A Guide to the Symbols of the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, VA

After the recent violence during the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, I found that on Facebook, many people refused to believe that the Unite the Right was made up of fascists, Nazi sympathizers, anti-Semites, and the like. Despite multiple reports (e.g. CNN, LA Times) of slogans like “Blood and Soil” being chanted, some refuse, perhaps deliberately looking the other way, to admit the nature of the Unite the Right protesters.

So I thought I’d take at some of the news photos and see what signs and symbols the protesters are displaying to get an idea of what organizations and ideas they represent. I’ll focus solely on the Unite the Right supporters, not the counter-protesters.

Here’s a photo of a good chunk of the UtR protesters facing off with their opposites.

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The flags that I’ve been able to decode are the classic Confederate battle flag, the League of the South, the National Socialist Movement, and “White Pride Worldwide”.

Let’s get the big one out of the way first. I’m wasn’t familiar with the symbols of the National Socialist Movement, but apparently they’ve got a big contingent there at Charlottesville. Their banner looks like this:

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Their website had an announcement encouraging members to attend:

On Saturday August 12th. the National Socialist Movement will join Our Allies the Traditionalist Workers Party, League of the South and other Nationalist Front Members in Charlottesville, VA. This Rally is to defend Free Speech and our Heritage at the Lee Monument. This will take place at Lee Park, 201 2nd. Street NE #299 Charlottesville, VA 22902. This is a call to all NSM Members to be in Charlottesville and show support.

NSM Commander Jeff Schoep will be at the event!

For those who don’t get it: Nazi is a contraction of “National Socialist”. The viking rune in the middle apparently is a change from their old logo, which contained a swastika, which was apparently a little too on the nose, even for Nazis.

Flag of National Socialist Movement (United States).svg

Next up, we’ve got the League of the South. That’s the flag with the black X on a white field. Now, these dudes aren’t specifically Nazis, but they did put out the call to participate in  UtR, where we know there would be some Nazis floating around. See above.

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What they’re really after includes a separate nation for the southern US. I gather that they want it to be led by white people of Western European descent. And that it would be a theocracy based on Sharia The Bible. I poked around their website, but can’t find out what the plan was for those not sufficiently pure of blood once Southern White Utopia was formed, but presumably things would just naturally sort themselves out peacefully. Oh, and apparently they’re not too happy about the “cabal of Jewish bankers” who direct US foreign policy.

I guess going full Nazi is too much for them. You’ve got to dial the Nazi back a bit, that way the audience can relate. That’s marketing 101!

We’ve also got this bit in the lower middle:

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As far as I can tell, this flag and symbol isn’t associated with any particular group, but is popular among many “White Pride” groups.

For example, it’s used on the front page the popular Stormfront forum. UtR was also promoted there. Here’s what they say on their front page:

We are a community of racial realists and idealists. We are White Nationalists who support true diversity and a homeland for all peoples.

All right, maybe that’s OK. Click the Introduction link, and we get this:

The Jews have been working together behind the scenes to gain control of all the TV stations, schools, newspapers, radio stations, governments, movie studios, banks, etc. – an all encompassing “Matrix” of lies – to destroy all potential rival groups and rule the world.

There’s also a guy wearing a shirt that reads “VF/28”. I suspect that’s a reference to the now defunct Volksfront group.

This photo below has a Celtic cross on a white circle on a red field. As far as I have been able to dig up, this flag isn’t used by any particular organization, but is popular with a variety of neo-Nazi types. This has the great advantage of giving them some plausible deniability: “It’s just a Christian symbol. Its resemblance to the Nazi flag is just an incredible coincidence. Ignore those National Socialists I’m marching with.”

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I decided to check out some of the tattoos of participants to see what I could make out. I found this guy:

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“Valar Morghulis”. He’s a Game of Thrones fan! For those unfamiliar: the phrase comes from the book/TV series and means “All Men Must Die”. It can be taken more than one way. He appears to be holding a Confederate flag.

Here’s a supporter of the Dixie Defenders, part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. They’re generally about preserving history while studiously avoiding talking about slavery.

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Holy shit, is that a V for Vendetta mask? I guess he’s “vindicating the cause” while smashing the state.

 

A couple I haven’t figured out yet. If you can tell me what they’re all about, post in the comments.

There’s this yellow chevron on a black field:

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[EDIT: this is a symbol used by Génération Identitaire, so presumably this guy came from France to help out.]

This guy has a flag with the Daily Stormer symbol on a field of red and white stripes. Note the 1488 on his helmet, numbers important for white supremacists (14 word slogan) and followers of Hitler (88 corresponds to HH in the alphabet, short for “Heil Hitler”).

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[EDIT: this is a red and white striped flag with the Black Sun. This flag is used in the Vanguard America (see below) video seen on their Twitter page.]

Below is a screengrab from a video. There’s a bird in a circle in one flag, and a triangle subdivided into 3 smaller triangles in another.

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[Edit: Found! The triangle thing belongs to Identity Evropa. They like to celebrate the “GREAT PEOPLES, HISTORY, AND CIVILIZATION THAT FLOWED FROM THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT”. Anyone can apply to join! Just make sure that you and  your spouse are of “European, Non-Semitic Heritage.” No word on whether the One-Drop Rule applies.

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]

[EDIT: the bird in the circle belongs to Vanguard America. See details below.]

We’ve got Timothy Tuttle, White Nationalist, sporting the latest in White Nationalist fashion: a polo shirt with a bird in a 1/4 sun.

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Another saltire cross variation on these guys’ shields:

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[EDIT:

This is reported in the press to be one of the symbols of Vanguard America. The cross is actually crossed fasces, the bundles of sticks with an axe head that give fascism its name. This one got a lot of press today because the guy who was arrested for running over those people was photographed carrying one of these shields.

Vanguard America also uses the bird in a circle logo from above. The bird is carrying a fasces, presumably taking it back to a tree somewhere to build a very uncomfortable nest full of axe heads.

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]

My heart goes out to the the families of those hurt or killed in Charlottesville.

[EDIT: SPLC has a good article on this same topic which I used to fill in some blanks.]

Again, let me know if you can identify any of these symbols, leave a comment.

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