x 4 on Philips Hwy in Spring Park.

The owner said what the Jewish people went through during World War II is what Palestinians are going through now with the Israel-Hamas war.


“I put that out there to bring awareness, to bring remembrance ... to let people understand, we’re living ... or Palestinians are living in a modern-day holocaust,” owner Radi Ahmad said.

Ahmad owns the tire shop and says he wants to bring attention to his cause, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“Unfortunately, nobody is standing behind us; there is no help,” Ahmad said. “If you’re carrying an Israeli flag, what does that stand for today? That stands for the same thing.”

UPDATED STORY: Jacksonville automotive store raises Nazi flag in protest of Palestinian-Israeli conflict

He said he wants people to understand the devastation happening overseas.

“They are going through hardships, starvation, demolishing other homes,” Ahmad said. “There’s so much hate, so much cruelty out there, and we’re witnessing it firsthand.”

But his message is getting lost in what this symbol stands for to so many others.

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“It’s a symbol of antisemitism, and it’s a symbol of true hatred ... nothing more and nothing less,” Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida CEO Mariam Feist said.

Feist says the Jewish community condemns this act.

“He is comparing contemporary Israeli policy with that of the Nazis,” she said. “That is nothing short of antisemitism and Jew hatred. Period! That’s what it is.”

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Neighbors said this flag doesn’t just affect the Jewish community either.

“It shows racism,” neighbor Derrick Blunt said. “And it just upsets me that it’s right there.”

Blunt lives across the street and said he always thought Ahmad was a nice guy until now.

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“You never know people until they show themselves, and he’s really showing himself to me now,” Blunt said.

Ahmad said it’s not about hate but about bringing attention to “Freeing Palestine.”

“There’s nothing on there that says antisemitic, anti-Jew, anti-Black or anti-anybody,” Ahmad said.

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Blunt said Ahmad’s reasoning doesn’t justify the flag’s meaning.

“It’s just going to bring more confusion, and I’d wish he take it down,” Blunt said. “I’m going to urge him to take it down, or I’m going to have to take it down for him.”

Last year, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a way to stop hate crimes. Action News Jax Law and Safety Dale Carson says Ahmad is not breaking the law because he is flying the flag on his own property.

Ahmad takes down the flags at night when he closes the shop. When I asked him whether he would put the Nazi flag up again, he said, “We’ll see.”

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