Group Status: Current
Vanguard America is a small neo-Nazi group, one of several new neo-Nazi groups composed primarily of young white men that emerged as a byproduct of the rise of the alt right segment of the white supremacist movement. The group started in 2016 in California as American Vanguard but changed its name to Vanguard America in early 2017.
The group focused its energy on spreading racist flyers and posters, especially on college campuses. Vanguard America also took part in live events, including the August 2017 Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where its contingent was highly visible. James Fields, the white supremacist convicted of murdering anti-racist demonstrator Heather Heyer at that event, was photographed there carrying a Vanguard America shield, though he was not an actual member of the group.
In the wake of Charlottesville, the group splintered, with many members leaving to form a new group, Patriot Front. In early 2018, more Vanguard America members deserted the group to form the National Socialist Legion, leaving Vanguard America much smaller than it had been a year earlier. Because of the defections, Vanguard America activity has decreased drastically; it may not last much longer.