On a website owned by a prominent white nationalist, you can buy Confederate battle flags, “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden patches, and other items often associated with the white power movement. You can also buy a big, rainbow LGBT pride flag.
A neo-Nazi hocking LGBT pride swag on his website Patriot-Flags.com doesn’t seem to make sense—the white nationalist movement generally aligns rather closely with extreme and homophobic Christianity. But observers believe it’s part of a broader strategy in the white nationalist movement to court those in the homosexual community.
“Following the shooting deaths of 49 people at an LGBT club in Orlando, Fla., some white nationalists saw an opportunity to prey upon fear within the LGBT community to foment Islamophobia,” the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and National Socialist Movement, wrote in a post last week. A street artist who previously created anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim posters quickly seized on Orlando’s mass shooting by creating rainbow-colored Gadsden flags with the hashtag #ShootBack and plastered them all over West Hollywood, home to a large LGBT community in Los Angeles. The artist said he wanted to send a message to the gay community that they can defend themselves. A similar flag appears on Patriot-Flags.com.