Flash and Circle

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The flag of the British Union of Fascists

The Flash and Circle is the second and best known symbol of the British Union of Fascists. (The BUF had briefly used the fasces of Mussolini's fascists.) It was chosen to represent "action within unity". Oswald Mosley's post-war group the Union Movement and his National Party of Europe initiative also used this symbol.

The American National Renaissance Party adopted the lightning bolt within a circle as their symbol, which superseded Madole's use of the swastika. It decorated their rostrum and was worn on their armbands.

The BUF's left-wing opponents nicknamed the symbol "the flash in the pan."

The "Flash and Circle" symbol is similar to the insignia of Singapore's People's Action Party (PAP). The PAP's symbol is composed of a red flash struck through a smaller blue circle on a white background. The PAP insignia represents "Action within social/racial unity". The white background represents purity in thought and deed.

In popular culture[edit]

Flag of the Black Shorts used in Jeeves and Wooster.

In the alternate history film It Happened Here, the Flash and Circle is used as the symbol of the fascist puppet government in Nazi-occupied Britain.

In the 1951 film Flight to Mars, the Aryan-looking leaders of the Martians wear uniforms with a symbol resembling the flash and circle on the chest.

In one television adaptation of the Jeeves novels by P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves and Wooster, a similar insignia is used by the "Blackshorts", a political group led by Roderick Spode, a character based on Sir Oswald Mosley, the founder of the British Union of Fascists.

The symbol is used by Throbbing Gristle on promotional materials such as the album cover of CD1. It is similar to the "Superstar Shock" emblem as found on the album Antichrist Superstar by Marilyn Manson.

The logo of DC Comics' The Flash features a lightning bolt crossing a circle.