FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show A New Antifa Flag Resembling A Nazi Flag?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a new antifa flag that closely resembles a Nazi flag.
The top photo has been digitally altered in an attempt to link the flag to antifa. The original version showed a flag associated with the National Front, a far-right U.K. political party.
The image being shared includes two photos. The bottom photo shows a military flag, used by Nazi Germany, that features a swastika near its center. The top photo shows a very similar flag, this one seemingly bearing the letters “AF” near its center instead of a swastika.
Text between the two photos suggests that antifa recently adopted the flag, saying, “Does the new Antifa flag remind you of anything?” (RELATED: Image Claims To Show Antifa Activists Holding An ‘Antifa Against Bikers’ Banner)
In reality, the top photo has been digitally altered. The flag in that photo actually had the letters “NF,” representing the National Front, a U.K. group that BBC News has described as a “far-right, whites-only political party.” The photo appears to have been edited to falsely link antifa, a loosely affiliated group of far-left-leaning activists, to such ideology.
“Because the antifascist movement is decentralised, there is no official flag or symbol,” University of Wisconsin sociologist Dr. Stanislav Vysotsky, who researches fascist and anti-fascist groups, told AFP Fact Check via email. “There is some consistency in the use of the overlapping flag symbol of Antifascist Action or the three arrows of the Iron Front, but this is not official in any way, and there is a great variety of symbolism used by antifa activists.”
The original version of the photo appears to have been taken from footage of a January 2016 anti-immigration protest in the British city of Dover, according to AFP Fact Check. Ruptly, a division of the Russian state-owned RT television network, posted the footage on YouTube. Members of various National Front groups attended the demonstration in Dover, BBC News reported.
The antifa movement has come under the spotlight after President Donald Trump and others recently blamed its members for some of the violence that has accompanied protests sparked by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody. It remains unclear how many protesters participating in the demonstrations are affiliated with the movement, according to Reuters.