Neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, white supremacists and others in the hate
movement use symbols like swastikas, "SS" thunderbolts, runes and
group logos to intimidate individuals and communities. Hate symbols are more
than just "signs" demonstrating racist, anti-Semitic and
anti-Christian attitudes and beliefs -- these symbols are meant to instill a
sense of fear and insecurity. One finds hate symbols scrawled on the outside
walls of synagogues, churches and schools; depicted on fliers and literature
distributed in communities; tattooed on the bodies of white supremacists, or
proudly displayed as jewelry or on clothing. These symbols give haters a sense
of power and belonging, and a quick way of identifying with others who share
their ideology. They offer a visual vocabulary that is used by a variety of
extremists including the Ku Klux Klan, the neo-Nazi National Alliance and such
Identity groups1 as Aryan Nations and the Posse Comitatus.
The ADL database contains symbols used by neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan,
racist skinheads, established hate groups, white supremacists and racist prison
gangs. Not surprisingly, there is some degree of overlap among
symbols used by these various groups.
1 Identity groups believe that white Europeans, not Jews, are the
real Biblical "Chosen People," that Jews are the children of Satan,
that the white race is inherently superior to others and that Blacks and other
non-whites are "mud people" without a soul.