Decoded Horrors of the Capitol Hill Riot
Jan 31 · 5 min read

by Isabella Zollner

What we know about the Capitol Riot only scratches the surface of a much more sinister truth. As I write, the FBI is investigating the collusion and planning that may have gone on behind the scenes to create an insurrection of this size. Several FBI officials have confirmed that this was not only planned beforehand, but hints at a deeper collusion and possible inside job.

Look, we all remember what happened at the Capitol. But so few of us understand the layers of symbols and codes that Trump’s extremists decorated our Capitol with. Flags, shirts, hats, and all sorts of paraphernalia were paraded through our Capitol Building on January 6th. These are three of the most horrifying of those symbols, and what they mean.

The Three Percenters

It seemed like every twisted version of the American Flag was brandished during the Capitol riots. The 3%’s flag, however, was one of the most sinister. The 3% flag is any form of the American flag redesigned to include the roman numeral III. During the Capitol Riot, Trump Flags altered to fit the 3% agenda were also flown. It seems innocent enough, almost the name of a cheesy high school cliqué. But the Three Percenters have existed for far longer than any high school cliqué. Founded in 2008, this group is based around the false belief that only 3% of American Colonists fought against the British during the revolutionary war. That fact is obviously false and unrelated to any of our present day issues. But for over a decade the Three Percenters have grown their militia under that idea. Their website claims that they “are not anti-government”, of course their website also reminds the reader that the federal government must constantly be fought from becoming a tyranny and that Sheriffs are, get ready for this one, “The Supreme Law of the Land.” The irony of a group founded in opposition of the Federal Government raiding the capitol building for a loser President hasn’t seemed to occur to the group yet.

Release the Kraken Flag

The Kraken is a mythical beast that, when released, would emerge from the sea causing chaos and death in its wake. Recently people who were inspired by QAnon have been comparing the Kraken to the false belief that Democrats are colluding with Hollywood to run a child sex ring and steal the election. Of course, followers of QAnon believed that Trump was the guy who was going to reveal all of this. This theory was a huge motivator of the Capitol Riot. It seems like a wild and almost funny conspiracy, but QAnon and the Release the Kraken Conspiracy are very real threats to American Democracy. QAnon believers paid for flights to Washington D.C. and started a riot at 2 PM on a Wednesday are likely willing to do a lot more. This domestic terrorism are a real danger face by this country and Democracy. The worst part, they look like you and me. They blend in and hide and wait for their opportunity to overthrow our government because they will go to the grave believing whatever QAnon tells them.

Proud Boys

If you are on TikTok, you may know who the Proud Boys are. But until the Capitol Riot, you may not have known they were a serious threat to Democracy. The Proud Boys, also known more casually as “The Boys”, are known for their threatening use of social media. But there is a distance of a world between two phone screens. That distance melts away pretty quickly when they raided our Capitol Building. The Proud Boys could be recognized at the Capitol Building because of their orange hats. They are yet another example of normal-seeming people who turn into another beast when presented with QAnon and Trump conspiracies. The Proud Boys are organized. They have chapters for different states and a leadership structure. They are an organized group which is the polar opposite of what people think the Capitol Riot was.

Photo credit: Credit: Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post


The green flag of Kekistan is modeled off of the Nazi party flag and could be spotted throughout the riots. The origins of Kekistan lie in the forum board website 4chan. 4chan is very similar to Reddit, but with two big differences. One, it is very popular among conservatives. Two all postings can be done anonymously because registration is closed. The word “kek” was originally used among 4chan members as a different version of the abbreviation of lol or laugh out loud. During the 2016 election “kek” became aligned with Trumpism and alt-right politics.

Also during Trump’s reign some 4chan members began to believe 4chan could influence the world through random numbers and memes posted on its forums. “Pepe the Frog”, a character from The Boy’s Club, became another popular meme on 4chan around the same time. 4chan members fell deep into the rabbit hole and began to spread the belief that Kek was the name of a deity controlling our world. And although it seems like the majority of the self proclaimed “Cult of Kek” members do it ironically there are certainly people, especially 4chan regulars, that honestly believe this nonsense.

So how does all that relate to the Capitol? Well after the alt-right got bored of their Frog God who controls the world they decided to make up a fictional country for him. Their fake country, called Kekistan, is a blend of white supremacy, cult behavior, and Nazism. Kekistan flags were notably popular at the Capitol Riot and a substantial amount of the Capitol Riot was planned on 4chan and websites like it.

About the Author:

After being subjected to homophobic harassment in the classroom, Isabella decided to try and use her writing to encourage others to stand up for each other and themselves. Isabella is a high school student in Lafayette, IN.

Matthew’s Place

Matthew’s Place is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email

Written by is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email

Matthew’s Place is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email