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Nazi and neo-Nazi flags in the United Kingdom

Flags of Extremist Groups

Last modified: 2016-06-03 by rob raeside
Keywords: neonazi | celtic cross | british people's party | november 9th society |
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Image by Randy Young, 26 February 2015
The "Sunwheel Flag" is used by several British extremist groups

On this page: See also:

Introduction: United Kingdom Extremist Groups

When attempting to trace the development of extremist groups in the United Kingdom one runs into a quagmire of similarly named groups that appear and disappear regularly, only to just reappear under another name. Many are formed for a short period of time, some to participate in a single demonstration or event before disappearing, renaming themselves, or simply disbanding. Many of the individuals forming new groups are those that formed previous defunct groups, simply reinventing themselves to continue spreading their extremist beliefs. In the process their leaders clash, sometimes violently, and many times divide into multiple splinter groups. In the process they leave behind websites, many abandoned, and a huge collection of logos and flags. Most of the groups are fairly small in size, but by changing their names, they manage to appear to be more widespread than they actually are. They borrow from each other and previous groups, use similar historical and mythological symbols, all in attempts to justify their legitimacy. Many of their websites are commercial in nature providing a rich supply of hate and racist materials designed to attract the young, the uninformed, and the gullible. Be aware that the flags and groups represented here are only done so to provide an academic record of the flags and that in no way do we support their beliefs.
Pete Loeser, 27 February 2015


Union Jack with Swastika
Imperial Fascist League (IFL)

[Union Jack with swastika] Image by Thierry Gilabert

This flag was used in 1938 during a pro-nazi demonstration in England. Does anyone know any more about it?
Thierry Gilabert

Back in 1997 I saw an old photo with people holding this flag reproduced in Newsweek magazine. One thing is certain: it was never used again, this design having no current nor previous currency, and it was not the flag of the British Union of Fascists.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 7 November 2003

The source of this flag was a picture taken in 1938 in London in a pro-nazi-demonstration. I saw this picture in a textbook about the British Isles before and during WWII. The flag is in the center of the picture, and is exactly like the image here. In my opinion, it is not a flag of a fascist group, but the flag of pro-nazi demonstrators. I don't know if there is a organisation behind it, but the flag was real.
Thierry Gilabert 7 November 2003

You illustrate a flag featuring a Union flag (aka Union Jack) in the middle of which is a white roundel and black swastika. This is the emblem of the 'IMPERIAL FASCIST LEAGUE'; this British Fascist Movement was led by Arnold Spencer Leese and operated from 1928 until 1939.
John Millican, 21 February 2004

This was the flag of the Impertial Fascist League (IFL) a British Fascist movement led by Arnold Spencer Leese between 1928 until 1939. The IFL was a small group with never more than a few hundred members. They wore black shirts and were organized for street battles. Initially, they used the fasces as a symbol, but adopted the swastika superimposed on the Union Flag after Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany.
The group was in harsh competition with the British Union of Fascists, and more than once there were street battles between the two extremist groups. Eventually, the BUF proved too strong, and by 1939, the IFL had largely disappeared. Their flag regained brief notoriety when a picture of it being used in a 1938 pro-nazi demonstration in London was re-published in a 1997 edition of Newsweek magazine. The IFL flag variant, modified with text, was adopted by the new National Socialist Movement - Britanna (NSM).
Pete Loeser from "Historical Flags of Our Ancestors", 27 February 2015


National Socialist Movement 88 - Britannia

Image by Tomislav Todorovic

The former flag of the Imperial Fascist League seems to be currently used by the National Socialist Movement Britannia, a group sponsored by a similarly named neo-Nazi movement from the USA, but no photo of this flag in use was seen so far; only two images can be found. The images include the abbreviation NSM (the first image) or NSM88 (the second image) above the disc with the swastika and the word BRITANNIA (both images) beneath the disc. Considering that they don't have a uniform look, it still remains to be verified if this is more than just a flagoid.
Tomislav Todorovic, 31 January 2010

I am now able to verify that the flag is indeed in use by its then-supposed user: National Socialist Movement Britannia - sometimes called National Socialist Movement 88 Britannia - describes itself as the British division of the National Socialist Movement (also called National Socialist Movement 88), a neo-Nazi movement based in the USA. Its flag is derived from the Union Flag by adding to its center a large white disc charged with a black swastika, the abbreviation NSM88 above the disc and the word BRITANNIA beneath the disc. The swastika has a double fimbriation in black and white, and both inscriptions are in white letters fimbriated black. Unlike the flag image from the site which shows the flag with the ratio 1:2, the flag whose real-life use was verified has the ratio 2:3. It is shown in a video clip posted on YouTube (see address below as National Socialist Movement - Britannia Variant). The flag appears at 2:04-2:29, on the wall behind the speaker.
Tomislav Todorovic, 26 June 2011

There were two groups calling themselves the National Socialist Movement in the United Kingdom, one group (NSM - Britannia) formed in 1962 by Colin Jordan as a splinter group from the British National Party, and the other (NSM 88 United Kingdom), dating from 1997, formed by David Myatt who split from the earlier British neo-Nazi group Combat 18. Both groups used variants of the defunct Imperial Fascist League flag. There doesn't seem to be any connection between the two splinter groups, except their neo-Nazi extremist and racist beliefs and their names. The group formed by Colin Jordan tried to organize an armed wing called Spearhead, but was shut down by the police and the membership fled to other extremist groups.
The newer of the two groups taking up the banner of the NSM in the United Kingdom formed when the original leader of Combat 18, Charlie Sargent, was charged for murdering fellow C18 member Chris Castle. Sargent's brother Steve Sargent, together with David Myatt, formed the new National Socialist Movement, sometimes referred to as NSM88, in June of 1997. The NSM was not widely known until in 1999 when it was disclosed that the London nail-bomber, David Copeland, was a NSM member. Copeland received six life sentences for his murderous bombings of London's black, Asian, and gay communities that killed three and injured 127 more people.
Today, under the leadership of a "Corporal John," the NSM88 website claims they are "...defending the rights of white people everywhere, preservation of our European culture and heritage, strengthening family values, economic self-sufficiency, reform of illegal immigration policies, immediate withdrawal of our national military from an illegal Middle Eastern occupation and promotion of white separation."
Pete Loeser, from "Historical Flags of Our Ancestors", 27 February 2015

National Socialist Movement - Britannia Variant

Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 27 February 2015

This variant of the National Socialist Movement - Britannia Flag (as described by Tomislav Todorovic in his posting of 26 June 2011) is shown with black lettering instead of white in this YouTube video clip.
Pete Loeser, 27 February 2015


The British Movement (BM)
British National Socialist Movement (BNSM)

Image by Tomislav Todorovic
(This flag was also later used by the British National Party - Ed.)

The British Movement (BM) was founded in 1968, by the former members of the National Socialist Movement, a similar organization (founded in 1962) which ceased to exist earlier same year [1, 2]. Active all through the 1970's, the group collapsed in early 1980's, but managed to survive until present time [1]. Its flag is blue, charged with a red sun cross, or "sunwheel", on a white disc [3, 4, 5, 6]. The armbands with the same design have also been used [3].

Image by Tomislav Todorovic

There is also a ceremonial flag, or banner, for vertical hoisting, called the "Honour Standard". Charged with white inscription BRITAIN AWAKE above and beneath the disc and white fringes all around, it is usually flown from the staff with the crossbar, with sunwheel as the finial and a plate, charged with another sunwheel between the initials B and M, attached beneath it [7, 8, 9], but there are also examples of its use without the staff, as a hand-held flag [10]. A similar banner was used by the National Socialist Movement, only with much more oblong form, much larger disc and fringes only along the fly edge [11]. The finial was the same and accompanied with a similar plate, charged with the inscription N.S.M. [11], which identifies the flag user and proves that the British Movement inherited it from its predecessor.
Sources:
[1] British Movement on Wikipedia
[2] National Socialist Movement on Wikipedia
[3] Hope Not Hate blog (WARNING: some photos show people displaying Roman salute)
[4] Photo #1 of British Movement members with flags
[5] Photo #2 of British Movement members with flags
[6] Photo #3 of British Movement members with flags
[7] The Daily Agenda website
[8] Photo #1 of the "Honour Standard"
[9] Photo #2 of the "Honour Standard"
[10] Photo #3 of the "Honour Standard"
[11] Photo of the National Socialist Movement banner.
Tomislav Todorovic, 26 February 2015


British People's Party

[Celtic Cross neo-nazi flag] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 31 January 2010

This symbol was used by neo-nazi groups in the UK in the early sixties (and probably still is).
anon.

The red flag with a black Celtic cross on the white field is the official flag of the British People's Party (BPP), a neo-Nazi movement founded in 2005, and is identified as such at their website: www.bpp.org.uk/flags.html. The size of cross may vary and the letters BPP in white may be added to the flag, as can be seen at the Antifa England News website: www.antifa.org.uk/nucleus3.32/nucleus332/index.php?itemid=86.
The same flag is also used by other neo-Nazi groups, such as the White Nationalist Party or Combat 18, as shown in an article at the Indymedia Ireland website: www.indymedia.ie/article/64287, which describes how the anti-Fascists from Portrush, North Ireland, had confronted a group of neo-Nazis who apparently were members of both organizations mentioned above, forced them to run away and captured their flag and the promoting material they intended to distribute there.
Tomislav Todorovic, 31 January 2010


November 9th Society

[November 9th Society flag] Image by Tomislav Todorovic, 31 January 2010

The November 9th Society (N9S) was founded in 1977. It claimed to have chosen its name in memory of the date in 1923 - the second day of Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, when 16 Nazis were killed - while its opponents claimed that the real date behind the name was the one in 1938 - the Crystal Night, often thought to be the actual beginning of the Holocaust; the organization denied this, although its anti-Semitism implied that the name was indeed chosen in memory of both dates. In 2007, the organization was transformed into the British First Party, which uses completely different symbols, typical for British far right, but without direct associations with the Nazism.

Source: Wikipedia page about November 9th Society and British First Party: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_9th_Society.
The flag of November 9th Society was derived from the Nazi flag by replacing the swastika with Roman numeral IX. Some items charged with its image are still offered for sale from the party Web shop, such as a patch with the national and movement flags with crossed staffs: www.britishfreestore.co.uk/images/crossedflags.jpg. The numeral shown there is a bit distorted so as to fit better in the image of a waving flag. The attached image is based on another image, which had made the part of a website which was closed before this text was written.
Tomislav Todorovic, 31 January 2010