Hate group

Flags commonly used by hate groups include: Celtic cross flag, Nazi flag, Confederate battle flag and SS flag
Examples of hate group symbols:
  1. the white nationalist Celtic cross
  2. the Odal rune
  3. the Aryan fist
  4. the Iron Cross with the Nazi Hakenkreuz
  5. the SS Sig runes
  6. the SS Totenkopf

A hate group is a social group that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, nation, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other designated sector of society. According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a hate group's "primary purpose is to promote animosity, hostility, and malice against persons belonging to a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin which differs from that of the members of the organization."[1]


In the US, The FBI does not publish a list of hate groups, and it also says that "[I]nvestigations are only conducted when a threat or advocacy of force is made; when the group has the apparent ability to carry out the proclaimed act; and when the act would constitute a potential violation of federal law". The FBI maintains statistics on hate crimes.[2]

Two private American non-profit organizations that monitor intolerance and hate groups are the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)[3] and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).[4] They maintain lists of what they deem to be hate groups, supremacist groups and anti-Semitic, anti-government or extremist groups that have committed hate crimes. The SPLC's definition of a "hate group" includes any group with beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people—particularly when the characteristics being maligned are immutable.[5] However, at least for the SPLC, inclusion of a group in the list "does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity."[6] According to USA Today, their list ranges from "white supremacists to black nationalists, neo-Nazis to neo-Confederates."[7]

According to the SPLC, from 2000 to 2008, hate group activity saw a 50 percent increase in the US, with a total of 926 active groups.[8] In 2019, the organization's report showed a total of 1,020 hate groups, the highest number in 20 years, and a 7% increase from 2017 to 2018. The previous high was 1,018 in 2011, and the recent low point was 2014, when the list included 784 groups. A rise in white nationalist groups from 100 in 2017 to 148 in 2018 was the most significant increase in the 2019 report.[7]

Since 2010 the term alt-right, short for "alternative right," has come into usage.[9][10] This broad term includes a range of people who reject mainstream conservatism in favor of forms of conservatism that may embrace implicit or explicit racism or white supremacy. The alt-right is described as being "a weird mix of old-school neo-Nazis, conspiracy theorists, anti-globalists, and young right-wing internet trolls—all united in the belief that white male identity is under attack by multicultural, "politically correct" forces."[11]