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‘Camp Auschwitz’ just one of hate symbols on display at Capitol



(JTA) The sweatshirt, spotted amid the mob that stormed the United States Capitol, seemed designed to provoke fear.

“Camp Auschwitz”, it read, along with the message, “Work brings freedom” – a rough translation of the message that greeted Jewish prisoners at the infamous Nazi concentration camp.

A photo of the man wearing the sweatshirt was just one of the images of hateful symbols that have circulated from the mob, whose violence led to four deaths and wreaked havoc on Congress. Confederate flags and nooses were among the overt hate signs that the insurrection brought into the Capitol.

Other slogans – on flags, clothing, or signs – were code for a gamut of conspiracy theories and extremist ideologies. Here’s what you need to know about them.

QAnon slogans

Several members of the mob wore or carried signs invoking the pro-Donald Trump QAnon conspiracy theory, which is laced with antisemitism. QAnon, which began in 2017 and has gained millions of adherents, falsely alleges that an elite cabal of paedophiles, run by Democrats, is plotting to harvest the blood of children and take down Trump. Trump has praised the movement and espoused its baseless ideas.

Here are some of the QAnon symbols present in the Capitol last Wednesday.


“Q” represents the purported high-ranking government official who shares inside information with QAnon followers through cryptic posts on fringe websites.

Trust the plan

As Q’s supposed predictions have proven false over the years, including the election of Joe Biden, which Q predicted wouldn’t happen, many QAnon followers became disillusioned. Others told them to “trust the plan”, and place their faith in QAnon’s theories.

Save the children

Messaging related to saving children is a core tenet of QAnon. In a photo, a woman is seen carrying a sign saying, “The children cry out for justice”, referencing children who QAnon conspiracists falsely believe have been abducted by Democrats and progressives, including Jewish billionaire financier George Soros.


Prominent Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis were part of the Capitol mob. A far-right activist known as Baked Alaska livestreamed from inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Another extremist, Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist who leads the far-right Groyper Army, was said to be in the room with him. Fuentes denies this, but was outside the Capitol last Wednesday.

The Neo-Nazi group NSC-131 also joined the insurrection, according to reporter Hilary Sargent. NSC stands for Nationalist Social Club and has small regional chapters in the US and abroad. The 131 division is from New England.

Confederate flags and nooses

Other flags on display were also associated with long histories of white supremacy. At least one protester carried a Confederate battle flag into the Capitol building. Meanwhile, nooses – a prominent symbol of racist violence – were placed outside.

In one instance, after members of the mob started destroying camera equipment from theAssociated Press, they made a noose out of the cords, according to BuzzFeed News reporter Paul McLeod.

Anti-government militia symbols

Flags bearing the phrase “when tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty” (a version of a quote dubiously attributed to Thomas Jefferson) and the Roman numeral III were also seen.

“III” is the logo of the Three Percenters, also known as the III% militia, an anti-government militia founded in response to the election of President Barack Obama. The ADL defines the Three Percenters as “extremists who are part of the militia movement”.

Another symbol favoured by militias is a coiled snake above the phrase, “Don’t Tread on Me”, known as the Gadsden flag, which symbolises support for gun rights and individual liberties. The symbol, emblazoned on a flag, has been used as well by the Boogaloo Bois, a loose affiliate of anti-government militias.

The Oath Keepers, an anti-government group like the Three Percenters, according to the ADL, were in DC and at a similar protest in Arizona last week.

Proud Boys

Members of the Proud Boys, the violent far-right group that Trump told to “stand back and stand by” during a September presidential debate, wear black-and-yellow Fred Perry polo shirts along with red “Make America Great Again” caps.

Kek flags

“Kek”, a phrase that has roots in online gaming, has taken on new meaning on the far-right. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Kek is the “‘deity’ of the semi-ironic ‘religion’ the white nationalist movement has created for itself online”. The word is used alongside the meme of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that has been appropriated as a mascot of white nationalists. The Kek flag resembles a Nazi war flag, with a Kek logo replacing the swastika and the colour green in place of red.

Crusader crosses

The shooter who committed the 2019 massacre at a New Zealand mosque appropriated symbols of the Crusades, and they’ve become popular with other far-right, ethnonationalist groups. The symbols, such as medieval-style helmets or Templar and crusader crosses, are meant to harken to an era of white, Christian wars against Muslims and Jews.

The Punisher

The Marvel comic anti-hero, The Punisher, has been adopted in recent years by white nationalists and neo-Nazis, to the dismay of its creator.


Anti-circumcision activists, also known as “intactivists” support banning all forms of circumcision. The intactivist movement often features anti-Jewish imagery. Last Wednesday’s demonstration featured protesters carrying anti-circumcision signs reading “circumcision is the mark of the beast of satan” and “outlaw satan’s circumcision”.

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