Fascist Symbol

Fascist Symbol


Italian Fascists took as their symbol the 'fasces' a bundle of bound rods that symbolized the power of ancient Rome.


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Fasces are bound bundles of sticks or rods into which an axe is inserted or to which an axe is tied. The symbol dates to ancient Rome, whose leaders used it as a symbol of authority and power. This symbolism long survived the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, becoming an element of heraldry as well as a symbol of governmental authority.

The fasces came to be associated with right-wing extremism in the early 20th century when it was adopted by Benito Mussolini for his fascist movement (the term “fascism” itself is derived from the word “fasces”). The fasces became the most well-known symbol of fascist Italy, and thus of fascism itself.

In the decades after World War II, many Nazi symbols were adopted by American neo-Nazis, but the fasces did not experience the same popularity, although occasionally American extremists of Italian descent displayed the flag of the Italian Social Republic (RSI), the puppet government created by the Nazis in northern Italy with Mussolini at its head during the period 1943-45. One of the flags of the RSI combined the traditional Italian flag of the Kingdom of Italy with an eagle grasping a fasces.


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