United States of Resistance
Shortly after the presidential election, “Trump Nation/Whites Only” was written on the wall outside a majority-immigrant church in Maryland. The response is to either quietly wash the wall or stand against hatred and promote tolerance. “All citizens of good conscious must join the Resistance to Donald J. Trump’s authoritarian administration,” writes public relations consultant Len Stein. To visualize and unite the various resistance groups and present the movement with a unifying symbol, Stein proposes that resisters wear a triangle ‘R’ badge on their sleeves when protesting—immigrants, refugees, people of every ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation. The ‘R’ triangle symbols were designed by Tucker Viemeister. I asked Stein to talk more about this act of resistance.
What prompted this logo? At this time of existential threat to American democracy, we felt the need to support the full spectrum of resistance movements and discovered that there is no unifying visual symbol to support Resistance at large.
The triangle reminds me of the color-coded prison emblems used at concentration camps—any relation? Exactly! We sought to co-opt the notorious system of Nazi camp badges by using their colored triangles as the foundation for the ‘R’ for [the] Resistance badge logo. In doing so, we want to subconsciously warn people of the dangers of authoritarian rule that we now face and provide an instantly recognizable image that will create a strong emotional reaction.
How should the Resistance use these? Like V for Victory? Like ‘V’—yes. We plan to contact leading resistance groups in the hopes that each will select the appropriate colored badge for their organization, from immigrants (brown) to LGBTQ (rainbow) to American patriots (red, white, blue striped), etc. Our goal is to see masses of protesters proudly wearing their ‘R’ badges, which they can easily print onto pressure sensitive labels or sew upon their sleeves.
How will you make this universal? We’ve created a color-coded badge for groups ranging from generic (red) to Jewish (yellow) to artists (orange) to African Americans (black), etc. Or, any group is free to create their own ‘R’ badge color. In this way, the color system makes a universal resistance statement.
Do you think identifying oneself as ‘R’ will have an impact? One hopes that by showing the commonality of Resistance, whatever your specific cause, we can unite the many disparate groups into one huge movement with a common goal—save our democracy from the threat of a wannabe authoritarian regime.
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