GPAHE Releases New Global Extremist Symbols Database

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Today the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) released a first-of-its-kind online directory compiling more than 300 hate and far-right extremist symbols from across the globe. Each symbol is described and categorized by ideology and country or region where it appears most often.

The directory includes symbols representing various far-right and bigoted ideologies, including but not limited to neo-Nazi, white nationalist, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-immigrant, male supremacist, anti-Muslim, antisemitic, and others. Symbols are tagged by all ideologies that apply.

According to GPAHE, far-right hate and extremist symbols are critical identifiers for these movements. They often appear as logos, memes on tech platforms, tattoos, patches and pins on clothing, flags, graffiti, hand symbols, and more. Extremists use symbols to attract attention to their movement and to spread hate and intimidation. They are also used as a way to communicate connection and camaraderie, much like a gang symbol would, which is a powerful tool with new recruits.

“There is no doubt that far-right extremism is a transnational movement, and this tool will help to identify where far-right actors are active, the narratives they are pushing, and will help show — from chatrooms to violent extremism — how hate and extremist groups and individuals inspire and connect each other across borders,” said Global Project Against Hate and Extremism co-founder Wendy Via.

Symbols like the yellow and black Lamda, used by the sprawling transnational white nationalist Identitarian movement, exemplify the cross-border nature of how these symbols are shared among different groups to foment hate and extremism everywhere in the world. At times, the symbols are obscure or serve as inside jokes, making such a directory helpful in decoding them.

The directory is intended to assist law enforcement, tech companies, policy makers, military branches, researchers, media, and advocates to identify and combat far-right hate and extremism and the violence that so often accompanies it.

GPAHE recognizes that due to the spread and nature of far-right extremism, the directory will never be complete, and as such will update it regularly.

“To combat the spread of far-right hate and extremism on tech platforms and in real life, we all have a part to play,” said Global Project Against Hate and Extremism co-founder Heidi Beirich. “This directory is another tool that will collectively help us do that.”

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