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Hammerskin Nation
AbbreviationHSN or wetnazs
  • Promotion of neo-Nazism, white supremacy, white nationalism, and establishment of a white ethnostate
A flag used by the Hammerskins.

The Hammerskins (also known as Hammerskin Nation) are a white supremacist group formed in 1988 in Dallas, Texas.[3] Their primary focus is the production and promotion of white power rock music,[4][5] and many white power bands have been affiliated with the group. The Hammerskins were affiliated with the record label 9% Productions. The Hammerskins host several annual concerts, including Hammerfest, an annual event in both the United States and Europe in honor of deceased Hammerskin Joe Rowan, the lead singer of the band Nordic Thunder.[3]

The Hammerskins were one of the most prominent American white power skinhead groups.[6] The Anti-Defamation League describes them as the United States' best-organized neo-Nazi skinhead group,[3] with the Hammerskin Nation website boasting six chapters in the United States and chapters existing in Canada, various European countries, New Zealand, and Australia.[7] The organization is self-described as "leaderless". Individual members have been involved in many violent attacks and hate crimes, mostly in the US (notably the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting), although these have not been organized by the group.[8]

It maintains an active recruitment strategy, and encourages members to enlist in military forces in order to learn combat skills for an upcoming race war. Its website is defunct. It has run Facebook groups under the name Crew 38 (now inactive)[8] and its online forums,[9] and this name is also used for supporters of the group in Australia.[10]


The Hammerskins emerged in the late 1980s from the Dallas based Confederate Hammerskins.[11] Their name is based on a scene in the 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall.[12]

The first international chapters of the group were formed in Northern Ireland and Switzerland in 1990, and Australian and Canadian chapters followed in 1993. During the following year, the regional groups amalgamated, rebranding as Hammerskin Nation, but in 1999 reverted to the regional system under an international umbrella.[8]

Power struggles had split the group into several factions by 2008.[13] The website and online forums went offline in 2001 with little explanation, and not long afterwards, the white supremacist Tom Metzger announced the termination of the group known as Hammerskin Nation. However, another "official" Hammerskin Nation website was launched in 2002, which was still active as of October 2018 but without online forums, but was inactive by April 2020.[8]


The flag used by the fictitious neo-nazi group in Pink Floyd - The Wall. The design was taken from this logo.

Symbolism and motto[edit]

The Hammerskins logo and design, depicting two red and black crossed claw hammers, was taken from a fictitious neo-Nazi organization depicted in the 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall. The two crossed hammer was designed by Gerald Scarfe who made it for Pink Floyd's 1979 album The Wall and its movie, it was soon taken, changed and redesigned for the white supremacist group in Dallas.[14] The portrayal of the fictional group in the film was intended to show Nazism negatively and as a Parody.[3] Their logo and the motto "Hammerskins forever, forever hammerskins" ("H.F.F.H.") often appear in their paraphernalia and tattoos. Crew 38 and Hammerskins members also frequently identify themselves with the slogan "838", meaning "hail [the] crossed hammers" (the initialism H.C.H. translates into the eighth, third and eighth letters of the alphabet).[9]

A flag variant used by the Hammerskins based on the war flag of the Wehrmacht.

As of October 12, 2018, their website showed six U.S. chapters: West, Northwest, Midland, Confederate, Northern, and Eastern, and chapters in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Brazil.[15] Each chapter, both in the US and internationally, has a specific design which often includes the original Hammerskins logo and a symbol, logo or flag that represents the state or country.[16][17]


The organization is self-described as "leaderless". It maintains an active recruitment strategy, and encourages members to enlist in military forces in order to learn combat skills for an upcoming race war.[8]

United States[edit]

A Hammerskins shield logo.

Individual members have been involved in many violent attacks and hate crimes, mostly in the US, although these have not been organized by the group.[8]

Many Outlaw Hammerskins members attended the 2002 NordicFest, and the group was planning to provide security for a white pride festival hosted by the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.[3] The Outlaw Hammerskins are now defunct.[18]

Many of its members have been convicted of harassment, assault[19] and even murder.[3] On August 5, 2012, Hammerskin Wade Michael Page was shot by police and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after he killed six people in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.[20] Page had become a "fully patched" member of the Hammerskins in autumn 2011, according to the Anti-Defamation League. He played in at least three Hammerskin-affiliated bands; End Apathy, Definite Hate and 13 Knots.[20][21] According to media sources and civil rights organizations, End Apathy, Wade's main band, had played at several recent Hammerskin events in the United States prior to the shooting-spree.[20]

Southern Cross Hammerskins (Australia)[edit]

The Australian group, founded in 1993,[8] is known as the Southern Cross Hammerskins. In 2014 they were reported to be active in Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and Adelaide, with a focus on anti-Asian and anti-Muslim sentiment. They target young men, particularly at heavy metal music festivals, and are aligned with skinheads. A support group called Crew 38 was created in 2009, for those who were unable to commit to full membership.[10]

In October 2019, the Southern Cross Hammerskins along with Blood & Honour Australia held the annual Ian Stuart Donaldson Memorial Concert in Melbourne. Various human rights, faith, trade union and anti-discrimination groups lobbied the Victorian Government to stop the concert, to no avail,[22] and it went ahead as intended.[8][23][24][25]


The German chapter of the Hammerskins was banned by the German government on 19 September 2023.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Racist, violent, unpunished: A white hate group's campaign of menace — ProPublica". ProPublica. A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston, Darwin BondGraham. 2017-10-19. Retrieved 2017-10-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Blades, Lincoln Anthony. "White Supremacists Don't Deserve Hugs". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "The Hammerskin Nation". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  4. ^ Helbig, Felix (4 November 2012). "Europas Neonazis feiern sich selbst" (in German). Frankfurter Rundschau. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  5. ^ Schmidt, W.; Speit, A. (11 January 2013). "Hetzjagd auf der Bühne". Die Tageszeitung: Taz (in German). Die Tageszeitung. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  6. ^ Simi, Pete; Futrell, Robert (2010). American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement's Hidden Spaces of Hate. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-1442202108.
  7. ^ Yenko, Athena (8 October 2014). "Anti-Muslim, Anti-Asian, Islamophobic extremists, Anti-Jewish -- Australia Has All The Hate Gangs". International Business Times. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Hammerskin Nation (a.k.a. Hammerskins)". Counter Extremism Project. 9 April 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  9. ^ a b "The Hammerskin Forum at Crew38.com". Crew 38. Archived from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  10. ^ a b White, Alex (7 October 2015). "The pro-white gangs spreading race hate across Australia". The Herald Sun. News International. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  11. ^ Reynolds, Michael (1999). "Hammerskin Nation Emerges from Small Dallas Group". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  12. ^ Atkins, Stephen E. (2011). Encyclopedia of Right-Wing Extremism In Modern American History. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. pp. 117–118. ISBN 978-1598843507. The name originally chosen by the group in the 1985 to 1987 period was the Cross-Hammer Skins/Skinheads, based-upon the Marching Hammers of the Pink Floyd Movie: Pink Floyd – The Wall, as mentioned. The change in name was based largely on the influence by skinheads from Denver, CO and California, who felt it important to link themselves to what they referred to as their “Historical, Ideological Ancestors.”
  13. ^ Kontos, Louis; Brotherton, David C. (2008). Encyclopedia of gangs. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. pp. 217–218. ISBN 978-0313334023.
  14. ^ Terrorism and Violent Extremism Awareness Guide. Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 2016. p. 41. ISBN 9780660035055.
  15. ^ "Neonazistas presos em SC e RS recrutavam jovens de outras células através de 'sistema rigoroso', diz delegado".
  16. ^ "Report documents rise in U.S. hate groups | Facing South". www.facingsouth.org. Retrieved 2023-12-15.
  17. ^ "A Look at Racist Skinhead Symbols and Tattoos". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2023-12-15.
  18. ^ Holthouse, David (2006). "Motley Crews: With Decline of Hammerskins, Independent Skinhead Groups Grow". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  19. ^ "Portugese leider rechtsradicale Hammerskins krijgt celstraf" (in Dutch). De Morgen. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  20. ^ a b c Leitsinger, Miranda (6 August 2012). "Experts: Alleged temple gunman Wade Michael Page led neo-Nazi band, had deep extremist ties". NBC News. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  21. ^ Beirich, Heidi; Potok, Mark (6 August 2012). "Alleged Sikh temple shooter former member of Skinhead band". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  22. ^ "White supremacist concert in Melbourne cannot be stopped, Premier says". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 8 October 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  23. ^ "Melbourne's neo-Nazi festival stopped, Jewish leader says". 7NEWS.com.au. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  24. ^ Skinheads, Southern Cross Hammer (28 April 2011). "Southern Cross Hammerskins". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  25. ^ "ISD19".
  26. ^ "Germany bans neo-Nazi group with links to US, conducts raids in 10 German states". apnews.com. 19 September 2023. Retrieved 19 September 2023.

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