By Southern Poverty Law Center
The so-called “Unite The Right” rally organized by white nationalist Jason Kessler in Charlottesville, Virginia, has succeeded in drawing out a diversity of far-right groups ranging from white nationalists to armed “Patriot” groups.
What follows is a guide to some of the flags and symbols as spotted by Hatewatch analysts:
The above is a poster for the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally derived from Benjamin Franklin’s famous “Join or Die” cartoon.
The groups depicted include from left to right (K) “Kekistani,” (AC) “Anti-Communist,” (L) “Libertarian,” (N) “Nationalist,” (I) “Identitarian/Identity Evropa,” (SN) “Southern Nationalist,” (NS) “National Socialist,” and (AR) “Alt Right.” The National Socialist flags depicted include Traditionalist Worker Party and Vanguard America.
The “national flag of Kekistan” mimics a German Nazi war flag, with the Kek logo replacing the swastika and the green replacing the infamous German red. A 4chan logo is emblazoned in the upper left-hand corner. Alt-righters are particularly fond of the way the banner trolls liberals who recognize its origins.
Fascist/National Socialist Flags
Schwarze Sonne (Black Sun), sometimes called the sonnerad: symbol has become synonymous with myriad far-right groups who traffic in neo-Nazi and/or neo-Volkisch ideologies. The symbol is based on the ancient sun wheel artifacts that were made and used by Norse and Germanic tribes as a symbol of their pagan beliefs. Those sun wheels, made centuries upon centuries ago, do not usually resemble the complexity of this particular version. The version above is inlaid into the marble floor of the Castle Wewelsburg, the castle that Himmler made the spiritual and literal home of the SS during the reign of the Third Reich, and has significance in the occult practices of the SS.
The Traditionalist Worker Party is a white nationalist group that advocates for racially pure nations and communities and blames Jews for many of the world’s problems. Even as it claims to oppose racism, saying every race deserves its own lands and culture, the group is intimately allied with neo-Nazi and other hardline racist organizations that espouse unvarnished white supremacist views.
“Southern Nationalist” Flag:
Designed by a former member of the Neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS), the “Southern Nationalist” flag is intended to evoke the St. Andrews Cross and the Confederate Battle Flag (CBF). Frequently carried by members of LOS and their allies in the south.
A frequent variation features the flag combined with a CBF:
A group whose name is an inversion of Anti-Racist Action (ARA), the first and historically largest (at one time) decentralized network of anti-racist and anti-fascist dedicated to confronting the far-right and disrupting their events and rallies through direct action, including violence.
The black and yellow colors refer to libertarianism, typically depicted on web forums under a black and yellow banner. Variations of the flag often feature helicopters dropping a figure from the sky, a reference to Augusto Pinochet’s brutal tactics of suppressing dissent.
Based on the model of European Identitarian groups, Nathan Benjamin Damigolaunched Identity Evropa from his grandparents’ compound in Oakdale, California. Identity Evropa focuses on recruiting college-aged, white students in order to discuss “race realism” and white interests, targeting disaffected young men by branding itself as a fraternity and social club.
American Guard is a group of hardcore nationalists (with aging/former racist skinheads and at least one klansman among its members) dedicated to physically opposing leftists at events and rallies. Augustus Invictus and Brien James are leaders within various state chapters. Some group members have connections to the Proud Boys and to the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, the Proud Boys “military division.”