Political uniform

Political uniform

A number of political movements have involved their members wearing uniforms, typically as a way of showing their identity in marches and demonstrations. The wearing of political uniforms has tended to be associated with radical political beliefs, typically at the far-right or more rarely, far-left of politics, and can be used to imply a paramilitary type of organization.


A number of countries have legislation banning the wearing of political uniforms. Many also ban members of their police and armed forces from taking part in political activity when in uniform.

In Germany, political uniforms are forbidden.

Political uniforms were forbidden in Sweden during the period 1947-2002. The law existed to prevent neo-Nazi groups from wearing uniforms, which they after 2002 can do legally. (see National Socialist Front).

In the United Kingdom, the Public Order Act 1936, passed to control extremist political movements in the 1930s such as the British Union of Fascists, banned the wearing of political uniforms during marches.

List of parties with political uniforms

Notable uniformed political groups have included:
* the Brownshirts, a paramilitary organization of the German Nazi party."Blackshirts":
* the Blackshirts, Fascist paramilitary groups in Italy
* British Union of Fascists, a fascist political party of the 1930s in the United Kingdom.
* the Patriotic People's Movement of Finland"Blueshirts":
* The Blueshirts, or Army Comrades Association, an Irish political organisation set up by General Eoin O'Duffy in 1932.
* The British Fascists, the first avowedly fascist organisation in the United Kingdom.
* the Chinese Blue Shirt Society, a secret clique within the Kuomintang
* the National Syndicalists in PortugalOther:
* Silver Legion of America, commonly known as the Silver Shirts, an American fascist organization founded by William Dudley Pelley
* Ku Klux Klan in the United States
* the Green Shirt Movement for Social Credit in the United Kingdom.

The youth sections of some political movements have also been uniformed:
* Hitler Youth (the youth wing of the German Nazi Party)
* Komsomol (the youth wing of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union)

Political uniforms have sometimes taken the form of headwear:
* Members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army and Sinn Féin have worn black berets in demonstrations
* Black berets are also worn over hoods by members of ETA

See also

* Armband
* The Black Shorts a parody of fascist uniforms in the Jeeves novels of P.G. Wodehouse.
* Political colour
* Political symbol
* Masked rally

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