Decoding the Far-Right Symbols at the Capitol Riot

The iconography of the American far right was on display on Jan 6. during the violence at the Capitol. The dizzying array of symbols, slogans and images was, to many Americans, a striking aspect of the unrest, revealing an alternate political universe where violent extremists, outright racists and conspiracy theorists march side by side with evangelical Christians, suburban Trump supporters and young men who revel in making memes to “own the libs.”

Uniting them is a loyalty to Mr. Trump and a firm belief in his false and discredited insistence that the election was stolen. The absurdity of many images — the patches that read “Zombie Outbreak Response Team,” for instance — only masked a devotion that inspired hundreds from the crowd to mount a deadly attack on Congress.

“It’s often all a caricature — it looks like military fan fiction — until it’s not and it crosses a very dangerous line,” said Joan Donovan, the research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

“It’s funny until it’s scary,” she said.

These are some of the groups and their insignia. …

By Matthew Rosenberg and Ainara Tiefenthäler

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