BEHEMOTH frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski has been brought in for questioning by Polish authorities for allegedly disrespecting one of the country’s national symbols.
According to the guitarist/vocalist, the band’s “The Republic Of The Unfaithful” t-shirt design is said to be insulting to the national coat of arms of Poland, a stylized white eagle with a golden beak and talons, and wearing a golden crown, in a red shield.
Polish symbols are protected against public profanation and insult. According to Lexology.com, any public use that could be damaging or insulting may be considered a criminal offense. Therefore, it is important not to use any national symbol (even if artistically processed) in a way that could be deemed as disrespectful or offensive.
Nergal revealed his latest legal challenge in an October 30 social media post. He wrote: “So here I go again. On my way to the prosecutor’s office in Gdansk to be questioned as a suspect in ‘The Republic Of The Unfaithful’ case. Me and my partner in ‘crime’ Maciek Manticore Gruszka is showing up too. Several individuals have been already questioned, including heraldists who have made their statement clear: THIS IS NOT A POLISH EMBLEM. Apparently it’s not [enough] for the decision makers in the court.
“Are they looking for a scapegoat? Is this another attempt of the Polish government to convict Nergal and give an example for other artists? What’s the hidden message of those actions, may I ask? ‘Do NOT fuck with us’? ‘Polish emblem as well as other religious symbols are meant to be untouchable’? ‘Art has its strict borders and thou shalt obey, Nergal!’?
“Weird times, weird country, weird vibes… I do NOT feel safe and comfortable here, I must admit, but do I feel guilty? Fuck no. I worship the reason and I’m a massive fan of logic, therefore it is OBVIOUS that the eagle that has NO crown can NOT be a Polish emblem. Period.
“Sadly we have stopped selling shirts with this motive (but hey, it’s ALREADY the best-selling shirt in our catalogue! huurraaay!) but what we are gonna do with fans who have tattooed ‘The republic of the unfaithful’ on their back? Shall we arrest them? Peel the skin off? Cover it up? These rhetorical questions I’m gonna leave unanswered here and go to do what I do best: piss stupid people off with sincere and honest art and I shall NEVER give up on my freedom to do so.”
In 2011, Nergal was acquitted in Poland on charges he insulted religious sentiment when he called the Catholic Church “the most murderous cult on the planet” during the band’s September 2007 performance in Gdynia and tore up a copy of the Bible, calling it “a book of lies.”
"So here I go again. On my way to the prosecutors office in Gdansk to be questioned as a suspect in “The republic of the…
— Baba Jaszątróbiegało (@Sztrb) March 8, 2017