A report from the Anti Defamation League has found that there was an alarming rise in the number of white supremacist banners on display in public across the US in 2017.
The signs, which contain strongly worded sentiments in opposition to immigrants, Muslims, Jews, feminists and the Black Lives Matter movement, have been seen across the country.
Banners have been witnessed hanging from bridges and rooftops in states ranging from Florida, California, Washington, Texas, Georgia and Massachusetts.
The messages on the signs have rhetoric reading "America First. End Immigration" to "Feminists Deserve the Rope."
The ADL's report indicates that the banner trend began in May 2017 and appears to still be continuing through to this day. In total, they recorded 72 incidents of banners being hung in public.
A primary reason that has been attributed to this rise has been the involvement of alt-right groups who are wishing to spread the same message as white supremacist groups.
One of the main groups that have been said to have produced a majority of the banners is Identity Evropa, who have unveiled 28 banners in 13 different states.
Other groups such as Patriot Front, Rise Above Movement, Vanguard America and Atomwaffen have been identified as being responsible for various banners across the US.
The state which has seen the highest number of banners is Oregon, which the ADL contribute to the presence of Jimmy Marr, a notorious neo-Nazi from the state who has been known to display offensive propaganda on his truck.
California, Texas and Georgia were also named as states that have seen a huge rise in banner visibility. This is mainly because they have very motivated activists from Identity Evropa and Patriot Front operating in those regions.
The ADL reports that at least 30 per cent of the banners contained slogans and language usually associated with white supremacy, while approximately 35 per cent promoted an anti-immigration ideology.
The messages differ in how explicit and direct they are depending on the group who made them, but they should be viewed as distressing regardless of the language used.
Carla Hill, an Investigative Researcher for ADL’s Center on Extremism, explained that this isn't a new sensation but it is something that we should be concerned about:
This practice from white supremacists of displaying large banners from highway overpasses and other highly visible locations is not new.
However, the influx over the last ten months is quite troubling and is something we should all be concerned about. It’s further evidence that these white supremacists feel extremely emboldened – pushing their hateful propaganda on the masses by hanging these banners in public places.
We believe it is important to respond to this type of hateful rhetoric – that is to call it out for what it is.