Obscure alt-right symbols have been surfacing recently as alt-right rallies crop up throughout the country. With an alt-right rally scheduled for Aug. 27 at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley, here are some common alt-right symbols and their meanings.
While the confederate flag has been used as a symbol of southern heritage, recently, it has been interpreted as a symbol of white nationalism in America, owing to its roots in the Civil War. Among other issues, the Confederacy supported slavery and disenfranchising Black individuals in America. Several monuments of Confederate figures have been torn down recently, although the flag is still considered an inflammatory symbol by many.
The green, white and black flag of Kekistan, a fictional country, can be spotted at alt-right rallies, as a tribute to Kek, the deity of an online white nationalist movement. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the movement’s official mascot, Kek, is an image of Pepe the Frog, and represents a fictional god of darkness and chaos — in other words, the flag represents a meme. Kek is used as both a satirical jab at liberals and the alt-right’s mission of creating mayhem in society.
Valknot translates to “knot of slain” in Old Norse, and is considered a symbol of the Norse god Odin. According to the Anti-Defamation League, some Odinists use this as a symbol for white supremacy and their willingness to sacrifice themselves to Odin in battle.
According to the Encyclopedia Britanica, the Iron Cross is a famous German military medal of honor first instituted in 1813 for service in the Prussian War Liberation. After several revivals, the medal was revived for the final time by Adolf Hitler in 1939, when the Germans invaded Poland. The Anti-Defamation League stated that the Iron Cross was widely discontinued after World War II, but it is still used as a symbol for neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
Bonnie Blue flag
The Bonnie Blue flag — a single white star on a blue background — unofficially represented the Confederacy, according to the Washington Post. Although it was never officially recognized as the Confederate flag, the symbol became widely spread because of “The Bonnie Blue Flag,” a song penned by Harry Macarthy.
National Socialist Movement
The National Socialist Movement, or NSM, is one of the largest active neo-Nazi groups in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organization grew out of the American Nazi Party, which was founded by in 1959 by former Navy commodore George Rockwell. The Southern Poverty Law Center states that NSM openly worships Adolf Hitler, and believes that the U.S. Constitution was “written by white men alone. Therefore it was intended for whites alone.” The group is known for their violent rhetoric, carefully staged protests and full Nazi uniforms.