Guide to Online Hate: Full List
Also appears as: 110 Countries
“109 countries” is reference to an antisemitic myth that Jews have historically been expelled from 109 countries. The myth is persistent in conspiratorial antisemitic movements, and the idea that malicious Jewish conduct has led to widespread rejection is used to promote a white nationalist narrative that Jewish exile or genocide are necessary.
The phrase is sometimes censored on social media for hate speech and disinformation, however, references to the concept that use coded language, such as referencing “the 110th country” in future-tense can be more difficult to moderate.
Number codes like 13/50 are used by white supremacists to perpetuate a racist myth that black people are inherently prone to crime or violence. 13/50 is a code for the false claim that Black Americans commit 50% of violence crime despite making up 13% of the population. The percentages and the slogan often appear in similar numbers like 14% and 51%, respectively. Because they are coded, they can appear in memes that do not immediately appear to be hateful to those unfamiliar with them.
‘Six Gorillion’ is mocking reference to the six million Jews killed by Nazi Germany in the Holocaust. The term exists to emphasize an antisemitic narrative that the number six million was fabricated, and that Jews use that figure as a rhetorical shield and justification for alleged machinations. It is used in antisemitic memes to deny, distort, or mock the Holocaust and the memorial culture that surrounds it.
"6 Million?" is a meme that calls into question the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust. Some Holocaust deniers and distorters will concede that Jews were killed by the Nazi regime and their collaborators, but will attempt to use sophistry and disinformation to undermine widely documented and accepted historical facts.
Also appears as: Sonnenrad
The Black Sun, or Sonnenrad, is an original symbol based on ancient sunwheel designs. The symbol was installed as a floor mosaic by SS (Schutzstaffel) in Wewelsburg Castle under the direction of SS head Heinrich Himmler. Today the Black Sun is often used in place of the Swastika as a symbol of national socialism. It also represents the elements of mysticism, occultism, and Satanism that can be found within some neo-Nazi movements. Because the Black Sun is not as well known as the Swastika, it is occasionally missed and broadcast by journalists and organizations, notably during the Russo-Ukrainian war.
On 15 March 2019 white supremacist Brenton Harrison Tarrant killed 51 Muslim people in a shooting spree in Christchurch, New Zealand. Tarrant, who was heavily influenced by online far-right media, covered his equipment in references to internet memes and neo-Nazi symbols and videotaped his killing spree on a mounted camera for online distribution. Though mainstream social media platforms heavily moderated the video's spread, it was seen widely in extreme spaces.
Tarrant is idolized and deified in white supremacist accelerationist spaces, where adherents look to his actions for inspiration. His likeness, his manifesto, and memes incorporating footage from his video are used to incite hate-based violence, especially violence towards Muslims.
The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War’s battle flag became a widely-used symbol of the slaveholding South after their defeat, and the pseudohistorical "Lost Cause" mythos that followed. The flag was often used to express racial animus during moments of widespread civil rights and labour activism, and is often associated with a variety of racist and far-right views. The flag, which is sometimes used as a symbol of rural identity, has a history of being flown in Canada, and appeared alongside other extreme symbols at the 2022 Freedom Convoy in Ottawa.
Day of the Rope
Day of the Rope is a call for violence taken from the 1978 white supremacist novel The Turner Diaries written by American Neo-Nazi William Luther Pierce, which depicts a fictional overthrow of the United States government and ensuing race war. Pierce’s book is influential among white supremacists including Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who was found with pages from the novel after his attack. In the book the Day of The Rope refers to a scene in the book where “race traitors” and enemies are executed en masse. Subsequent works by white supremacists have referenced Day of the Rope. There are numerous explicit and implicit Day of the Rope memes, which is sometimes referenced through noose-related imagery.
“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.”
The slogan commonly known as the “Fourteen Words” was penned by ex-Klansman, The Order member, and neo-Nazi David Lane during his time in prison. At the time, Lane was serving a 190 year prison sentence that included 150 years for his role in the murder of Jewish anti-Nazi radio host Alan Berg.
The Fourteen Words is recited as a call for white nationalists to become more involved in attempts to create or maintain a white ethnostate, including through violent actions. It is recited in memes and in online forums to signal loyalty to white supremacist ideologies and to incite direct action in the name of white nationalism.
The Great Replacement is a theory that asserts that white or “Aryan” people are being eliminated through a variety of mechanisms, including non-white immigration and feminism. White genocide conspiracy theories have a long history in far-right circles and remains prominent today in white nationalist, white supremacist, and conspiracy theory movements. The Anti-Defamation League has accused several high-profile politicians and media personalities of invoking the Great Replacement, including Tucker Carlson, who they relayed “explicitly promoted the ‘great replacement’ theory”. Coined in 2011 by French white nationalist and conspiracy theorist Renaud Camus, the Great Replacement was based on a variety of pre-existing racist theories and ideas. Proponents allege that the end goal of the Great Replacement is to “weaken” or ultimately destroy white families over several generations as they increasingly start interracial families. The premise of the Great Replacement relies on the concept of white people being of a single race and that ancestry from non-white ethnicities can exclude an individual from being white. Jews are often considered to be the perpetrators of the Great Replacement, but conspiracy theories adjacent to the Great Replacement sometimes blame other groups, including secretive world governments.
Also appears as: Le Happy Merchant, Jew Face
Happy Merchant is an antisemitic meme depicting a stereotypical representation of a Jewish character with a large hooked nose, kippah, beard, and clasped hands. Happy Merchant is one of the most popular antisemitic symbols found online, and is often used to invoke antisemitic conspiracy theories. It’s appearance is heavily inspired by historical antisemitic caricatures, notably those produced within Nazi Germany, and was pulled from a comic produced by an infamous white supremacist cartoonist who worked under the pseudonym “A. Wyatt Mann.”
Nathan Phillips Square Blackface Guy
On 6 June 2020 an individual wore blackface to antagonize participants at a protest against anti-Black racism at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, where he was arrested for breach of the peace. Since then, his likeness has been featured in numerous hateful memes, particularly in the context of anti-Black hate.
Variations of what is now known as the Swastika were used in ancient Eurasian civilizations, and it is a spiritual symbol in several religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. It had several meanings in European and North American societies in the 19th and 20th century, and often appeared as a good luck symbol. It was adopted as the symbol of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis) in 1920, and has since become widely seen as a symbol of hate and of a genocidal regime that killed six million Jews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Romani, and persecuted a number of minorities and political enemies. Today the Swastika is still used as a symbol to intimidate against members of a number of demographic groups. It also finds use in accusatory contexts, such as at political protests, but its rhetorical use remains controversial.
No More Brother Wars/No More Brothers Wars
No More Brother(s) Wars is a white supremacist slogans that argues for peace between Western nations perceived as white, and invokes conspiracies about Jews orchestrating historical conflicts. No More Brother Wars ties into White Genocide conspiracies, as it discourages actions and policies believed to lower caucasian populations across the world. Instead it promotes violence towards non-white populations and nations. The idea of "Brother Wars" is regularly invoked by white power musicians and bands, and appears regularly in extreme online spaces. Though the slogan was prevalent prior to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the ensuing war has popularized it.
Not Stolen, Conquered
Also appears as: Conquered, Not Stolen
“Conquered, Not Stolen” is an anti-Indigenous meme that celebrate the colonial system implemented and genocide perpetrated by European settlers. The phrase proposes land should belong to the race or culture that last fought to conquer it. “Conquered, Not Stolen” is a chauvinistic statement intended to push back upon attempts by settler societies to confront and reconcile with their colonial histories by promoting genocide celebration and white nationalist interpretations of history. The meme is also used to articulate support for maintaining the privileged societal position of white European colonizers. It is used by the American white supremacist group Patriot Front in their propaganda.
Oswald Mosley was the founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists (1932-1940) and the Union Movement (1948-1973). Mosley’s likeness and speeches are used in pro-fascist memes and videos. Mosley’s speeches are especially popular among English-speaking Canadian white nationalists and neo-Nazis because more prominent fascist politicians spoke primarily in languages other than English and because social media algorithms more often sensor Adolf Hitler’s speeches than Mosley’s.
‘Remove Kebab’ is an Islamophobic and anti-Turkish meme that originated in a propaganda music video produced by Bosnian Serbian soldiers. Kebab is a hateful term for Turkish and Muslim immigrants that references stereotypical associations with kebab shops. The white supremacist who committed the Christchurch attack wrote “Remove Kebab” on one of his weapons, and referred to himself as a “part-time kebab removalist” in his manifesto.
Revolt Against The Modern World
Revolt Against The Modern World is a slogan taken from the title of traditionalist and fascist author Julius Evola’s influential book. The phrase is used to signify support for anti-modern traditionalism or esoteric fascism. It often appears alongside imagery that modern fascist movements consider to be a negative symptom of modernity, such as examples of popular media promoting cultural diversity or feminism. Conversely, it also appears alongside romanticized imagery of societies and time periods that incorporated strict gender roles, family structures, and racial hierarchies promoted as an alternative to modern society. It is a common slogan used in fashwave memes.
Also appears as: Tyrone
The Sheeeit (or Sheeeeit) Guy is racist caricature of Black men commonly found in hateful contexts and comics online. The Sheeeit Guy is typically depicted committing violent acts, including sexual violence, and as having low intelligence. The character relies on existing racist stereotypes to portray Black men as animalisitic and sexually aggressive in order to shape or enforce racist structures and beliefs. The term “Sheeeit'' is drawn from a character’s catchphrase in the television show The Wire.
Schutzstaffel (SS) head Heinrich Himmler was obsessed with the occult and pseudoarcheological interpretations of Germanic history, and sought to use symbols and rituals to root the organization in his views. Some runes had already been used by members of the SS and its predecessor organizations prior to Himmler’s adoption, but he systematised it. The SS used several runes drawn from the mystic Guido von List’s Armanen Runes as organizational symbols. The symbols in List’s work, which he claimed came to him in a vision during a period of temporary blindness, were inspired by the historic Norse Younger Futhark runes. In addition to runes from List’s work, the SS also appropriated other esoteric symbols like the Wolfsangel.
The SS bolts were adapted from the Sowilo rune that the Nazis coopted. SS Runes, including the SS bolts, continue to be used today by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. However, not all uses of real or pseudohistorical runes is hateful, and context has to be carefully taken into account.
See also: Death Rune, Life Rune, Odal Rune
Also appears as: Death’s Head
Used in the insignia of multiple organizations under the SS (Schutzstaffel) in Nazi Germany, and which was as a pin by some guards overseeing extermination camps.
The SS Totenkopf is a popular symbol in modern Neo-Nazi propaganda. It is used to invoke Nazi Germany, the SS, and the Holocaust specifically. Although the Nazi Totenkopf was influenced by Prussian designs, it is visually distinct from its Prussian predecessors.
A mostly online transphobic movement presented as a sexuality. Individuals who refer to themselves as “super straight” allege that it is a sexuality in which an individual is not just heterosexual, but only attracted to cisgender, heterosexual people of the opposite sex. The term is used by anti-trans activists across a variety of ideologies.
The Flash and Circle/British Union of Fascists Logo
The logo used by the antisemitic British Union of Fascists is often used in hate memes to represent fascist beliefs and British nationalism. In Canada, the symbol often signifies an affection for Canada’s history in the British Empire. The BUF logo is less likely to be censored than more widely recognized Nazi iconography and is sometimes used in place of the Swastika. Outside of educational contexts the logo is seldom used for non-political reasons. It is not to be confused with the logo of superhero The Flash, which it bears similarity to.
The Waffen-SS were the combat branch of the SS (Schutzstaffel). The various divisions used shields with Nazi symbols as insignias. Today, these shields are used to denote Neo-Nazi groups and are particularly popular among Nazi accelerationist organizations. Shields with an indent in the top-right corner are especially popular in part due to their use by Iron March network groups like Atomwaffen Division. The appearance of such shields may indicate an informed interest in neo-Nazism.
ZOG is an acronym for Zionist Occupation Government which is related to conspiracy theories about Israeli, Zionist, or Jewish control of Western governments, along with the United Nations and other prominent intergovernmental and international organizations. ZOG conspiracy theories build on existing antisemitic beliefs about international networks and cabals of powerful Jews influencing world affairs that can be traced back to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Some extremists use ZOG in the place of more explicit slurs online to skirt hate speech detection.
"Okay" Hand Gesture
In 2017, alt-right activists on alternative social media sites like 4Chan began a deliberate campaign to spread the use of the single-handed gesture. In theory, three fingers form a ‘W’ while the index finger and thumb form a ‘P’ - the acronym for White Power.
The gesture was chosen because of its resemblance to a popular gesture representing “okay”, in the hopes that people would eventually become polarized over whether or not the signal was necessarily racist. In 2019, The Anti-Defamation League officially recognized the gesture as a hate symbol, but emphasizes that “use of the okay symbol in most contexts is entirely innocuous and harmless.”
Burger King Crown
Some Burger King restaurants give out free cardboard crowns. The promotional give-away has become a contextual hate symbol after an individual wearing a paper Burger King Crown was ejected from an October 2020 flight after shouting racial slurs at a Black passenger. The crown has since been used online as a semi-ironic symbol of praise for one’s hateful rhetoric, particularly in the context of anti-Black racism. It is often paired with other symbols like the skull mask or Pit Viper sunglasses.
An early version of the current day flag of Québec which includes both nationalistic and religious imagery such as the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was used by French Catholic nationalists from 1903 to 1935. It continues to find use with contemporary ultra-nationalist, traditionalist Catholic groups who view it as a symbol of Québec’s past. The flag often appears online with images of past Québec Premier Maurice Duplessis, or hung on the walls of far-right content producers.
Like other Canadian flags that have been appropriated, the Carillon Sacré Coeur is not an inherently hateful symbol, and continues to be used by some mainstream civil society institutions in Québec today. Context must be taken into account when evaluating its appearance.
A specific version of the Celtic Cross has its origin as a white supremacist symbol in the 1930s and 1940s. After the Second World War, several white supremacist organization and movements adopted the symbol. It is still used by a variety of white supremacists today. Stormfront, the Internet’s first white supremacist forum, notably used it as part of its logo. Because it is used across different subcultures, not all uses of the Celtic Cross are hateful.
The symbol was originally a sun wheel, but has since been reinterpreted as a crucifix. Not all appearances of Celtic Crosses are hate symbols, and the term can refer to a variety of symbols used by Christians, pagans, and Celtic nationalists featuring a cross encircled by a ring.
Clasped Hands can be a visual shorthand for the antisemitic Happy Merchant meme. The gesture is meant to represent conspiratorial stereotypes about Jewish plots and greed.
An antisemitic term used by white nationalists in reference to conspiracy theories involving 5 Israeli men who were detained for displaying ‘puzzling behaviour’ during the 9/11 terror attacks. The term implies that Israelis were involved in, or perhaps masterminded the attack. Its use in hateful online circles gained prominence after American white nationalist Nicholas J. Fuentes directed his followers to reference it in public stunts.
Day of Action
Term used by some accelerationists, particularly neo-Nazis, to describe mass killings. It is used both in praise of mass killers like Anders Breivik and Alexandre Bissonnette, as well as to encourage new mass killings. The term is also widely used by political parties and other advocacy-oriented organizations - as such, hateful usages of the term are highly contextual and must be evaluated carefully.
See also: Sainthood
The Death Rune is a flipped variation of the Life Rune. Like the Life Rune, it was used by the SS to signify death. After the Second World War the Rune continues to be used by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists, particularly in the context of celebrating fallen allies.
Not all uses of the Death Rune are hateful, and context has to be carefully taken into account. The symbol is not to be confused with Death Runes from the popular RuneScape video game.
See also: Life Rune, Odal Rune, Schutzstaffel Runes
A meme used by antisemitic groups and individuals to call attention to the Jewish ethnicity of prominent individuals by pushing users to look at the ‘Early Life’ section of their Wikipedia page in the hopes of finding that the individual grew up in a Jewish family. It is most often used to spread antisemitic notions that Jews form a global world elite that is responsible for all of the world’s problems, and is used in similar ways to the triple parentheses symbol. However, it is also a popular meme in Jewish Internet culture, and not all of its uses are hateful.
Honk Honk is a slogan associated with ‘Clown World’ memes on 4Chan and Reddit used to convey absurdist nihilism. Honk Honk’s initials ‘HH’ are a common code for Heil Hitler and it is a common catchphrase of Honkler, a nihilist clown-themed version of Pepe that espouses extreme bigotry.
In early 2022 Honk Honk became strongly associated with Canada’s “Freedom Convoy”, a convoy of anti-vaccine and anti-government activists that used vehicle horns as a symbol of their eventual occupation of Ottawa. Its resurgence was due to both the widespread use of car and truck horns as a protest tool, and by a concentrated effort from white supremacists involved in the convoy. Most individuals sharing Convoy memes that include "Honk Honk" do not mean to express support for Hitler, but there are those that do, and the memes being shared by those that don’t utilize imagery and vocabulary associated earlier, bigoted expressions.
Memes in far-right online spaces attacking "joggers" are references to Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was murdered in a racially-motivated attack while jogging in 2020. Numerous memes were made spreading disinformation about Arbery in the aftermath of his murder and during the ensuing trial. Jogger is sometimes used as a coded anti-Black slur to describe Black people, to invoke the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, and to evade censors made for hate speech.
Also known as: Elhaz Rune, Algiz Rune
The Life Rune was a name given to the Algiz or Elhaz Rune appropriated by the Nazis. In the context of Nazi pseudoarcheological beliefs it came to symbolize “life” and was widely referred to as the Life Rune in Germany. The symbol was used in Nazi uniforms and iconography, including by the SS body responsible for the “Lebensborn” racial birth program responsible for promoting “Aryans” and the Sturmabteilung. The Life Rune has an inverted counterpart, the Death Rune.
After the Second World War the Life rune continues to be used by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. In Canada, the Heritage Front used a Life Rune in their logo. Not all uses of the Life Rune are hateful, and context has to be carefully taken into account.
See also: Death Rune, Odal Rune, Schutzstaffel Runes
“Naming them”, or “naming the Jews” is an antisemitic concept promoted by white supremacists. When a problem that can be blamed on the Jewish people is brought up without specific names, proponents of “naming the Jew” will advocate for a specific person, practice, or country to be blamed. This can mean naming an individual with a recognizable Jewish name, naming the practice of Judaism, or naming Israel as an alleged cause of whatever is being discussed. Though most often used in response to political discourse, the concept is also invoked in antisemitic memes as a way of espousing conspiratorial antisemitism in a way that might not be immediately recognized by people unfamiliar with the concept.
The noose is a symbol of lynching in North America. It occasionally makes appearance at political gatherings to threaten opponents, such as the gallows constructed during the attempted insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. The noose may also appear in far-right memes as a visual shorthand for Day of the Rope, a white supremacist concept originating from The Turner Diaries. The appearance of a noose, even in extreme spaces, isn’t always explicitly hateful. There are numerous memes indicating suicidal feelings or intent that do not target hate against any community.
Also known as: Othala, Homeland Rune
Odal, also called Othala, is a runic letter appropriated from ancient Germanic alphabets by Nazi Germany. The rune represents “home” or “homeland” and most often appears as one of two different iterations: that with hooked “legs” and that without. Odals were used as the main iconography on the insignias of multiples divisions of the Waffen SS, Nazi Germany’s paramilitary wing. Since the Second World War, the Odal Rune has been a lasting, prominent symbol in a variety of white supremacist movements and appears in mediums including hate group logos, flags, tattoos, and internet memes.
The Odal, like other Germanic runes, is not always a symbol of hate. It is still used in Pagan culture for its original purposes and appears in popular culture representations of Nordic culture and mythology.
See also: Death Rune, Life Rune, Schutzstaffel Runes
Patrick Bateman is the protagonist in the 2001 film American Psycho, portrayed by Christian Bale, who has become a meme character. Unlike the movie, which portrays Bateman as thin skinned, shallow and unduly violent, some online subcultures venerate his displays of male aggression, and use his likeness to symbolize praise for one’s extreme politics, in some cases to promote political violence. Due to the character’s expressed misogyny, he is sometimes used in memes to promote gendered violence.
Pepe the Frog
An early symbol of the alt-right, Pepe was appropriated from a comic book character of the same name. The comic’s creator, Matthew Furie, has repeatedly denounced white supremacists’ use of the character. Pepe is a versatile character whose smile is used to demonstrate ill intent in a wide variety of hate memes. Pepe’s face is often adapted to become an offensive caricature.
Alterations of Pepe based on Canadian iconography originated on the /pol board of 4Chan. Pepes imposed with Canadian flags or merged with visual representations of Canadian stereotypes are used to represent extremism, the alt-right, or 4Chan users in Canada.
Pepe sometimes appears in memes that are not hateful. For example, in 2019 Hong Kong activists used Pepe as a mascot for pro-democracy demonstrations. However, non-hateful uses of this symbol are uncommon in Canada.
Distinctly branded line of sunglasses, often used as part of an unofficial uniform of white nationalist movements. Pit Vipers are used in hate memes, often alongside other contextual symbols like skull masks, to represent white supremacist accelerationism. Pit Vipers are popular sunglasses within subcultures outside of hate movements. Their use is not explicitly hateful, and the company has denounced the use of their products by hate groups.
The Red Ensign was the civil ensign, nautical ensign, and unofficial flag for Canada from 1892 until 1965. In recent years, the Red Ensign has become a frequent fixture of rallies organized by hate groups, who view it as a symbol of Canada’s pre-multicultural and colonial past. Many memes referencing the Red Ensign often feature modified versions of the flag, for example by changing its colours.
Like other Canadian flags that have been appropriated, the Red Ensign is not an inherently hateful symbol. Context must be taken into account when evaluating its appearance.
Roman statues are used by followers of fascist movements and white nationalists to convey artistic achievement in a “Western” society. Roman architecture and art are also used to represent white nationalism under the false pretense that Rome was a white ethnostate. Roman statues are most commonly represented in neofascist movements in Fashwave images and as display pictures on social media. Roman statues were used in vaporwave imagery before their appropriation in fashwave.
In “Siege Culture”, an accelerationist neo-Nazi subculture, “sainthood” refers to an expanding pantheon of historic murderers who are treated as icons. The reverence of these figures is an accelerationist tactic used to inspire potential killings in the future. The practice was inspired by Siege’s calls for neo-Nazis to look for Charles Manson for inspiration. Although Manson and most other “saints” were influenced by white supremacy, mass murders in the name of other far-right ideologies - most often anti-governement and incel killings - are sometimes considered to be worthy of “sainthood”, as they benefit the movement’s goals. Memes praising “saints” such as Timothy Mcveigh, Ted Kaczynski, Anders Breivik, Dylann Roof, and Brenton Tarrant - as well as the days in which their murders were committed - are common in accelerationist neo-Nazi social media spaces.
Balaclavas and bandanas displaying the lower jaw of a skull over the wearer’s mouth, often dubbed ‘skull masks’, are the unofficial uniform of the modern far-right accelerationism movement. Their use in extremist circles was popularized by white supremacist groups associated with the Iron March Network, such as Atomwaffen Division, who featured it extensively in their propaganda.
In memes, they can be added to characters as an endorsement of far-right accelerationism, or to signify one’s status as an extremist. Despite their widespread use by white supremacist groups, skull masks are sometimes used in non-hateful video games and as part of Halloween costumes.
Also appears as: Echoes, ((( )))
Triple Brackets Three sets of parentheses, also known as “echoes”, are used on social media and online forums and applied to words describing a person or people to communicate in a derogatory manner that they are Jewish. They’re also sometimes used to imply that a non-Jewish target is secretly or unknowingly Jewish. The meme began as a verbal indication of a subject’s Jewish heritage on far right podcasts, and quickly became textual through parentheses.
Before widespread popularity, triple parentheses were an alternative to antisemitic slurs that avoided online hate speech sensors. Since becoming a well-known hate symbol, Jewish social media users have appropriated the triple parentheses as a positive symbol of Jewish pride.
Also known as: Tiwaz Rune
The Tyr Rune is an appropriated symbol that was widely used in Nazi Germany and was adopted by a Waffen-SS unit. The symbol is associated with a pagan God by the same name, and is used by neo-pagans in worship. Not all uses of the Tyr rune are hateful, and context has to be carefully taken into account.
White Boy Summer
White Boy Summer was a slogan coined by actor/rapper Chet Hanks in 2021 to celebrate a summer with fewer COVID-19 restrictions in the United States. Though not hateful in intent, the slogan has been co-opted by white nationalists, oftentimes to celebrate what they view as victories for the white race or in opposition to the Black Lives Matter Summer in 2020. The term came to such prominence that it is often referenced without the use of text. It is often used in conjunction with other symbols like Pit Viper sunglasses or a Burger King crown.
The Wolfsangel symbol was traditionally used on German family coats of arms. It is said to be based on the design of a Germanic wolf trap. It was adopted by Nazi Germany and notably used on the insignias of many military divisions.
The Wolfsangel’s use predates fascism. Its appearance is not always explicitly hateful, but it should be viewed with suspicion. It continues to be a popular symbol in neo-Nazi movements. It is currently the centerpiece of the insignia alongside a Sonnenrad for the Azov Special Operations Detachment, a contingent of the Ukrainian National Guard associated with neo-Nazism. The Wolfsangel is also used in emblems for groups such as Aryan Nations and is a common neo-Nazi tattoo.
Internet Memes with Hateful Uses
Anton Chigurh is the antagonist in the 2007 film No Country for Old Men, portrayed by Javier Bardem who has become a meme character. Chigurh memes find use in hateful contexts, where they can be used to express disillusion with the current state of the world and to celebrate or encourage violence, reflecting the actions of the character in the film.
Art Hoe Wojak
Art Hoe Wojak is a meme character depicting a young woman, typically sporting red hair, round frame glasses, and a choker necklace. The character embodies a stereotypical, university-aged, politically progressive young woman, and it is sometimes used in dehumanizing and misogynistic memes that mock women who do not conform to traditional gendered expectations and roles.
Day of the Rake/The Leaf
A meme referencing the Day of the Rope that originated on 4chan, where “leaf” is slang for a Canadian user. Day of the Rake memes are an ironic call for violence against Canadians, often invoking imagery of leaves being burned or scattered.
Gigachad is a meme character based on a series of heavily modified greyscale photographs by Russian photographer Krista Sudmalis. Similar to Yes Chad, Gigachad is used to express support or praise for one’s politics or actions in some hateful memes. The Gigachad is also used in non-hateful contexts to satirize an “optimized”, or efficient and productive person.
The character often personifies a extreme perception of traditional masculinity. For example, within incel communities Gigachad can be used to represent genetic superiority and desirability. White supremacists sometimes use Gigachad as an avatar for themselves, their movement, or white men more generally.
Joker is a villain from the Batman franchise. The character is often depicted in various movies, television shows, and comics as a nihilistic, destructive, and violent figure. He is used as a meme character in hateful contexts to express discontent with the world, sometimes to celebrate or encourage acts of political violence. There are numerous meme formats that include the Joker character, not all of which are inherently hateful. Context and conveyed message need to be carefully considered when evaluating such memes.
An example of the Joker being used as a hateful meme character was when it was coopted by Gamers Rise Up, a movement that started as a satirization of Gamergate that relied on using alt-right tropes and aesthetics, and which openly spread hate speech.
A meme that emerged from 4chan using food price disinformation to promote an accelerationist collapse narrative. Memes that included Lord Humungous, a minor character from Mad Max 2 (1981), challenge users to post real food prices. Although the character Lord Humungous and the narrative are not inherently antisemitic, they are sometimes posted alongside antisemitic content.
Mommy E-Thot is a meme character that is often depicted with a frustrated face and dressed in a tank top adorned with her name. Her likeness suggests a condemnation of perceived promiscuity, and is used in hateful memes to promote misogyny, particularly against sex workers.
NPC (Non-Playable Character)
NPC (Non-Playable Character) memes emerged in 2016 on 4Chan. In video games, an NPC is a character that the player interacts with, but cannot play as. NPCs often have limited vocabularies, and exist for the main character to interact with and forward their story. Calling someone an NPCs is an insult used to dehumanize people by representing them as unimportant, irrelevant, and unoriginal. In hate speech, this intentionally dehumanizes the target. In far-right online spaces, NPCs are used to depict people who embrace progressive political beliefs or those uninitiated into online culture.
Also appears as: Nu-Male Mouth or Cuckface
Soyjak is a version of a Wojak meme, often used to mock participants in niche subcultures. In far-right hate memes, soyjaks represent men that are portrayed as less masculine than they are, including “soyboys” and “white knights”. In the collection of websites, blogs, and forums promoting toxic masculinity and misogyny known as the manosphere, this often means “beta” or “omega” males, who they believe are inferior to “alpha” and “sigma” males.
Soyjaks, along with the “soy boy” stereotype they represent in web comics, are a fictitious and theoretical lower class of men. Rather than traditionally masculine tropes like “Chads,” soy boys are often negatively associated with femininity, homosexuality, and gender fluidity. In far-right online spaces the caricature is used to represent the emotional expression of men made to be emasculated. There are variations of the Soyjak meme with different facial expressions, such as variations of an open-mouthed smile known as “soy face.”
Also appears as: Tradgirl
Tradwife is a meme character exemplifying the concept of a woman with a preference for traditional gender roles. Though the concept itself is not hateful, it is a central trope for many hateful ideologies which promote a strict adherence to traditionalism. In hateful memes, Tradwife is often used to provide a positive contrast to Mommy E-Thot characters, which are more often than not depicted as promiscuous and immoral.
Also appears as: Feels Guy
Wojak is a meme character portraying a bald man with a sad facial expression. It is often used to represent negative or melancholy feelings. The simple template of Wojak has resulted in numerous variations and iterations, and the character has numerous non-hateful uses, but it does also regularly appear in hateful spaces.
Also appears as: Nordic Gamer
Yes Chad is a meme comic character used to represent “Chads” in web comics and is most often representative of a stubborn, hypermasculine indifference or evasion in response to criticism. In hateful memes, this criticism is usually moral opposition to bigotry. Traditionally, Yes Chad responds to long text blocks from other characters, including NPCs, Wojaks, and Soyjaks, by saying “yes”. He is usually blond-haired and blue-eyed and in a specific context can represent white men specifically. Variations are sometimes used to represent specific ethnicities, and often serve to reinforce and promote existing stereotypes or racial hierarchies.
Contemporary Canadian Hate Groups
Atalante is a Québec City-based far-right skinhead group that promotes a worldview deeply rooted in white nationalism. Members of Atalante have been linked to acts of physical violence against individuals they deemed to be ‘anti-fascists’. The group is well known for participating in stunts, putting up posters and sometimes engaging in acts of charity in order to attract public support. The group’s leader was convicted of breaking and entering and mischief in 2022, years after performing a stunt targeting a Vice journalist who had written about Atalante.
Canada First is a white supremacist group which developed as an offshoot of the American Groyper movement. Deeply rooted in Internet culture, the group actively promotes the radicalization of young people’ in order to bring about a white ethnostate in Canada. Memes are a key tool in this process. The term Canada First signifies their opposition to all forms of immigration, and regularly invokes antisemitic dog whistles about ‘globalist’ influence over Canadian politics. Canada First members were active participants in the Ottawa Freedom Convoy. One member had previously been charged with assault with a weapon after throwing gravel at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
‘Canada First’ is also a slogan that predates the group. This slogan has also been adapted into a variety of different symbols, most notably the Canada First flag, which features the letters C and F in large bolded script and a maple leaf inside of the C.
Canadian Nationalist Party
The Canadian Nationalist Party (CNP) is a neo-Nazi and white supremacist political party that was founded in 2017. The CNP opposes the Canadian Multiculturalism Act and proposes defunding pride parades and establishing a mandatory national curriculum based on “European and Christian values.” The CNP regularly uses fascist imagery in their materials. In 2019 the CNP achieved registered federal party status from Elections Canada, and has since run candidates in the 2019 and 2021 elections. In 2021 the CNP’s leader was arrested by the RCMP and charged with the wilful promotion of hate, for which he was sentenced to a year in prison.
Diagolon refers to a network of Canadian far-right activists formed around a collective of antisemitic streamers. It also refers to a fictional country spanning from Alaska to Florida, envisioned as a tongue-in-cheek symbol for political jurisdictions with fewer COVID-related public health restrictions.
Diagolon’s ideologues espouse antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, homophobia, and misogyny. The network is influenced by firearms culture, militia movements, and accelerationist movements. Diagolon is represented in a number of symbols, the most prevalent of which is "Ol' Slashy", a black flag with a white diagonal stripe from the top left to the bottom right.
The Hammerskins are an international group that started in the United States in 1988 as a Nazi skinhead gang. They are one of the oldest white supremacist skinhead groups in North America, and have had a presence in Canada since founding. They are associated primarily with racist rock music, and individual members have been involved in numerous violent attacks and hate crimes. Hammerskins are still active in Canada.
La Meute (the wolf pack) is an Islamophobic hate group founded in 2015, which grew in the wake of public fears regarding asylum seekers in the latter half of the 2010s. One of the most visible groups participating in a series of demonstrations at the infamous ‘Roxham Road’ border crossing, the group eventually fell apart due to infighting. Prominent members of the group have gone on to be active in the anti-mask and anti-vaccination movement during the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent months, there have been rumors of an attempted comeback, though this has yet to materialize in a meaningful way.
National Citizen's Alliance
The National Citizen’s Alliance is a minor federal political party that promotes white nationalist, nativist, and Islamophobic conspiracy theories. The party has unsuccessfully run candidates in several recent elections.
Historical Canadian Hate Groups
Church of the Creator
The Church of the Creator, or “Creativity,” is a white supremacist religious movement and hate group founded in the United States in 1973, and which had Canadian branches in the 1980s and 1990s. Members believed in a “racial holy war” between white people and other demographics. The Church of the Creator isn’t active in Canada anymore, but U.S. branches of the movement are.
The Heritage Front was a Canadian neo-Nazi organization founded in 1989 by former members of the Nationalist Party of Canada and disbanded around 2005. The organization ran a telephone message line that spread hate speech, and brought infamous far-right figures into Canada to speak. It had close ties to a number of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups in Canada and the United States. Though disbanded, some prominent Heritage Front affiliates are still active in Canada’s far-right.
Ku Klux Klan
The Ku Klux Klan is a name given to several far-right and white supremacist secret societies that emerged after the American Civil War. Far more popular in the United States, the KKK had moments of popularity in Saskatchewan and Ontario in the 1920s, when primarily Catholic and Jewish immigrants were perceived as threatening to Canadian culture. There have been several concurrent Klan organizations operating in Canada throughout the 20th century. There was an attempted revival of the KKK in the 1970s, and today it has a fringe following, occasionally appearing alongside other white nationalist organizations. Some Canadian Klans also used their own logo alongside the Blood Drop Cross, often based on a maple leaf. Though the Klan is not reportedly active in Canada today, people unaffiliated with any KKK organization occasionally use Klan imagery to intimidate.
National Social Christian Party
The National Social Christian Party was a fascist political organization formed by Adrien Arcand in Québec in 1934. After its founding it quickly merged with the Winnipeg-based Canadian Nationalist Party. The party’s ideology was a mix of Italian fascist corporatism, Nazi antisemitism, and Catholic clerical nationalism. The party ceased to exist in 1938 when it merged into the National Unity Party.
National Unity Party
The National Unity Party formed in Kingston, Ontario in 1938 out of a merger between several Francophone and Anglophone fascist parties. It was led by Adrien Arcand, and its logo substituted the Swastika of Arcand’s earlier party for a flame. Members of the NUP were interned under the War Measures Act by the Canadian government in 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War. Although uncommon, National Unity Party publications have been referenced and shared in modern online neo-Nazi spaces.
Samisdat Publishers was a small Canadian neo-Nazi publishing house founded in 1977 by notorious Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel. It was active primarily in the 1970s and 1980s, and published primarily Holocaust denial and pro-Nazi material. Today Samisdat publications and videos continue to exist on fringe and archival websites.
Western Guard Party
The Western Guard Party was a white supremacist group founded in 1972, emerging from the far-right Edmund Burke Society. The organization was involved in violence and plots in the 1970s, and dissolved in the 1980s as members left to join other groups.
White Aryan Resistance (WAR)
White Aryan Resistance was a white supremacist and neo-Nazi organization founded by a former Ku Klux Klan leader in 1980. In 1993 the group expanded into Canada, and its leader was arrested and deported by Canadian authorities. WAR is no longer active, but their symbols are still occasionally used in far right contexts.
These lists are continually updated, and should not be considered comprehensive. Suggestions for future inclusions can be sent to neuberger [at] ujafed.org.
French translations of each symbol will be available in November 2022.