The Meaning Of The Hammer And Sickle Symbol Allegedly Worn By Capitol Rioters During The Attempted Coup

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Hammer and sickle

January 6, 2021 is a day that will forever be remembered as one of the saddest days in American history

After a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol with Congress inside, the Trump-incited events of yesterday tragically showed the United States, along with the rest of the world, what’s been brewing in America for some time now: the fall of democracy in a country that once prided itself on that very same ideology. 

Among the thousands of pro-Trump rioters that invaded the nation’s Capitol, many were dressed in Trump paraphernalia and elaborate costumes, and showed off symbol-bearing shirts and tattoos.

One of those symbols included what what many right-wingers think is the hammer and sickle symbol in the form of a tattoo on Matthew Heimbach, a young white man who reportedly founded the Traditionalist Worker Party, was at the deadly Charlottesville rally in 2018, and allegedly slept with his mother-in-law. 

Hammer and sickle meaning — what to know about the history of the symbol:

Read on to find out what you need to know about the meaning of the hammer and sickle symbol worn by Trump rioters on the steps of the Capitol. 

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The hammer and sickle was adopted “as the official symbol of the Soviet Union” in 1922.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the hammer and sickle is “an emblem consisting of a crossed hammer and sickle used especially as a symbol of Soviet Communism.” 

Communism has a few official definitions of its own, with one being, “A system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary also states:

“English speakers generally use the word communism to talk about political and economic ideologies that find their origin in Karl Marx’s theory of revolutionary socialism, which advocates a proletariat overthrow of capitalist structures within a society; societal and communal ownership and governance of the means of production; and the eventual establishment of a classless society.”

So, why are Trump supporters wearing the symbol?

A good question to ask, considering the fact that most Trump supporters label themselves as anti-socialism and anti-communism. 

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Brigitte Gabriel, a hardcore Trump supporter, tweeted the above message along with a jarring image of rioters who broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6: “The man in yellow has a communist hammer and sickle tattoo on his hand those are NOT Trump supporters!”

While many of her followers claimed that because of the symbol, the left was responsible for the riots, others pointed out the fact that these dudes are clearly sporting Trump merch, carrying Trump flags, and more. 

“Fascinating analysis. Is there anything we can deduce from the Trump flags and hats?” one Twitter user questioned. 

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Not only that, but many Twitter users have pointed out that the man pictured with the hammer and sickle tattoo on his hand isn’t sporting a hammer and sickle tattoo at all — it may actually be the symbol from a video game, which looks similar. 

“That is not a hammer and sickle. That is the 'Mark of the Outsider' from the video game Dishonored …” one Twitter user pointed out.

Another echoed that sentiment, writing, “The hand tattoo looks more like the symbol from Dishonored than a Hammer and Sickle…”

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter