The ADL has added 36 hate symbols to its hate symbol database. “Even as extremists continue to use symbols that may be years or decades old, they regularly create new symbols, memes and slogans to express their hateful sentiments,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “We believe law enforcement and the public needs to be fully informed about the meaning of these images, which can serve as a first warning sign to the presence of haters in a community or school.”
The following, supplied by the ADL, describes some of the additions:
- The “OK” hand symbol – Begun as a hoax by members of the website 4chan, the OK symbol became a popular trolling tactic. By 2019, the symbol was being used in some circles as a sincere expression of white supremacy. Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant flashed the symbol during his March 2019 courtroom appearance soon after his arrest for allegedly murdering 50 people in mosques in Christchurch.
- Burning Neo-Nazi symbols – Neo-Nazis have adopted the Ku Klux Klan practice of symbolic burnings, substituting swastikas and other neo-Nazi symbols such as othala and life runes, for crosses.
- Dylann Roof’s “Bowlcut” – The “Bowlcut” is an image of a bowl-shaped haircut resembling the one worn by white supremacist mass killer Dylann Roof. Those who use the bowlcut image or other “bowl” references admire Roof and call for others to emulate his 2015 mass shooting attack at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
- Happy Merchant – An anti-Semitic meme depicting a drawing of a Jewish man with heavily stereotyped facial features who is greedily rubbing his hands together. The meme is by far the most popular anti-Semitic meme among white supremacists.
- “Anudda Shoah” – An anti-Semitic phrase that first became popular among white supremacists in 2014 to mock Jews, whom they claim bring up the Holocaust (“Shoah” is the Hebrew term for Holocaust) when confronted with anything they don’t like.
- Diversity = White Genocide – A white supremacist slogan intended to suggest multiculturalism will mean the demise of the white race.
- Logos of various hate groups, including the neo-Confederate white supremacist League of the South; the neo-Nazi National Socialist Legion; the white supremacist Rise Above Movement (RAM); the white supremacist group Patriot Front; and the American Identity Movement, the white supremacist group that is successor to Identity Evropa.