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The Proud Boys Movement (U.S)

Extremist Groups

Last modified: 2020-08-29 by rick wyatt
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[Proud Boy Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020

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Overview: The Proud Boys Movement

     The Proud Boys (PB) are a far-right nationalist organization that sees themselves as protectors of free speech, glorifying the warrior mystic and combat, and are noted for participating in violence with far-left demonstrators, particularly targeting the ANTIFA (anti-fascist). The PB has been dubbed an "alt-right fight club" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and the FBI expressed concern about the potential for violence from individuals within that group. The Proud Boys have also been characterized as racists, ethnocentric, and misogynists in news articles. While it is true the Proud Boys only admit men as members, they do occasionally make mention of their "Proud Boys' Girls". They deny that they encourage violence or gang-like activity and many naive members mistakenly view their activities as jokes and harmless.
     The Proud Boys were founded in 2016 by far-right political commentator, activist, and comedian Gavin McInnes, who later publicly stepped down from any claim to leadership after several violent incidents occurred. Today the PB consists of multiple splinter groups and chapters across the United States attracting a wide variety of dissatisfied individuals who remain loosely united behind its stated goal to basically promote protection from leftist extremist at political demonstrations and to protect Trump supporters from violence. They view themselves to be libertarian in nature and share a skepticism of authority and state power. They consider themselves free speech activists and feel it is their duty to protect those who attack the protections of the First Amendment. While the group claims not to support any white supremacist views, they do believe in something they call "western values" which they claim is not racism. The PB states it welcomes members from all races, but many of their individual members do often appear in support at racist rallies and events. Proud Boys have also been present at high-profile alt-right events, including the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
     Their self-proclaimed goal is to reinstate what they call the "Spirit of Western Chauvinism" (a philosophy that European culture is basically superior) and to stand against what they call "anti-racial guilt". Their motto "The West is the Best" typifies a refusal to apologize for their belief that Western culture and individuals are responsible for creating the advances of the modern world. Today they seem to be led by a group calling themselves simply "The Elders" and claim to be simply "a drinking fraternity". The chairman of the eight member Elder Chapter in Texas is Enrique Tarrio, a Florida businessman. Reading Pat Buchanan's Death of the West (in which Buchanan argues that western culture is dying and will soon be imperiled) is encouraged.
     In recent years, the Proud Boys have established themselves as a dominant force within the alt-lite (or new-right, alt-right, etc.). Easily recognizable, thanks to their black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirts and red "Make America Great Again" baseball caps, members are regulars at far-right demonstrations and Trump rallies. Proud Boys have also been hired to serve as security for important officials and advisors such as Roger Stone after the Robert Mueller investigations into Russian election tampering and WikiLeaks. (source)
Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020


The "West is Best" Proud Boy Flag

[ Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020

The PB motto "The West is the Best" is featured on this flag. They believe that western culture and individuals are responsible for creating all the "advances of the modern world."
Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020


The Proud Boy Flag
General House Flag

[ Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 24 June 2015

This flag seems to be a general house flag of the Proud Boys and seen displayed mostly indoors.
Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020


The Proud Boys "Stars and Stripes" Flag

[ Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020/P>

This flag, a modified stars and stripes in the black and gold of the Proud Boys with their logo in the canton, is reminiscent of the sports flags seen widely displayed in the states. Several photos of the flag being displayed in 2019, with the Las Vegas Trump International Hotel in the background, are posted online.
Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020


Chapter Flags

     Proud Boy chapters have been active across the United States, but also in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Chapters include the Midwest chapter, the Pacific Northwest/Seattle chapter, the Louisiana chapter, Minnesota Proud Boys, Proud Boys Nashville, Proud Boys Texas, Proud Boys UK, Proud Boys Canada, Proud Boys Australia, Proud Boys Brazil, Proud Boys NJ, and even a branch in the Middle East, to name a few. Their private FaceBook page has over 1,000 followers and it has been claimed they may have more than 3000 members worldwide.
     A wide variety of Proud Boys flags, both real and fantasy, have been displayed by chapters of the PB, some of which are illustrated here.(source)
Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020


The Utah-South Chapter Flag

[PB Chapter Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020

This black and gold chapter flag has been displayed as far south as Las Vegas. Calling themselves the Utah-South (SL,UT) Chapter (questionable misogynist humor here), there are several photos of the flag displayed in 2019 with the Las Vegas Trump International Hotel in the background. They are posted online.
Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020


The Pennsylvania-Philadelphia Chapter Flag

[PB Chapter Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020

Philadelphia was been the location of several violent clashes between right and left extremist groups. Information on the use of this flag is limited, but the Proud Boys appear to have a strong presence in the Philadelphia area. The flags actual physical existence is unverified.
Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020


The Tennessee Chapter Flag

[Boogaloo Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020

Information on use of this flag is limited and the size and actual membership of the Tennessee Chapter is unknown. The flags actual physical existence is unverified.
Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020


The Nebraska Chapter Flag

[Boogaloo Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020

Information on use of this flag is limited and the size and actual membership of the Nebraska Chapter is unknown. The flags actual physical existence is unverified.
Pete Loeser, 24 August 2020