Several groups of extremists stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. Here are some of the most notable individuals, symbols, and groups.

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Susie Neilson,Morgan McFall-Johnsen
·7 min read
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qanon trump jan 6 capitol washington DC .JPG
A supporter of President Donald Trump confronts police on the second floor of the US Capitol, near the entrance to the Senate, after breaching security defenses, January 6, 2021. Mike Theiler/Reuters
  • A pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, bringing extremist iconography and some regalia associated with far-right or white-supremacist groups.

  • Some rioters wore clothing associated with the conspiracy-theory group QAnon, Confederate flags waved, and a contingent of Proud Boys made an appearance.

  • Here are the most recognizable symbols and groups photographed at Wednesday's insurrection.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Thousands of pro-Trump rioters descended on the US Capitol building on Wednesday during Congress' attempt to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election. Hundreds of those armed insurrectionists broke into the building, forcing members of Congress to huddle in safe locations until police and members of the National Guard secured the premises.

In addition to pro-Trump regalia, groups in and around the Capitol building sported clothing, accessories, and symbols associated with far-right, racist, and extremist groups. Several of the people identifying themselves with these symbols and ideologies participated in storming the Capitol, though not all of them were documented inside the building.

Below are images and descriptions of some of the most recognizable groups and symbols present at the Capitol on Wednesday.

The Kek flag

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A member of a labor union (R) debates with a conservative protester wearing a Kekistan flag during competing demonstrations in Portland, Oregon. Jim Urquhart/Reuters

The flag, which mimics a Nazi war flag, is the purported banner for a fictional country known as "Kekistan," which was created by white nationalist users of 4chan, a messaging board home to racist and hateful groups. The "nation" is ruled by a frog-headed deity called Kek, normally represented by Pepe the Frog

Washington Post reporter Rebecca Tan and CNN both observed a person waving a Kek flag at the Capitol on Wednesday.

The Three Percenters

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Supporters of President Trump gather in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. Stephanie Keith/Reuters

The Three Percenters derive their name from a disputed historical claim that only 3% of Americans fought the British in the Revolutionary War. The extremist group exists within the US's so-called militia movement and is traditionally viewed as an anti-government group. Many members are strong supporters of President Trump. 

QAnon supporters

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SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

One figure stood out among the mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday: the "Q Shaman," Jake Angeli. Known for wearing red, white, and blue face paint and a horned helmet, Angeli has become a notable figure in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement. He has popped up at far-right rallies in Arizona in the last year, as The Arizona Republic reported

QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory group, baselessly alleges that Trump is fighting a "deep-state cabal" of pedophiles and human traffickers. The group played a large role in organizing nationwide "Stop the Steal" protests in the months since President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election. 

Norse symbols

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Jake Angeli, a QAnon supporter known for his painted face and horned hat, in the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Though Viking and Norse symbology does not necessarily have racist origins, it has been appropriated by white-supremacist and neo-Nazi movements. A shirtless Angeli prominently displayed his tattoos of such symbols, including a valknot (interlocking triangles) on his upper left chest and what appears to be Thor's hammer on his stomach.

'Stop the Steal'

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Supporters of President Donald Trump hold a rally outside the US Capitol as they protest the electoral college certification of Joe Biden's win in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

The "Stop the Steal" movement began on Election Day, when Trump supporters protested with the demand that state election officials to stop counting ballots in an effort to maintain Trump's early-in-the-race lead. Since then, the movement has evolved into a conspiracy theory claiming without evidence that electoral fraud swayed the 2020 election in President-elect Joe Biden's favor.

In November and December, loosely organized "Stop the Steal" groups hosted rallies in Washington, DC, Michigan, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Ohio.

Neo-Nazism

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A man wearing a "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt inside the US Capitol, January 6, 2021. ITV News

An ITV News report from inside the Capitol captured footage of a man wearing a "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt. Underneath the skull and crossbones, the sweatshirt appears to read "work brings freedom" — a translation of the Nazi slogan "arbeit macht frei," which appeared on the entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

A white nationalist known for neo-Nazi views — Tim Gionet, better known as Baked Alaska — was also among the group that stormed the Capitol.

Nooses and 'Day of the rope'

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A noose is seen while supporters of President Donald Trump gather on the West side of the Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Multiple nooses appeared near the Capitol on Wednesday, including the setup above, one around the neck of a mannequin, and one made out of cables from Associated Press camera equipment.

Additionally, Twitter users and members of militant chat rooms made numerous references to "Day of the Rope," a white supremacist concept taken from The Turner Diaries, a novel by the former leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. The concept refers to a day when white supremacists lynch masses of "race traitors," including journalists and politicians.

The Confederate flag

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A supporter of President Trump in the US Capitol Rotunda on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The flag of the Confederate States of America, which seceded from the United States and fought the Civil War in an effort to continue the institution of slavery, is often used as a hate symbol and emblem of white supremacy. Rioters brought that flag into the US Capitol on Wednesday.

Proud Boys

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Members of the far-right group Proud Boys make 'OK' hand gestures indicating "white power" as supporters of President Trump gather in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. Jim Urquhart/Reuters

The Proud Boys, founded by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, rose to national prominence after Trump and Biden name-checked them at the first presidential debate.  Members of the far-right group describe themselves as "western chauvinists," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group has violently clashed with the anti-fascist movement.

The Proud Boys' chairman, Enrique Tarrio, announced on Parler earlier this week that the group would be attending Wednesday's rally "incognito," dressed in all black instead of their usual black-and-yellow uniform with MAGA hats. Tarrio was arrested earlier this week ahead of the rally.

Black Hebrew Israelites

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Members of the Black Hebrew Israelites demonstrate outside the US Capitol in Washington, November 13, 2018. Reuters/Al Drago

The Black Hebrew Israelites is a movement of people who believe that Black descendants of slaves are the true Hebrews, or God's chosen people. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the movement a hate group, as they view Jewish people as "impostors."

Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer tweeted a photo of what he described as a group of people dressed in clothing denoting the group outside the Capitol.

National Anarchist Movement (N-AM)

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An image taken from a video of rioters destroying Associated Press camera equipment, with zoomed-in shots of the National Anarchist Movement logo. Jack Sapoch

Unlike traditional anarchism, which is anti-racist, the National Anarchist Movement is a far-right, antisemitic group advocating for racial separatism. The organization's website states that "an elite coterie of Jews and their allies have effectively manipulated world events for their own interests."

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