Identifying and understanding far right symbolism is crucial in gaining inside knowledge into which segment of the movement the enemy will fall into. In particular political movements, imagery is very important, allowing members of a certain tribe to proudly identify and signify to the outside world where this person stands. Symbolism has played a prominent role in movements both old and new and being able to see these can help arm one with the knowledge needed to distinguish a friend from an enemy.
Far Right Symbolism
Within white supremacist and neo fascist movements, imagery has played a dominant role through propaganda, uniforms, flags and general appearance and has helped the movement attract larger numbers, and even gain respectability as well as strike fear into its opponents. Today images used by this movement are primarily recycled and re appropriated to suit the movement today. Below are a few typical systems used by these groups across the world.
- National Pride Symbolism
Reclaim Australia and other fascist groups will utilise monarchist flags (eg the Australian and English national flags), boxing kangaroos, even Aboriginal flags as well as Eureka flags, which hold significance both in the left and right wings in so-called Australia.
Many far right groups will adopt symbols of national pride which include national flags, maps, coats of arms, patriotic slogans or things native to their land which may include people, animals, cultural icons ect perceived as a symbolic tribute to their land and ancestry. Those embracing these images are common within the far right as a form of emulating nationalism and branching out into mainstream society through common cultural and national links, but it is not a definitive way of identifying far right groups and individuals, but usually a big clue.
Some symbols and flags used by Australian Nationalists:
Australian Flag (Blue Ensign) and its predecessor in common usage, the Red Ensign
The Boxing Kangaroo
The Eureka flag was the flag used during the Eureka Rebellion of 1854 (also known as the Eureka Stockade, after the crude battlements erected by the rebels), during which gold miners in Ballarat, Victoria revolted against the colonial authority due to repressive conditions on the goldfields – high taxation, expensive mining licenses and police violence all contributing to the unrest. This resistance against authority has long been touted as a symbol of resistance against tyranny by both the left and right, as well as less politically aligned groups.
Amongst the left, the flag is commonly seen as a symbol of liberation and defiance against British colonialism. It was popularised by the Australian labor movement, often being associated with the trade union movement – in particular, construction and mining outfits such as the CFMEU. The Eureka has also been adopted by the dubious republican movement who have sought to embrace it as the national flag. During the Eureka rebellion miners from up to 21 different nationalities took part in the uprising, which has often led to it being championed by some as an anti-racist symbol.
Despite this significance in the left, it can often be seen dotting right wing rallies and groups as another nationalist symbol. To understand the politics of those bearing this flag, it’s important to look for other contextual clues.
Roll Up No Chinese Banner
Based on the flag of the Eureka Stockade, the “Roll Up No Chinese” banner was flown at the 1861 Lambing Flat riots in a series of violent anti-Chinese demonstrations in goldfields around NSW. The imagery of the banner is a more rarely seen symbol of xenophobic Australian nationalism, and serves as the logo for the Eureka Youth League – the youth faction of the Australia First Party.
The Southern Cross, while holding significance in many Indigenous cultures in the South Pacific, is used extensively as a symbol of Australian national pride and thus can be found, particularly in the form of tattoos, in many parts of the fascist movement here.
Examples of usage
Green and Gold are the national colours of Australia, as officially established by the Governor General in 1984. The gold colour represents the country’s national flower – the wattle – and the green colour is drawn from the leaves of the gum trees found all over the country. The colours have been used as the country’s national colours in sports since the early 1800s.
Common Usage of Green and Gold
Red, white and blue is also used to represent Australia due to the colours’ significance in the design of the national flag, however due to the similarities with other countries’ national colours – particularly the U.S. – these colours are rarely used in an Australian context when not depicting the associated flag.
Examples of the usage of Red, White and Blue
Common anti-immigrant slogans used by the far-right include the charming “Fuck Off, We’re Full” and “Love It Or Leave It”, which join the ranks of overused and uncreative xenophobic mottos along with “go back to where you came from”. Predictably, these slogans make their way onto much of their overpriced merchandise – t-shirts, magnets, mugs & bumper stickers.
Symbols associated with American Nationalism:
The above flag is one of the most iconic symbol of American patriotism/ nationalism. The snake and logo “don’t tread on me” was created in 1775 by American general Christopher Gadsden during the American Revolution. Today it is used to symbolise the government and the potential citizens have in resisting it. It is deeply entrenched in American history relating to individual freedom and liberty vs the expansion of the governments control. It is commonly used by the Tea Party and the Patriot/ Militia movements. In a modern context the flag has also been used as a reference opposition to immigration, terrorism, gun control and socialized medicine. It is also common of the right libertarian movement used by movements such as the anarcho capitalists, gun nuts, states rights and the anti tax Sovereign Citizen movement.
Come and Take It
The slogan Come and Take it comes from the historic 1778 battle for Fort Morris during the American Revolutionary War. It was also used during the Texas Revolution in 1835 in the Battle of Gonzales. Today, the flag is used by supporters of the Patriot/ Militia movements as a symbol of defiance against gun control. It has also been used as a symbol against Mexican immigration into the US.
Modern adaptation of the flag
The 3 percent is a movement within the Patriot/ militia groups formed by Mike Vanderboegh in 2008. Like other patriot groups, its imagery and very name is a reference to the American Revolution and the supposed three percent of American citizens that volunteered to fight. It is a constitutionalist group opposing any reforms or revisions, in particular the 2nd Amendment as well as encroaching restrictions on individual civil liberties. Members of the group have acted as armed security at Trump rallies organised by the alt right. There is also a neo Nazi group in Germany called the Third Way that utilises the same symbol.
The Confederate Flag
The confederate flag has long been used as a symbol of rebellion and defiance by many who are not considered racists. It has been used by artists, bikie gangs and mainstream musicians including bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pantera, Primal Scream and many more. Due to its history it also has a well renowned history within the white supremacist movement and naturally the neo confederate movement. It has been used since the conception of the Ku Klux Klan who often use their own version. It is used not just elusively in America but across the world.
Although this flag has been appropriated for mainstream use and suitability, in general it is a symbol of racism and slavery and is generally intended for this meaning if not willfully then by those ignorant of its history that should be informed immediately about the implications of such a flag.
Southern Nationalist flag
The Southern nationalist flag presents St Andrews cross on a white background. It was coined around 2013 by the leadership of the largest confederate organisation the League of the South, one of America’s most influential white supremacist organisations. The usage of this flag was spearheaded by the LOS in an attempt to put a more moderate face on the neo confederate movement and repackage it under the new concept of Southern nationalism which has also become a current within the alt right.
The Alt Right
In recent times, the so called alt right movement has mutated to become the most visible white nationalist movement in the Western world. Through its association with US President Donald Trump, the movement has transcended somewhat to the mainstream and is frequently given a platform by mainstream conservatives and even liberals. Through a new brand of revisionist neo Nazi styled white identity politics, the alt right caters to modern pop culture through social media, gaming culture, meme/ troll culture vlogging (video blogging) and hip message board websites. Ideologies espoused by those associated with the broad far right include conservatives, white nationalists, libertarians, mens rights activists, conspiracy theorists, militia groups, neo Nazis, paleoconservatives, neo confederates and the neo reactionary/ dark enlightenment movements.
Pepe the Frog is a cartoon from the comic series Boys Club by Matt Furie. Although the comic itself holds no ties to white nationalism itself, the image became used in social media as a joke/ prank symbol. It would later become popularised on image board website 4Chan where it became a popular image and one of the first “memes”. During the early stages of the polarisation of the alt right, Pepe quickly became synonymous with the movement, being hijacked as their internet mascot.
Make America Great Again (MAGA)
MAGA was a slogan coined by the presidential campaign of Donald Trump which became his major sales pitch. Red MAGA hats became the official uniform of Donald Trump supporters and his sketchy alt right fan club. MAGA hats have been appropriated by others in Australia with morally baseless slogans such as “Make Australia Great Again” or “Make Victoria Safe Again” “Make Australia Work Again” “Make Sydney Late Again”. People wearing these hats do so to overtly offend and incite people and should be treated with hostility.
The Republic of Kekistan
Kekistan originates from the term Kek, which translates into lol in World of Warcraft. It has since become associated with online alt right circles and with memes and trolling. Kekistan is a fictional nation created by these trolls. They pretend to be an oppressed race in order to mock peoples from war-torn countries under occupation, mocking and bastardising pro-refugee, anti-Islamophobe sentiment to justify their self-described fascism and misogyny. Kekistan also has very clear ties to neo-Nazism specifically, as its flag is an imitation of the Nazi battle flags displayed below, replacing the Iron Cross with the logo of the website 4chan, from which the community arose.
Anti Black Lives Matter campaigns
Since the conception of the Black Lives Matter movement, there have been efforts driven largely by neo-Nazis & white supremacists to undermine their struggle. These movements have come under varying names including White Lives Matter, All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter which seek to discredit black deaths in custody and the legitimate fears in black communities of police violence.
White Lives Matter protestors
Blue Lives Matter flag
The Swastika is an obvious one. The symbol itself has many roots, notably as a symbol of peace and enlightenment in eastern faiths such as Hinduism and Buddhism but the actual shape of the Symbol can be distinguished.
This is a good example of the Swastika used in these faiths. The former, tilted on an angle as shown above is a reference to the party symbol of the NSDAP or the Nazi Party in Germany. It is the most identifiable symbol of neo fascism in the world and is clearly linked to this past and history. Wearers of this symbol are proudly professed national socialists that embrace the same ideas as that of the Nazis.
Adaptations of the Swastika used by neo fascists
3. Celtic Cross
Irish and Celtic symbolism and culture has long been a target for the neo-fascist, stealing ancient Celtic symbols for their own. The above is frequently represented by white power and neo-Nazi groups as a symbol of white purity, and is exclusive to the white supremacist movement. Other forms of the cross, which include the traditional Irish designs with knots are not common within the movement and in the absence of other signs of white supremacy should generally be interpreted as a mutual and harmless expression of Irish ancestry.
4. SS Runes
Probably the second-most infamous symbol of the Nazi era, noted as the symbol of Schutzstaffel, Hitler’s politicised elite of the Third Reich that were responsible for the implementation and the operation of the Holocaust. The symbols – often known as Sig Runes – originated, like most Nazi symbols from the Runic Alphabet, used by Nordic and Germanic culture, being the Sowilo or the Sun runes, selected most likely due to its resemblance to the letters SS, being the abbreviation for the Schutzstaffel.
The movement have also appropriated the symbols of SS division emblems in the following way in an effort to commemorate the Waffen SS.
Nazi SS Emblems
Neo Nazi appropriation
5. Odal Rune
A letter in the ancient runic alphabet of Nordic, Germanic and Anglo Saxon origin. The Odal Rune is a frequently used symbol in the far right, being popularised by the Nazis who used this symbol for one of its SS volunteer divisions. It has since been adopted by many neo Nazi groups and movements, often being associated with a more militant nature. It is also frequently used by neo-Pagans both inside and outside the fascist movement who connect the symbol to Odin, the ancient god of war.
Other Odal runes used by neo Fascists
Eagles have long been used by far right groups to signify purity and superiority, Eagles being skilled territorial hunters at the top of their food chains. They are used predominantly in two movements, number one being the Nazis. Both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy adopted Eagles onto their insignias as a symbol of strength and royalty. It is also frequently used by self-described patriots, particularly in America, whose national symbolism often includes an array of the eagles native to the land the country resides on.
For years the Totenkopf has been a symbol of fear and rebellion, used as the international pirate sign and adopted by popular and punk culture. The above design is, however, exclusively a German design, used as a symbol of Prussia, generally being associated with the military as a Panzer symbol. It was infamously claimed by the Nazis who used it for several purposes, including those who manned concentration camps. It has been adopted by several neo Nazi organisations who have taken on the symbol for their own.
Non Nazi uses
8. Alphabetical/ Numerical codes
It is common in various subcultures, in particular skinheads, punks and even Bikie gangs to use codes through numbers and letters of the alphabet to convey a discrete message. The Klan are renowned for using such codes and symbols. The most commonly used code within the white supremacist movement is 14/88. The 14 represents the 14 words of the white race, a mantra for all white nationalists that quotes “We Must Secure the Existence of Our People and a Future for White Children”, popularised by notorious white supremacist terrorist David Lane. The 88 represents the eighth letter of the alphabet – H – being repeated to create an acronym for Heil Hitler. Other popular Acronyms are ZOG, referring to the neo Nazi belief in a one world government run by Jews (Zionist Occupation Government) ORION (Our Race is Our Nation) HFFH (Hammerskins Forever, Forever Hammerskins) Rahowar (Racial Holy War) WPWW (White Pride World Wide) and WP (White Power).
Acronyms are also used by anti-racist and apolitical groups. Acronyms such as ACAB are used by anti-authoritarians, meaning “All Cops Are Bastards”. Others used by the anti-racist skinhead culture include 69, which relates to the multicultural tradition of the skinhead scene which originated in 1969 out of a fusion between black and white culture in a spirit of solidarity.
9. Life Rune
It has been the symbol of many neo-Pagan, quasi-neo-fascist organisations who reference its significance to the Northern people of Europe pre-Christianity.
The traditional symbol for Fascism within Italy. The Fasces, a former symbol of judicial power has now become synonymous with fascism. The bundle of sticks represents the banding together of people and the axe as a symbol of power. This symbol is seldom used by the movement and appears to be outdated, however it is notably used by Italian neo-fascist groups.
One of the oldest and most ancient symbols within the Celtic culture. The symbol has appeared on many flags, including that of the Isle of Man. It has been re-appropriated by the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements, most famously by the South African group the AWB. They designed a flag to depict three sevens interlocking at different angles to form the Triskelion, the 777 existing in opposition to 666 the biblical reference to the anti Christ, 7 being in opposition to 6.
Non Fascist Usage
12. Iron Cross
The Iron Cross is a military insignia and medal awarded to German troops for showing bravery and sacrifice during wars. Although used in the German military from the early 1800s up until the end of World War II, it is, as a symbol, closely associated with Nazism for its prominence in Nazi Germany and its ongoing usage in neo-nazi circles.
The Iron Cross is not exclusively used by neo Nazis however – it is also found in mainstream society, being used quite frequently by clothing brands and other marketing ploys in an attempt at conveying an image of pride and strength.
The Wolfsangel or the Wolfs Hook is an ancient Germanic symbol that has taken on many meanings throughout history. It was used at one point as a symbol of masonry as well as a symbol to indicate ancient spiritual and heritage sights. It was infamously employed by the Nazis as an SS division insignia. Today it holds specific relevance within the neo-Nazi movement, with many organisations adopting the symbol, in particular within the Ukraine.
Other Fascist variations
14. Black Sun
This symbol has been used in occult practices, being particularly related to neo-Paganism and the solstice. It took on significance during the Nazi era when it was used heavily by SS leader Heinrich Himmler, a devout Pagan occultist who developed his organisation into a practicing occultist movement that would conduct ritualistic celebrations in secret, particularly within Wewelsburg Castle, a large SS base known for bazaar occult practices. It was also believed to have been the symbol of the secretive Nazi cult known as the Vril Society, which supposedly channeled dark power through the occult to contact UFOs in an effort to transubstantiate human form.
The symbol has since become a symbol within the esoteric fascist/ Nazi movements, popularised by figures such as Julius Evola, Savitri Devi & Miguel Serrano. It has also been adopted by more mainstream neo Nazi groups including skinheads, who can often be identified presenting this symbol, due to the fact that it contains various Sig runes that can also be identified as representing the Swastika, Sun Wheel and Celtic Cross.
15. Sun Wheel
An ancient pre Christian Pagan symbol. It holds history within several European ancestral histories and cultures, in particular Germanic, Nordic and Celtic, as well as Saxon. The symbol draws close resemblance to other symbols in the likes of the Black Sun, Celtic Cross and even the Swastika.
It has been adopted by many white supremacist groups across the spectrum due to its religious and cultural significance as a symbol of pre Judeo Christian white ancestry.
It is crucial that the Sun Wheel not be confused with the Native American Medicine Wheel – a complex symbol related to things like health and the cycles of life for various groups in the Americas.
Non-Fascist Medicine Wheel
16. Thor’s Hammer
The Hammer is an ancient symbol of the Pagan god Thor, son of war god Odin, a brave warrior, often depicted as a large man with flowing blonde hair and blue eyes. The Hammer has been seen by the movement as a symbol of pride and strength within Northern European culture. The design of the Hammer is often unique due to different cultural variations, the shape of the Hammer being its most identifiable characteristic.
Thor’s Hammer is not exclusively a neo Nazi symbol, being worn by Pagans, figures in the Folk Metal culture, Scandinavians and Germans as a tribute to their cultural ancestry. It is usually worn as a necklace or a tattoo within the neo Nazi movement.
17. Racialist Fists
The symbol of the raised fist is a common symbol used by political movements as a symbol of defiance and rising up against oppression. It is most popular within Black, far left and anti-fascist movements, often as a symbol of solidarity and struggle in the face of opposition and tyranny.
Various racial nationalist movements have adopted the symbol in an effort to re-appropriate the powerful imagery associated with it.
The above is a clear representation of the fist symbol used in a white supremacist setting, often adopted by the white power skinhead culture, popularised by both Ian Stuart of the RAC band Skrewdriver as well as American neo Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell, who coined the slogan.
The above are examples of left wing symbolism of the fist, which stand to represent liberation and struggle in the face of true oppression and encourage resistance and solidarity. Groups often known to have adopted it were civil rights, feminist, environmentalist, union, queer, anarchist, communist, socialist and anti-fascist movements.
The noose is one of America’s oldest racist symbols, being a cultural reference to the epidemic of the lynching of Black people throughout its history by white mobs. The symbol is claimed by white supremacist groups to represent justice for criminals but has strong racist connotations, often accompanied by the slogan “Southern Justice.” It has been applied to any target of the right whether it be immigrants, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, queers, pedophiles, traitors etc. but remains largely rooted in its history in violent racism. Interestingly, the noose is historically a symbol of state “justice”.
19. Panzer Cross
A common symbol used in the Third Reich to symbolize the German armed forces. It was particularly used as a symbol of the Luftwaffe, the German air force, having the cross painted on the aircraft. The symbol is seldom used by neo Nazi groups but has been known to surface on occasion.
20. Tyr Rune
The Tyr of Tiwaz rune is symbolic of T in the runic alphabet and represents the god Tyr. It has been adopted by occultists as are many of the runic letters and subsequently the Nazis who used it during WW2 as an insignia.
Today the Tyr rune holds significance within the neo Nazi movement, being the official symbol of several groups, one of which is the Australian United Patriots Front symbol used by Blair Cottrell seen below in the first image.
21. Arrow Cross
A cross often associated with Christianity. It was popularised during the WW2 era when it was adopted by the Hungarian Fascist movement, naming its largest pro Nazi party the Arrow Cross Party. It has since been used to convey ultra nationalist and extreme right positions.
22. Crutch Cross
The cross relates back to the neolithic era, standing as a symbol of imperial power in Jerusalem. It was used in Christian mythology, remaining a symbol of strength and power. It was adopted as the national symbol of the fascist group the Fatherland Front in Austria. It has since held a place within fascist esoteric symbolism as well as being adopted by several neo fascist groups.
The pitbull has been associated with the skinhead scene in general for a long time, prior to its hijacking by neo Nazis. The symbol is representative of the fighting spirit within the subculture and fearlessness, which has also been appropriated by football culture – fascist and non-fascist alike. It has been manipulated in particular by the white power skinhead scene within Russia who adopt the image as their own.
A symbol from ancient Greece associated with the warrior. It was used most notably by the Nazi puppet regime called the Hellenic State. It has been reused by the Greek neo fascist movement in the form of the Golden Dawn who have also claimed the symbol.
The Labrys is also, however, used in lesbian culture as a symbol of lesbian strength and independence, due to its association with ancient matriarchal societies.
Non-Fascist Uses of the Labrys:
A highly identifiable Pagan symbol of German ancestry. Like many Pagan and neo Pagan symbols, the Valknut has been used by the neo Nazi movement as a symbol of martyrdom, representing fallen warriors and Odinism, popular views amongst the sub culture. Like the other Pagan symbols, wearers of this symbol are not exclusively fascist.
Third Position Symbolism
The Third Position is the most ideologically and visually confusing and complex element of the neo fascist movement and also one of the most dominant ideological currents in the far right. The idea, which is built on revolutionary nationalism, has borrowed and re-appropriated left wing ideas, philosophies and images to strengthen its position. The Third Position has its origins in Fascism, when Mussolini wished to create a third economic alternative from left being socialism and right being capitalism, combining elements of non Marxist collective socialism/ syndicalism with nationalism to create fascism. This idea has been revisited in the concept of the Third Position, which is ideologically opposed to capitalism, Marxism, globalisation and Zionism and is particularly inclined to take the line of racial tribalism, collectivism, environmentalism and separatism. The most common Third Position ideologies are National Bolshevism, National Anarchism and Strasserism.
26. Strasserist Symbol
Strasserism is the ideology of the left wing of the Nazi movement, built on the ideas of two Nazi veterans Otto and Gregor Strasser. The two were alienated from Nazism when Gregor, one of Hitler’s principal rivals within the party was killed in the Night of the Long Knives and his brother Otto exiled. When Otto was exiled he formed several small groups, the most notable being the Black Front, whose flag is featured above, which was built on left wing Nazi principles. Strasserism retained German racial nationalism, anti-Semitism and anti-communism, but put a greater focus towards building a socialist economy, identifying reactionary elements of German society such as the ruling class, big business, royals and other anti working class elements as an enemy of the progression of Germany.
This concept would live on in the German neo Nazi movement and has grown particularly strong, using Strasser’s anti-capitalism as a symbol of nationalistic resistance to the current system and its global elites, which has allowed links to be drawn between capitalism, globalism and Zionism. These ideas have grown particularly strong within the Autonomous Nationalist, Free Camaraderie and National Resistance movements, who even adopt the Strasserist flag as their symbol. Strasserism grew popular due to its revolutionary nature and effective failure of mainstream Nazism, with Strasserism rising as an alternative to the former, more dated ideology.
The SA were originally the paramilitary wing of the Nazi movement, formed from former Freikorps divisions that were assimilated into the NSDAP. SA troops were known for their working class roots, German nationalism, party loyalty and often alcohol-fueled violent clashes with communists, which has drawn close links with the modern day white power skinhead. The symbol is often associated with Strasserist causes due to the close link that existed between the SA’s leader Ernst Rohm and the Strasser’s wing of anti capitalist Nazis, both being the target of the Night of the Long Knives.
28. National Bolshevism
To identify the key ideological tendencies of National Bolshevism, its flag is the best visual example. It utilizes the same flag design as Nazi Germany, with the swastika being replaced in the centre by the hammer and sickle. Its ideology is Third Position, endorsing revolutionary nationalism, racial separatism, anti capitalism, anti Westernisation, anti Zionism, anti Marxism and even authoritarian pan-European nationalism. It takes influences from authoritarian communist regimes that have emulated nationalistic sentiments in government. It holds governments and figures such as Joseph Stalin, Nicolae Ceausescu and North Korea as influences.
National Bolshevik symbolism
29. National Anarchism
National Anarchism is a third position ideology that is closely associated with the New Right movement. National Anarchism is anti-Zionist, anti-Communist, anti-capitalist and anti-globalist and rejects all left-wing influences on Anarchism. It advocates the destruction of the government and the creation of various tribes divisible on ethnic grounds.
National Anarchist symbolism
30. New Right symbolism
The New Right ideology derives from the Conservative Revolutionary Movement, a political movement of ideologues that wished to create an alternative nationalist movement to fascism and Nazism during WW2, anticipating its failure and negative receptions. New Right groups are traditionalist, conservative in general and have very loose and variable ideals. Many New Right movements contain similarities with the Third Position. The most famous ideologue of the movement is French Alain De Benoist, and the movement’s French origins explain why the French name for the movement – Nouvelle Droite – is commonly used.
31. Anti Fascist Action and Anti Antifa Symbolism
Since the 90s the neo-Nazi movement began efforts to redevelop its image, transferring from traditional skinhead dress codes into casual styles. Mocking the image of the Black Block and the Anti Fascist movement, a subculture known as the Autonomous Nationalist was born, making the identification of neo-Nazis more difficult.
Traditional Anti Fascist Action/ Antifa symbols
Neo Nazi symbolism
32. Skinhead symbolism
Identifying racist and anti racist skinheads is important. Skinheads can be identified by symbolism. racist, nationalist and neo Nazi skinheads are identified by presenting any of the above far right symbols, colors or flags. Most skinheads within this racist subcultures will have clean shaven/ bald heads, earning them the term boneheads within the culture. Many, in particular in Greece, can be identified by wearing camouflage or combat clothing.
Anti racist skinheads, traditional or Trojan skins can easily be identified through their attitude, appearance and general demeanour. Most anti racist skinheads will have shortly cropped hair, around a 2-4 length to remain true to the original style and avoid confusion with their racist counterpart. Their symbols are also important to identify as well.
Anti Racist Skinhead symbols
The Trojan Helmet is a long time symbol of the skinhead movement in general. It was used during the early days as the symbol of Trojan Records, known for producing much of the more influential and widely-appreciated Ska, Reggae and Rocksteady music of the time, which was crucial to the culture of the skinhead. It was claimed as a symbol of the skinhead tradition by the anti wing of the movement during the culture’s infiltration by white supremacists in the early 80s, with the trojan helmet representing a symbol of the subcultures history and roots. It is the central symbol for the SHARP or Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice.
The above is the coat of arms of the Red & Anarchist Skinheads, a left wing splinter of the SHARP group, formed in 1993. It grew out of influences from the redskin culture in England. They are most militant of the anti fascist skinhead groups and its members hold openly far-left political views without an official ideology, ranging from revolutionary Anarchism to hard-line communism. Its mantra is Liberty, Solidarity, Equality which has defined the groups purpose. Its members are often involved in an array of far left groups and focus particularly on combating neo-fascism both within and outside the skinhead scene. The three arrows represent the symbol of the Iron Front – a militant anti fascist underground resistance group that was active in Germany both prior to and during the leadership of the Nazis, engaging in acts of sabotage, clashes and armed conflict against the Freikorps, Stalhelm and SA. Traditionally the three arrows represent the striking down of common opponents of the left being capitalism, fascism and the authoritarian left. It has also been interpreted as a symbol of solidarity between Anarchists, Socialists and Communists in common struggle against its opponents.
Skinheads bearing “spirit of 69” is a reference to the beginning of the subculture and its traditional roots, being a multicultural fusion between black and white youth cultures.
Links between Jamaica and England are common traits within the skinhead subculture to emulate the origins of the movement.
References to traditional skinhead music such as Ska, Punk, Rocksteady, Soul and Reggae are indications towards a skinheads views. Black and White checks and moonstomping characters are occasionally displayed by trojan/ traditional skinheads.
Crucifixes are a significant symbol in the skinhead subculture. Almost always the crucifix is not used to convey any religious connotations but represents the struggle of the skinhead through society through constant persecution through his class, by police, neo Nazi skinheads and society who considers him/ her a general delinquent and neo Nazi. The skinhead culture identifies closely with persecution and the crucifix represents the way Jesus too was said to have suffered from misunderstanding and fear from those around him.
Webs are used by all skinheads, often said to have originated through prison, with skinheads wearing webs if they had spent time in prison.
Importance of fashion
Skinheads of both the left, right and apolitical natures often sport denim, low hanging coats, buttoned shirts, flannelette, polo shirts, jeans, flat caps, bomber jackets and T-shirts, all common for skinheads. Popular brands are Ben Sherman, Fred Perry and Londsdale among others. The significance of the boots and braces is relevant to all skins, representing their working class roots and heritage with pride, displaying their boots through rolled up jeans. The skinhead scene is rather about pride in ones self which has been famously misrepresented by the white supremacists through the media and society as pride of race or nation.
34. Braces & Laces color
The color of a skinheads braces and laces is close to irrelevant these days. Formally there was a certain code conveyed through fashion through these laces.
Black- worn by new, neutral or apolitical skinheads
Pink- worn by gay skinheads & militant LGBT activists
Purple- worn by feminist skinheads
Yellow- often worn by far left, anarchist and communist skinheads
Red-worn by RASH skins, Also said to be worn once earned in the white power skinhead scene by shedding blood in a racially motivated soil.
White- worn by white power/ white supremacist skinheads
Green- worn by environmentalists or by Celtic skinheads to display pride in their heritage
Blue- straight edge