Who Are the White Nationalist Groups That Demonstrated in Charlottesville?

White supremacists stand behind their shields at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. Reuters

In one of the largest demonstrations by of its kind for decades, white nationalist groups rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, an event that soon erupted into violence after a car rammed into a group of anti-racist counter-demonstrators, killing one woman and injuring dozens.

Here's a rundown of some of the symbols used by white nationalists to show their allegiance to racist groups as they demonstrated against the removal of a Confederate statue.

A poster for Saturday's Unite the Right rally based on Benjamin Franklin's 'join, or die' cartoon identifies the groups attending.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center the groups include alt-right, neo-Confederate, identitarian, and neo-Nazi groups.

A poster for the 'Unite the Right' white nationalist rally SPLC


A member of a labor union (R) debates with a conservative protester wearing a Kekistan flag during competing demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, U.S. June 4, 2017. Reuters

Emerging from alt-right subculture on messaging group 4chan, the "national flag of Kekistan" mimics a Nazi war banner.

The banner references the group's origins, with the 4chan logo in the top left corner.

The alt-right 'kek' slogan replaces the swastika in the center.


Banner of the Vanguard America white supremacist group. APLC

Several far-right groups have incorporated the "Schwartze Sonne" or "black sun" into their logos.

It is based on an ancient sun wheel artifact created by pagan German and Norse tribes that was later adopted by the Nazi SS.

A version of the symbol was inlaid in the marble floor of Castle Wewelsburg, the base of the SS, where members performed occult rituals.

Ice hockey team the Detroit Red Wings issued a statement Sunday condemning the use of their logo by a white nationalist group at the rally, in which the central wheel was replaced by the Schwarze Sonne.

Traditional Workers Party

Banner of the Traditional Workers Party. SPLC

This banner is the symbol of the Traditional Workers Party, an organization that advocates for racially exclusive communities and traffics in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

The organization denies being racist, and claims simply to advocate for each race having separate communities. However it associates with openly white supremacist organizations, including the KKK.


The "Southern Nationalist" black Saltire flag is used by several neo-Confederate groups, who revere the slave-owning antebellum south. It is often combined with the "Confederate Battle Flag" or "Southern Cross," the banner used by the Confederacy in the American Civil War.

Anti-Communist Action

Anti-Communist Action banners. SPLC

An inversion of the Anti-Racist Action group, the ACA declares itself dedicated to "defending our fellow patriots from violent communist criminal organizations."

The black and yellow used in the banner references libertarianism, while some variations depict a helicopter dropping a figure from the sky, a reference to the murder of dissidents by throwing them from helicopters during the regime of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.


Protestors take part in a demonstration of the far-right Identitarian Movement (Identitaere Bewegung) in Berlin, Germany June 17, 2017. The banner reads: "Future for Europe." Reuters

Founded by Nathan Benjamin Damigo from his grandparents' compound in Oakdale, California, Identity Evropa is based on the "Identitarian" far-right youth groups that emerged in Europe iin the early 2000s. In Europe, such groups engage in high profile Islamophobic stunts and rally against immigration.

Portraying themselves as fraternities and social clubs, identitarians seek to recruit white college students and encourage discussions around alt-right ideology in addition to confronting left-wing demonstrators at campus protests.

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