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Nades
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11 Oct 2022, 7:29 am

Recently there was a group in my local area that was helping to renovate an old abandon community center. Nothing untoward in that.

Take a closer look and they're a political movement (though never moved very far obviously) and not only that but they made a flag that was clearly based on the Soviet union's infamous flag. This particular flag was a red pick axe and hammer crossed over in the same manner as a Soviet hammer and sickle but on a black background.

I'm my mind they designed the flag in such a manner because they like the idiology behind the Soviet Union.....and their flag. I genuinely believe behind their happy, merry charm they might have very extreme views which are probably repulsive.

I have no idea why nobody challenged them over their flag. What's your opinions on flags like that?



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11 Oct 2022, 1:19 pm

Do you happen to know the name of the group? I would suggest looking up the group's website, and/or other info about them, before speculating on the meaning of their flag.

Sounds like the group is something nonmainstream, but how "extreme" they are, and in what way, or even whether they lean left or right, remains to be seen.


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Nades
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11 Oct 2022, 1:31 pm

The_Walrus wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammer_and_pick - like these?



Not really I guess. The pick is a full blown pickaxe. It's also entirely red along with the hammer on a black background.



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11 Oct 2022, 1:41 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Do you happen to know the name of the group? I would suggest looking up the group's website, and/or other info about them, before speculating on the meaning of their flag.

Sounds like the group is something nonmainstream, but how "extreme" they are, and in what way, or even whether they lean left or right, remains to be seen.



I looked up the group and they lean heavily left. The flag they're using is really off-putting. Stalinism and its connections to the hammer and sickle is like the swastika is to Nazism. Both are equally appalling political idiologies that killed millions. I'm surprised how bold the group seems to be in public.

They even pixelate their faces when uploading group pics.



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11 Oct 2022, 1:54 pm

The black background suggests anarcho-syndicalism to me. Pixelating faces is a bit of a red flag (pun intended) - could be they're paranoid, could be they're planning something.

I'm pretty left-wing, but I'm VERY wary of any fellow travellers still celebrating the Soviet Union 80-odd years after we found out what was really going on in there.


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11 Oct 2022, 2:12 pm

The hammer and sickle is sliiiightly broader than the swastika (at least in British consciousness), but yes, I'd be naturally suspicious of any group invoking that sort of imagery.



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11 Oct 2022, 2:12 pm

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
The black background suggests anarcho-syndicalism to me. Pixelating faces is a bit of a red flag (pun intended) - could be they're paranoid, could be they're planning something.

I'm pretty left-wing, but I'm VERY wary of any fellow travellers still celebrating the Soviet Union 80-odd years after we found out what was really going on in there.



The first thing I thought when I seen the black background is it looks a lot like something anarchist would adopt as a background. They even pixelate their faces when uploading photos of themselves at a their own street stalls



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11 Oct 2022, 2:28 pm

Googled "Wales hammer pickaxe flag" and this came up

Who are the WUN?

Quote:
Our Flag

The Flag of the WUN takes inspiration from some of the most defining features of Welsh Working Class History.

The Hammer represents the hammers that forged Welsh Iron.

The Pickaxe represents the generations of workers who faced the pits day in and day out.

The Red represents the Red Flag flown above Waun Common during the Merthyr Rising – the first red flag of Revolution ever flown.

The Black background represents the unity of Socialists across the various tendencies, in uniting for a Wales for the working-class.


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11 Oct 2022, 3:18 pm

Doberdoofus wrote:
Googled "Wales hammer pickaxe flag" and this came up

Who are the WUN?

Quote:
Our Flag

The Flag of the WUN takes inspiration from some of the most defining features of Welsh Working Class History.

The Hammer represents the hammers that forged Welsh Iron.

The Pickaxe represents the generations of workers who faced the pits day in and day out.

The Red represents the Red Flag flown above Waun Common during the Merthyr Rising – the first red flag of Revolution ever flown.

The Black background represents the unity of Socialists across the various tendencies, in uniting for a Wales for the working-class.


I've read that a couple of days ago. It seems like a bit of cherry picking is going in with them to "oops, made a Soviet looking flag by accident........yes... accident"

They're an oddball bunch. Their ideas seem fairly tame but when it comes to tyranny, that's usually how it starts.



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11 Oct 2022, 4:24 pm

I don't think their reasoning there is covering up an accident. They seem to be extremely transparent about their communism.

Of course they don't seem to have exactly provided a balanced and evidence-based appraisal of their proposed policies. Even in the best case scenario where they don't turn into power-hungry genocidal maniacs, their ideas would be a disaster for Wales with bankruptcy likely.

That said, they have absolutely no prospect of gaining meaningful power. I think groups like this deciding to use their revolutionary energy to renovate community centres is a good thing. If they start preaching that the kulaks were right and that we should guillotine the royal family then that would change things.



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11 Oct 2022, 4:50 pm

I can see no reason to think they're bad people. They seem to want to do some good. Not certain how they got their political inspiration but it seems quite innocuous as compared to much one encounters in W. Europe such as the Brothers of Italy. Those people scare me.


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11 Oct 2022, 8:00 pm

The hammer and sickle is strongly associated with the USSR, but it is used by such a wide variety of leftist groups that it is hard to say based just on that what their views are on the Soviets and their less savory deeds. It and similar symbols predate the Russian Revolution, but their usage was relatively rare before 1917.

Black in the context of left-wing symbolism almost always represents anarchism. It sounds like this group is anarcho-communist, anarcho-socialist, or anarcho-syndicalist (all very similar).

Any group flying that kind of flag is going to be extreme by mainstream standards. Still, just flying the hammer and sickle does not mean they are necessarily Soviet apologists. The anarchists were among the Bolsheviks' first victims.
The swastika, on the other hand, is virtually always used by the very worst members of the far right.


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11 Oct 2022, 9:21 pm

There's a massive difference as to why leftists today still find allusions to communist symbols - and actually communism - acceptable deapite the horrors of the soviet union:
Communism promises workers' democratic control. The Soviet union was a brutal dictatorship, but democratic control still sounds pretty good. Obviously, that's not what the soviets were about.

The Nazis promised to kill all Jewish people and that's exactly what they were all about.

There is nothing in nazi-ideology that sounds remotely palatable.
But there is in Soviet ideology (Not in Soviet reality).

I understand why people still want socialism or even communism, it still sounds good. Nazi ideology does not.


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11 Oct 2022, 10:06 pm

roronoa79 wrote:
The hammer and sickle is strongly associated with the USSR, but it is used by such a wide variety of leftist groups that it is hard to say based just on that what their views are on the Soviets and their less savory deeds. It and similar symbols predate the Russian Revolution, but their usage was relatively rare before 1917.

Black in the context of left-wing symbolism almost always represents anarchism. It sounds like this group is anarcho-communist, anarcho-socialist, or anarcho-syndicalist (all very similar).

Any group flying that kind of flag is going to be extreme by mainstream standards. Still, just flying the hammer and sickle does not mean they are necessarily Soviet apologists. The anarchists were among the Bolsheviks' first victims.
The swastika, on the other hand, is virtually always used by the very worst members of the far right.

Agreed, it doesn't bother me much if somebody displays or burns a flag, as such. I would have thought that the most dangerous groups would pretend to be benign rather than bringing attention to their plans by flying a flag that the mainstream was scared of, which would be rather giving the game away.

I've never yet found any political ideology I could feel much allegiance to. I'm more than suspicious of the far right, but not quite so worried about the far left, because (if they're genuine) they're interested in social justice and equality, which would seem to preclude violence against the innocent. OTOH I'm aware that some Lefties are convinced that the only responsible thing to do is to bring about a violent revolution as quickly as possible, which is naturally more worrying.

As for anarchists, even their revolutionary wing seems to be mostly non-violent these days, so if it's an anarchist flag, I think that their "happy, merry charm" will turn out to be more than skin deep. It's consistent with the anarchists I've met, who were among the kindest people I've ever met, though I didn't entirely agree with their political views.

It's important not to lump all seriously left-wing groups together with Stalinism, but I think many mainstream people do that and fear them all because they hardly know anything about them. It seems particularly widespread in the USA, but there's a lot of undue fear of the serious left in the UK as well.