Group Status: Current
The National Socialist Movement (NSM) is a longstanding neo-Nazi group in the United States. In the early 2000s, the NSM adopted a logo that combined elements of the American flag with a swastika and the group’s initials. This logo, with slight variations, was used by the NSM until late 2016, when the group adopted a new logo that was similar to the older one but replaced the swastika with an Othala rune.
The NSM claimed they replaced the original NSM logo featuring the swastika with the new Othala logo to have a greater chance of getting mainstream support; the group called it a “slight re-branding.” NSM leaders believed that would-be supporters “have steered clear of us due to our use of the swastika.” NSM quickly produced new flags and patches to replace the old ones.
However, the Othala logo did not last very long. In late 2018, after white supremacist Matthew Heimbach joined the group, NSM debuted yet another, completely different logo, featuring a red fasces surrounded by a red gearwheel. Heimbach claimed that the Othala rune had no connection to American neo-Nazis but the fasces (an ancient Roman symbol) did have American connections, as it was used in American art and architecture since the nation’s founding.
The NSM fasces logo was not popular among NSM members. Nor, as it turns out, was Heimbach, who soon left the group. In March 2019, the NSM announced that it was returning to the swastika logo that it had used from roughly 2003-2016.
The Othala and fasces logos are no longer actively promoted by the group but, as with many legacy logos, may still be found on clothing or gear belonging to NSM members or associates.