From “ white power ” to the glass of milk, understand the symbols associated with the far right – 03/25/2021 – World

During a Senate session on Wednesday (24), the international adviser to the Presidency of the Republic, Filipe Martins, was caught making gestures considered obscene and racist behind the back of the President of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco ( DEM-MG).

Reaching his thumb to his index finger, he kept the rest of his fingers outstretched and made repetitive movements with his hand next to his jacket.

The three outstretched fingers symbolize the letter “w”, a reference to the English word “white”. The circle formed represents the letter “p”, for the word “power”. In other words, the symbol is indicated as symbolizing “white power”.

Researchers who study the symbols on the far right say the gesture is used as a coded message in order to be able to identify oneself, the so-called “dog whistle” (dog whistle), in reference to the instrument that is not heard by humans, but can be picked up by dogs.

It is a communication strategy that involves codes and sends a message in which people in general take a certain meaning (in the case of “white power”, for example, the symbol can mean “ok”, or “will take into account. c. “), but a specific group understands the” secret “message.

These symbols are often used by the alternative right movement, short for ‘alternative right’, which is a reformulation of white supremacy by extremists – the term appeared in 2010 and started to gain momentum in 2016, particularly in the United States, according to the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), an American organization which monitors hate crimes. It is a racist or anti-Semitic ideology that believes that the mainstream right does not adequately defend the interests of whites.

Understand some of these symbols.


An aesthetic born out of a branch of electronic music in the early 2010s that was appropriated by the New Right – and there are those who call it fashwave, adding the word ‘fascist’ to it. The images, influenced by the 1980s and in colors reminiscent of neon, mix retro futurism and landscapes that seem to come out of science fiction. Nationalist slogans often accompany the images.

White power

The gesture of counselor Filipe Martins, who once symbolized “OK”, was appropriate, especially in the USA, as a symbol of “White Power”.

The three outstretched fingers symbolize the letter “w” (“white”) and the circle formed represents the letter “p”, for “power”.

According to the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), this supremacist connotation was born in 4Chan, a famous forum that brings together right-wing activists in 2017.

Glass of milk

Even in 2017, according to the ADL, the forums also broadcast the concept that white supremacists drank milk to show “white superiority.”

The alternative right justified the symbolism based on bogus articles that white people can digest lactose better than people of other races.

In Brazil, the subject was brought up last year, when President Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) drank a glass of milk during one of his weekly lives. The gesture was copied by his supporters.

Pepe the frog

Pepe is a cartoon character who has become a popular internet meme and originally doesn’t have racist or anti-Semitic overtones. It was only once again on forums like 4Chan and Reddit that people in the alt-right movement began to appropriate their image, adding hate speech to the frog.

ADL warns, therefore, that posting a Pepe meme does not mean that someone is advocating racist ideas, it is necessary to assess the context to see if it was used as a “dog whistle.” In 2016, the organization partnered with character creator Matt Furie to create the #SavePepe (save Pepe) campaign in an attempt to dissociate drawing from hate speech.


Another symbol that also arose out of the far-right meme culture on the internet is the flag of the fictional country Kekistan, which is said to be ruled by a deity called Kek.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which studies and fights intolerance in several states in the southern United States, the symbol is a way of making jokes about “progressive conservatives and hypocrites.” Kek would be a god of chaos and darkness, with the head of a frog.

The image is derived from the Nazi flag, but with the colors green and white and, instead of the swastika, brings the letters that form Kek. The flag was carried by supporters of former President Donald Trump when they invaded the United States Congress on January 6.

Gadsden Flag

Illustrated with a rattlesnake and considered one of the first American flags, it is today a symbol increasingly linked to the ultraconservatism of the USA.

Created by politician and general Christopher Gadsden in 1775, during the War of Independence, the flag was used at the time by the Continental Navy, established by George Washington in the midst of the conflict.

The snake, which then represented the thirteen colonies, appears curled up, as if ready to attack, which is confirmed by the motto “don’t step on me” (don’t step on me) at the bottom of the flag.

More recently, the flag has been adopted by conservatives in the Tea Party movement, having been used by advocates of programs like better access to arms, libertarianism and nationalism. She was also present with the invaders of the Capitol.

MP Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son, has previously been criticized for being photographed with Gadsden’s flag in the background. In the photo, he and two other people are wielding guns.


With various strands and definitions, the anti-fascist movement is at the heart of the struggle against authoritarian regimes, generally linked to the far right. The symbol has toured the world under the impetus of the demonstrations of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States after the assassination of George Floyd.

Then President Donald Trump came to call the movement a “terrorist group” – in Brazil, the antifa is also a movement against Bolsonarism. On the carpet, extremist groups began to use the original image with a red line crossing it.

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