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Identifying the flags seen at the U.S. Capitol riots

Apart from banners supporting president Donald Trump, a number of other flags were seen waving at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Credit: AP
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — The dramatic images we saw during the historic riots at the U.S. Capitol last week included a lot of different flags and symbols.

Apart from the pro-Trump banners you may have noticed rioters carrying, there were other flags you might not have recognized. We wanted to take a closer look.

The "Gadsen Flag" with the words "Don't tread on me," for one, has been around for centuries, and there are many variations of it now.

The yellow flag, with a coiled rattlesnake, tends to symbolize opposition to restrictions and government oppression. It has origins before the American Revolution but has recently been used by the Tea Party movement, militia groups, and even in sports branding. Now, the flag tends to symbolize opposition to restrictions and government oppression.

Another flag you might have noticed shows black-and-white stripes across a green banner.

These "Kekistan" or "Kek" flags are often used by white nationalists to troll liberals, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. This flag first appeared on the website 4chan in 2017 as a symbol for the made-up sect who worship Kek, the ancient Egyptian deity of darkness.

Another flag shows a ring of stars around the Roman numeral for three – III. These are generally carried by a group known as the Three Percenters.

The Three Percenters are an American-Canadian faction described by the Anti-Defamation League as "anti-government extremists who are part of the militia movement." Their name is derived from the unproven claim that only 3% of Americans fought for independence during the American Revolution.

The Three Percenters, also styled 3 Percenters, 3%ers and III%ers, are an American and Canadian militia movement and paramilitary group described as having right-libertarian and far-right ideology. The group advocates gun ownership rights and resistance to the U.S. federal government's involvement in local affairs.

RELATED: Texas employers firing alleged rioters who have been identified following viral videos at the US Capitol

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