We’ve all heard of the Boogaloo movement over the last eight years. It was started by the so-called boogaloo boys or Boogaloo Bois, with the Big Igloo flag referring to this Boogaloo group. The movement began online with the belief that the United States was on the verge of a second civil war.
You might have seen this flag and men wearing Hawaii T-shirts and military fatigues. This year, four members of the Boogaloo movement were charged with conspiring to obstruct the investigation and prosecution of two security guards who were murdered in Oakland, California.
What was this all about, and why do those symbols represent the movement? Let’s find out in this post.
What Is The Boogaloo Movement?
Boogaloo is the name of an extremist movement in the United States. It advocates for anti-government and gun rights. However, this movement is very loosely organized and heavily armed. It was also suspected of being a terrorist organization to some extent.
The U.S. government believes these adherents made use of the unrest from the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 lockdown to incite a second American Civil War. The mainstream media is portraying boogaloo as far-right extremists and violent white supremacists.
In the adherents’ political views, they suppose the government will be trying to confiscate their guns. They like the idea that politicians should be a little scared of ordinary people. That caused the action of them being anti-government and anti-law enforcement. They are also against the liberals. Last year, they infiltrated the protest crowd as their supporters, perhaps to create disruption.
Since 2012, the Boogaloo movement has emerged online with funny social media memes. They appeared on Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, 4chan, Twitter, and Telegram. The Big Igloo memes often referred to “race war” or “day of the rope.” For short, they all came to an ideology of an uprising in the Boogaloo civil war. Surprisingly, they had considered it no more than an online joke.
Yet, this story didn’t stop as an ordinary joke on the internet platforms. From 2019 to now, the adherents have directly participated in protest events. They include demonstrations against the murder of black citizen George Floyd.
U.S. officials were extremely concerned about the riots started by Boogaloo. It’s understandable since these boogaloo movement members of the movement were often heavily armed. They are easily identifiable by their Hawaiian shirts and military-style clothing as well. In a statement issued in June 2020, the US Department of Homeland Security said that Boogaloo was not identified as a left- or right-wing movement. But they are simply “violent extremists from both ends of the ideological spectrum.”
Moreover, the US Department of Homeland Security also noted the growth of Boogaloo. The movement increasingly attracted many people in the military and veterans. Thus, Kathleen Belew predicted this fact could escalate the impact of marginalized activism. Also, it can pass on expertise in explosives, urban warfare. Worse yet, a Boogaloo evolution in the not-too-distant future can be just a matter of time.
The first arrests of Boogaloo members, Andrew Lynam, William Loomis, and Stephen Parshall, revealed their extremist program to organize protests against the killing of George Floyd.
The alleged activities carried out by Boogaloo bois include:
- According to the Associated Press, boogaloo members were protesting the COVID-19 lockdown.
- On June 5, 2020, a man brandished a chainsaw at Black Lives Matter protesters in McAllen, Texas, demanding that they leave. He also yelled racist epithets.
- In Seattle, a man rammed his car into a crowd of protesters, shooting a protester named Daniel, 26, in the arm.
- A police jacket was stolen from a police patrol car by Joshua Bernard, a suspected boogaloo member.
- An armed man named Harry Rogers was arrested for battery and assault for driving a truck into protesters and injuring a cyclist in Virginia.
- On May 31, Bogan Vechirko drove a semi-trailer truck toward protesters in Minneapolis.
According to the NPR news agency, a jury found four members of the Boogaloo militia group guilty of destroying records of the shooting on May 29, 2020. The group includes Jessie Alexander Rush, Robert Jesus Blancas, Simon Sage Ybarra, and Kenny Matthew Miksch. In Oakland, California, two federal security agents were shot and killed.
According to the indictment, Rush, Blancas, Ybarra, Miksch, and others from Boogaloo communicated with each other via WhatsApp at the time. They discussed tactics for killing police officers and other law enforcement personnel.
Then, on May 29, 2020, two shootings occurred in Oakland, California. Each defendant faces the greatest penalty of 20 years in prison for conspiracy, obstruction, and destruction and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Plot To Kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
On October 8, 2020, six Boogaloo men were charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the federal government. A federal indictment has been filed against these men since then. They were discovered to be linked to the Wolverine Watchmen, a Michigan-based militia group.
The FBI first learned of this plot in January last year, when they discovered the contacts among far-right groups. Also, seven other men were charged in the case.
The Big Igloo Flag (or The Boogaloo Flag)
The Most Basic Boogaloo Flag
This basic Big Igloo flag design has the same structure as that of the American flag. But it is black and white with the only bright red color on the first stripe under the igloo image. The red stripe stands out with the Hawaiian flower patterns. The igloo in some flags can face to either the left side or right side.
The “Betsy Ross” Big Igloo Flag
This version comes from the Betsy Ross American flag’s idea. Coming in the size of a standard 3×5 flag, it features 13 stars circling the igloo and two grommets.
As having the grommets, the flag is supposed to be flown on a tall flagpole with a halyard.
The “Liberty Or Death” Big Igloo Flag
The design of this igloo flag is different from the ones shown above. There is no red, but there are the same yellow Hawaiian flower patterns. The text “Liberty or Death” may be the flag’s most crucial focus, demonstrating the Boogaloo boys’ spirit.