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Decoding extremist symbols and groups during the Capitol Hill Uprising



The photos tell part of the story of the beliefs of some of those who chose to appear on the day, from passionate and peaceful supporters of Trump to extremists who showed their hatred with their symbols and actions.

Mixing groups is an issue that experts who pursue extremism and hatred have long been concerned about.

Certification of election results turned out to be exactly the type of event that brought together different groups and could lead to the sharing of radical ideas, they say. The initial event, which was heavily promoted and encouraged by President Trump, gave all these groups something to unite.

“It was an event designed to oppose the results of free and fair democratic elections and the transition of power that will naturally follow,”

; said Mark Pitcawage, a historian and extremism expert at the Anti-Defamation League.

CNN spoke with him to identify the symbols and understand the chilling messages of tyranny, white rule, anarchy, racism, anti-Semitism and the hatred they portray.

Loop and gallows

While the snare itself is often used as a form of racial intimidation, Pitcavage says he believes the gallows should offer punishment for treason in this context. “It is assumed that representatives and senators who vote to certify the election results, and possibly Vice President Pence, are committing treason and must be tried and hanged,” he explained.

This treacherous rhetoric was seen on the right-hand message boards in the days before the event.

Three percent flag

The three percent (also known as III% ers, 3% ers or Threepers) are part of the US militia movement and are anti-government extremists, according to the ADL.

Like others in the militia movement, the Three Percenters believe they are defending the American people against government tyranny.

As many supporters of the militia movement strongly support President Trump, in recent years the “Three Percent” has been less active in opposing the federal government, directing its anger at other alleged enemies, including the left / antifa, Muslims and immigrants, according to ADL. .

The group’s name comes from an inaccurate statement that only three percent of the people in the colonies took up arms and fought against the British during the Revolutionary War.

The flag seen above is their logo on the traditional Betsy Ross flag. Pitcavage says that right-wing groups (mass or extremist) who think of themselves as patriots sometimes co-opt America’s first flag.

“Release the Kraken Flag”

The flag cites comments from former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell that it would “release the Kraken.” Powell falsely stated that there was evidence that would destroy Joe Biden’s idea of ​​winning the presidency.

“Kraken”, a mammoth sea creature from Scandinavian folklore, has become a meme in circles that believe the election has been stolen. According to them, Kraken is cash proof that there were widespread frauds. On social media, the conspiracy and ending sites of QAnon #ReleaseTheKraken are widely circulated along with false fraud theories.

Proud boys and the OK sign

The far right has chosen the OK sign as a trolling gesture, and for some as a symbol of white power. The ADL added this symbol to its long-standing database of slogans and symbols used by extremists.

“They wore orange caps to identify themselves; at previous rallies, they wore identification shirts and other equipment, but gave up on the event after their leader was recently arrested,” Pitcavage explained.

The proud boys supported President Trump and attended Stop The Steal rallies in Washington. Proud boys leader Henry Tario, who is signing Enrique Tario, was released by police on Tuesday on charges of allegedly burning a Black Life banner taken by a black church last month during protests in the city after ” Stop the theft rally last month, and a local judge ordered him to stay away from DC while awaiting trial, including during protests this week.

Flags of Kekistan

The green, white and black flag was created by some members of the 4chan online community to represent a fictional joke state called Kek, a fictional god they also created. He has long attended right-wing and far-right rallies.

“Kekistan’s flag is controversial because its design was partly derived from a Nazi-era flag; it was obviously done on purpose as a joke,” Pitkawage explained. “Younger right-wingers from the 4chan subculture (both right and far right) often like to display the Kekistan flag at rallies and events.”

Changed historical flags

Altered flags of the Confederacy and Gadsden were spotted in the crowds of the Capitol. One variation of the Confederate battle flag included an image of an assault rifle and the slogan “Come and get it” to convey a gun control message. The phrase “come and take” paraphrases the “come and take” remark uttered by the Spartan king Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae, when Persian King Xerxes told him and his men to put up their spears in exchange for their lives, Pitcavage said.

The flag of Gadsden, known to many as the “Do not trample me” flag, is a traditional and historically patriotic flag dating back to the American Revolution. The flag and symbol are also popular with libertarians. But he is also co-opted by right-wing groups. Pitcavage explains that while some fly it as a symbol of patriotism, others use it as a “symbol of resistance to perceived tyranny.”

Guardians of the oath

A man is seen wearing the cap of the Guardians of the Oath in the Capitol after it was violated. The guardians of the oath are pro-Trump, a far-right anti-government group that is seen as part of a militia movement tasked with defending the country and defending the constitution. The group is trying to hire members from active or retired military, first responders or police.

Their leader set out extensive conspiracy theories on his blog, accused Democrats of election theft, previously threatened violence if necessary on election day during an interview with far-right conspirator Alex Jones, and said his group would be armed to defend White House if necessary, according to ADL.

The flag of the Confederation

During the long United States Civil War, no Confederate battle flag was overshadowed by the US Capitol, but a rebel carried it straight through its halls on Wednesday.

Photographers photographed a man carrying it next to portraits of abolitionist Charles Sumner and slave owner John Calhoun.

The flag has always been a symbol of support for slavery. After World War II, he became a prominent symbol of Jim Crow and segregation, Pitkawaj says, not surprisingly, being a popular symbol among white Suprematists – even outside the United States.

America First Flag

The explosive is disguised in an America First flag with the podcast logo by far-right commentator Nick Fuentes. Fuentes attended the event at the Capitol, but was photographed staying in front of the Capitol building.

“America first” was also a slogan used by President Trump to describe his foreign policy. Its adoption has been criticized by the ADL, which has said it used anti-Semitic efforts to protect the United States from World War II.
The ADL says Fuentes is part of the “army of grappers,” which the ADL calls the White Supreme Group.

While the views of the group and the leadership are aligned with the views of the white supramatist alternative right, the groupers are trying to normalize their ideology by aligning with “Christianity” and the “traditional” values ​​supposedly upheld by the church, including marriage and family, “ADL explains. “Like the alt-right and other white super-impressionists, the Grupers believe they are working to protect against demographic and cultural change that is destroying ‘true America’ – a white, Christian nation.”

Auschwitz Camp

The Capitol Revolt wore a Camp Auschwitz sweatshirt. The bottom of the shirt reads “Work brings freedom,” which is the rough translation of the words “Arbeit macht frei” at the gates of the Nazi concentration camp. Auschwitz was the largest and most scandalous Nazi concentration camp, where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II.

Pitcavage says he believes the shirt came from the now-defunct Aryanwear website. The design, which has existed for about 10 years, according to Pitcavage, has appeared on various websites in recent weeks, although it is often downloaded when filing a complaint.

Stickers of the Nationalist Social Club

An image on social media shows stickers of the Nationalist Social Club of what appears to be Capitol police equipment in the United States. It is not clear when the photo was taken, but it was posted Wednesday in a Telegram chat the group used that included a Nazi symbol as part of their name.

The NSC, apparently a play on words for the National Socialists or the Nazi Party, is a neo-Nazi group that has regional heads both in the United States and around the world, according to the ADL. It is not clear whether the sticker on the right refers to a New England chapter or because the group was originally called the New England Nationalist Club.

“NSC members are seen as soldiers at war with a hostile, Jewish-controlled system that deliberately plans the extinction of the white race,” according to the ADL. “Their goal is to form an underground network of white men who are ready to fight their supposed enemies through localized direct action.”

MAGA Civil War January 6, 2021 shirts

There are still many questions about exactly how the attack on the Capitol happened and who led the prosecution. But calls for the overthrow of the government and for civil or competitive war have long provoked shouts in far-right circles.

The shirts worn by these men on the Capitol grounds on Wednesday show that at least they intended to mark the day. They wore pre-printed shirts that mentioned Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again,” along with the words “Civil War” and the date of the event that turned into an uprising.

Many commentators in far-right forums wrote after the attack that this was just the beginning of this civil war that many had long wanted.

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