Symbols can serve many purposes. They may serve to identify members of a group and/or affirmation of an idea or ideology. Symbols may also be used to mark out the territory of a group or gang. Organized racist groups use symbols for all these purposes as well as to intimidate and harass the victims of their hatred However, before assuming that a person belongs to a group because they bear a symbol we need to investigate what the symbol means to the person wearing or using it, if possible. Speaking to the person about the meaning of a symbol can serve as an important intervention if conducted appropriately.

What can we do about racist symbols when they are used to intimidate and harass? The first step in dealing with racist symbols is to be able to identify them. Some racist symbols such as the swastika or the iron cross are widely known. Others are relatively new or less well known. You should also familiarize yourself with them and acronyms like ZOG (ZOG stands for "Zionist Occupied Government" and is used to create anti-semitic attitudes), RaHoWa (the acronym of the racist rock band, Racial Holy War), 14 Words (The 14 words are: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." The expression was originally coined by American neo-Nazi David Lane who is now 99 years in prison and has a publishing company and website by that name.) and significant dates in the white supremacist movement.

When you see a racist symbol, record the date, time, location, description of the wearer and particulars of your observation. Take a picture of the symbol, if possible. Report your observations to a law enforcement agency, the BC Hate Crime team and any one of the groups listed on the back panel of this brochure. Community groups are there to help. Some are dedicated to tracking and monitoring hate groups and their symbols.

(Symbols will accompany text)

Aryan Brotherhood

A tattoo of a shamrock with the letters "AB" on, or near it, identifies members of the Aryan Brotherhood. The group is particularly active in correctional facilities in both Canada and the United States.

Aryan Nations

A Christian Identity organization dedicated to preaching hate under the guise of religion. The full name is the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Aryan Nations. The group maintains an armed compound in Idaho where white power gatherings are usually held in April to coincide with Hitler's birthday.

Women for Aryan Unity

This international organization focuses on the recruitment of young women into the movement. They have post office addresses in Victoria, BC; Holland,.....


Originally used by fascist groups in the U.K., the bulldog worn as a tattoo/patch is becoming more prevalent in Canada and the United States.

Celtic Cross

Another symbol used by fascist groups in the U.K., it is now one of the most prominent white supremacy symbols in North America.


There are Hammerskin chapters throughout the world. They use various designs with crossed hammers usually in the centre with the flag of their country of residence surrounding the hammers.

Heritage Front

Heritage Front is a Toronto-based hate group with chapters throughout Canada. Once Canada's largest coalition of racist and fascist groups, several Heritage Front leaders have been jailed and the organization has been rocked by scandal. Founders of the HF include convicted felon Wolfgang Droege who once headed a British Columbia based KKK chapter.

Ku Klux Klan

Klan blood drop and cross is the classic symbol of the Ku Klux Klan worn on their white hooded Klan robes and on the lapels of suits. The KKK is infamous world-wide for murder and intimidation. The KKK, however, was not the first and is not currently the main hate group in North America. Small chapters continue throughout Canada with as few as 500 members in the country, down from as many as one hundred thousand during the 1920s.

Nazi Death Head/Totenkopf

Symbol of the Nazi SS Totenkopf-Division used today to project an image of racist violence, much like the SS Thunder Bolt runes.

National Alliance

Considered by many monitoring groups as the largest distributor of hate propaganda in North America. Books, audio/video tapes and brochure are distributed under "Vanguard Books".


Symbol used by the National Socialist Party outside Germany - a Hitler group led by Gary Lauck of Lincoln, Nebraska. The group is one of the top producers of hate propaganda. Lauck was jailed in Denmark for advocating hatred.

Norse Rune

Symbol adopted by Nazis throughout North America and Western Europe. Runes are used to evoke magic and as a form of communication.

Rolling Sevens (777)

Symbol of the South African white supremacist Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB). Racists use this symbol to indicate sympathy for apartheid, among other things.

SS Thunder Bolts

Symbol of the Waffen-SS, the most ruthless of Hitler's henchmen. Used today as a symbol to promote genocidal and fascist violence.

Third Reich

This symbol of the Third Reich in Germany is one of many adopted from the nazis used by extremist groups throughout the world.


White Aryan Resistance. Symbol of the California-based white supremacist organization that has over the years targeted youth with a blitzkrieg of crude racist comics, pamphlets and TV shows. Founder Tom Metzger was found guilty of inciting youth to commit a hate motivated murder in Portland, Oregon and fined 12.5 million dollars. The judgement did not put him out of the business of hate.

White Power

The white power fist is a generic symbol used by white supremacists around the world to promote domination and provoke fear.

Zundel Printing

Logo for Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel's printing company, Samizdat Publishing. Zundel wrote The Hitler We Knew and Loved. To avoid hate propaganda laws, Zundel now uses the Internet and other electronic forms of communication.





The following are important dates to the far-right movement and incidents/attacks are more likely to occur on these dates.


19---Siege, standoff & search on the paramilitary, racist organization, Covenant, Sword & Arm of the Lord (CSA), began in Arkansas, 1985; Final siege and burning of Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX, 1993; Bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, 1995; Execution of convicted murderer & white supremacist Richard Wayne Snell in Arkansas, 1995.

20---Adolph Hitler's birthday

26---Birthday of Rudolph Hess; Confederate Memorial Day


06---Ku Klux Klan incorporated, 1866

10---Confederate Memorial Day


Gay & Lesbian Pride Month


21---Siege at Ruby Ridge begins, 1992

30---Siege at Ruby Ridge ends


23---The "Order" founded


11---National Coming Out Day for gays & lesbians


09 & 10 --- Anniversary of Kristallnacht


08---Shootout and death of Robert Mathews of the Order (Silent Brotherhood) Whidbey Island, 1984

24---KKK founded