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SPLC: Hate groups have long adopted symbols of U.S. history to promote white supremacy

As America prepares to celebrate the Fourth of July this week, the display of some of the nation’s earliest regalia has rekindled a debate about racist symbolism.

Under the guise of “heritage,” hate groups have long adopted symbols of early U.S. history while seeking to return to a time when all non-white people were viewed as subhuman and un-American.

Historically, white supremacists have used these symbols to hearken back to a time when black people were enslaved, while painting themselves alone as inheritors of the “true” American tradition.

More recently, white nationalist groups such as Patriot Front and the American Identity Movement (formerly Identity Evropa) have branded themselves in the trappings of Americana with the aim of creating a more marketable image for their dedication to creating an all-white nation.

Hate groups have co-opted historical U.S. symbols in a weak attempt at tearing down any progress we’ve made toward including people of all races, creeds and backgrounds as true Americans.

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