education

Signs of hate: Parental guide to far-right codes, symbols and acronyms


Far-right extremists use a variety of codes, symbols and acronyms to communicate and signal shared ideologies, some of which are adopted by children and young people and may be among signs of potential radicalisation. The following is a sample from Signs of Hate, a safeguarding guide on the far right from the campaign group Hope Not Hate.

Flash and circle

Used by the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, it has since been adopted by other far-right groups and is still in use today.

Flash and circle logo
Illustration: Hope Not Hate

OK hand gesture

While in most contexts the sign is harmless, it has been appropriated by some on the far right to signify white power. The perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand used it before murdering 51 people in 2019.

A US far-right demonstrator makes the OK hand gesture during a rally in Oregon.
A US far-right demonstrator makes the OK hand gesture during a rally in Oregon. Photograph: John Rudoff/AFP/Getty Images

SS Runes

Associated with the Schutzstaffel, the elite paramilitary branch of the Nazi party, the symbol remains popular among neo-Nazis.

SS Runes.
Illustration: Hope Not Hate

Swastika

The best known of all hate symbols, adopted by the Nazis and still in common use among neo-Nazis, antisemites and white supremacists.

Swastika.
Illustration: Hope Not Hate

Sonnenrad

An ancient symbol appropriated by the Nazis and used by neo-Nazis today.

Sonnenrad.
Illustration: Hope Not Hate

Blood and Honour

Blood and Honour logo
Illustration: Hope Not Hate

The logo for a neo-Nazi music network that started in the UK in 1987 and remains active internationally.

Confederate flag

The flag of the Confederate States of America, the 11 southern states that seceded from the union in 1860-61 mainly because of their support for slavery. While still seen by some as a sign of southern US pride, it is now used by far-right activists internationally.

Confederate flag
Illustration: Hope Not Hate

Totenkopf

Totenkopf
Illustration: Hope Not Hate

The symbol of Hitler’s SS and used today by antisemites and neo-Nazis who venerate the Holocaust.

National Action

National Action
National Action Illustration: Hope Not Hate

The logo for National Action, a proscribed neo-Nazi terrorism organisation, is taken from the Sturmabteilung, a paramilitary wing of the Nazi party.

88

H is the eighth letter of the alphabet – a simple numerical code for “Heil Hitler”.

18

Numerical code for Adolf Hitler, A being the first and H the eighth letter of the alphabet.

14 words/14W

A reference to the “14 words” declaration by white supremacists, which originated in the US in the 1980s: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

1488

A compound code for the 14 words and “Heil Hitler”.

Pepe the Frog

Originally a character in an American comic book series not related to racism or antisemitism, the image has been appropriated by the “alt right” to depict extreme ideas in a supposedly humorous context.

Pepe the Frog
Photograph: Hope Not Hate



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