A common hand gesture that a 4chan trolling campaign claimed in 2017 had been appropriated as a symbol meaning "white power." Used by many on the right--not just extremists--for the purpose of trolling liberals, the symbol eventually came to be used by actual white supremacists as well. Caution must be used in evaluating instances of this symbol's use.
White supremacists, primarily on the West Coast, may use a two-handed hand sign consisting of one hand showing or flashing two fingers and the other hand showing or flashing three fingers. Together, they signify the number 23, a numeric symbol for W ("White"). This itself is often shorthand for the numeric symbol 23/16, which stands for "White Power." Additional Images:
One of the most popular white supremacist symbols is the numeric symbol 88, which stands for "Heil Hitler" (substituting letters for numbers, 88 means HH, i.e., "Heil Hitler"). It is thus not surprising that white supremacists occasionally attempt to display 88 as a hand sign. It is not a very common white supremacist hand sign, probably because it involves some dexterity and effort. Additional Images:
The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT), a large and violent racist prison gang, uses a hand symbol consisting of a raised index finger and raised ring and little fingers (or the reverse), signifying the numbers 1 and 2. Substituting letters for numbers 1 and 2 stand for A and B, or Aryan Brotherhood. Sometimes ABT members may use a two-handed variation in which one hand "throws up" one digit and the other hand (belonging to the same or a different person) "throws up" two digits, again signifying…
The Aryan Circle is one of the largest white supremacist prison gangs in the United States. Its primary hand sign consists of holding up the thumb and the middle, ring, and little fingers of one hand, signifying the numbers 1 and 3 (which stand for AC). One can also hold up the little finger and the middle and index fingers, plus the thumb.
ALTERNATE NAMES: Bolts Up, Bolts to the SkyThe largest white supremacist prison gang in Tennessee is Aryan Nations (a different group than the neo-Nazi group of the same name). Aryan Nations gang members use a hand sign they sometimes refer to as "bolts up" or "bolts to the sky," consisting of forming the hand into a pistol shape and pointing it upwards or outwards. Additional Images:
ALTERNATE NAMES: Bolts Up, Bolts to the Sky
ALTERNATE NAMES: Nazi SaluteThe Nazi or Hitler salute debuted in Nazi Germany in the 1930s as a way to pay homage to Adolf Hitler. It consists of raising an outstretched right arm with the palm down. In Nazi Germany, it was often accompanied by chanting or shouting "Heil Hitler" or "Sieg Heil." Since World War II, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists have continued to use the salute, making it the most common white supremacist hand sign in the world. Additional Images:
ALTERNATE NAMES: Nazi Salute
From its beginnings in the 1860s, the Ku Klux Klan has employed a variety of salutes and hand signs both public and private. Most of the hand signs and gestures used by the first and second Ku Klux Klans have fallen by the wayside over the years, except for the Klan salute, which dates back to 1915. It resembles a Nazi salute (which some Klan members will also use), except that it is performed with the left arm. Often Klan members will separate the fingers of their hand when making the salute …
The term "peckerwood" originated as a racial epithet directed at whites. Today, it has been adopted by adherents of the white supremacist prison gang subculture, especially in southern and western states, to refer to themselves. The handsign for "peckerwood" consists of forming the thumb, index finger and middle finger of one hand to form the letter "P," and the four fingers of the other hand to form the letter "W." This is especially common in California, where peckerwood street…
The Solid Wood Soldiers are a Texas-based white supremacist prison gang. Their primary tattoo consists of the initials SWS, with the two S's represented by lightning bolts. Above the initials appears the image of a bear claw, with the number 4 in the middle and sometimes the letters HCRL.
In the 2000s, white supremacists created a handsign intended to memorialize the Schutzstaffeln or SS of Nazi Germany, Hitler's secret police, political army, and concentration camp guards. The handsign utilizes both hands to make a lightning bolt symbol, as a pair of lightning bolts was the main symbol of the SS. Additional Images:
The Supreme White Alliance is a hardcore racist skinhead gang based primarily in the Midwest. Members sometimes use a two-handed handsign in which four fingers from one hand and three fingers from the other hand are used to represent the number 43. The gang uses 43 as a numeric symbol because the alphanumeric equivalents of the gang's initials (19 for S, 23 for W, and 1 for A), when added together, equal 43.
Members of the white supremacist group Volksfront have used several handsigns to represent their gang. A common one-handed sign features the fingers of the right hand divided into a "V" shape, often held over the chest. A two-handed sign uses one hand to make a "V" shape (using two or four fingers) and the other hand to make the shape of the letter "F."