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VEXILLOLOGY OF HATE

Decoding the flags and banners seen at the Capitol Hill insurrection

A sampling of flags seen at the Capitol insurrection
Quartz
Painful parade.
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Many in the rabid mob who stormed the US Capitol yesterday came armed with a portable and potent weapon: a flag. There were large election banners, battle colors from the American Civil War, neo-Nazi flare, Christian symbols, and a smattering of national and state flags. Seen as a whole, they serve as a twisted ideological quilt for those who believe that the US election was stolen from incumbent president Donald Trump.

Reuters/Mike Theiler
A Trump supporter parades a Confederate flag at the US Capitol.

Of the various flags paraded around the seat of the US legislative branch, the most incendiary was a battle pennant from the Confederate army. Widely appropriated by white supremacists as a hate symbol, the “Southern Cross” never has been paraded publicly inside the Capitol before, historians point out. “It’s an outright affront to the government in its entirety,” says Antaeus Edelsohn, a University of Richmond law student and vexillology enthusiast.

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