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Vanguard America is a white nationalist organization, of the national socialist variety, which promotes the creation of a whites-only nation-state in the United States. The group espouses a vicious brand of anti-Semitism, endorsing revolution against a fantasized international Jewish conspiracy. Vanguard America’s affinity for fascism (of which national socialism is a variant) is seen in its logo, which contains the fasces – a bundle of sticks surrounding an axe – also used by Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party.

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Logo of Mussolini’s Partito Nationale Fascista

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Vanguard America Log


In keeping with these views, the group circulates memes positively portraying Adolph Hitler and other Nazis, including 1960s American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell.

The number “88” in Vanguard America’s Twitter text accompanying the “Yes We Can” meme of Hitler references the eighth letter of the alphabet repeated twice, HH, or “Heil Hitler.” In national socialist fashion, Vanguard America declares that “The drive for profit and control led by the banks, corporations, and Jewish interests have wrecked our economy and nation, but are doing the same thing to nations around the world.”

Vanguard America’s 2017 platform declared,

“The racial stock of this nation was created for white Christian Anglo/Europeans by white Christian Anglo/Europeans. All other ethnicities, races, religions and demographics are absolutely not compatible with this nation’s original culture. With such being stated, a mass exodus, isolation, apartheid, segregation and/or separation must be implemented to retain the good order and longevity of the country.”[1]

Vanguard America supports policies such as English Only, curtailing immigration, and ending affirmative action and the 1964 Civil Rights Act as steps toward removing non-whites from the “national” territory. Its policy goals include the “repatriation of all African peoples back to their African nation of choice.”

Vanguard America promotes eugenics policies, including that “Abortion of a physically and genetically healthy white fetus should be illegal, with a mandatory sentence of first degree murder with no less than 20 years confinement.” The group also holds that “The ‘freedom of religion’ passage [in the U.S. Constitution]…was intentionally used to only describe the several separate entities of the Christian faith.” In keeping with its Christianized brand of national socialism, the group calls for

“The reinstatement of all non-normal or abnormal mental conditions as psychological malformations and mental health issues to include but not limited to the entirety of the LGBTQ will be reinstated. These disorders and mental health issues will be studied extensively and either genetic or physical cures for these mental afflictions will be found and implemented. The current LGBTQ cult in its entirety shall be disbanded and declared a threat to the fabric of United States culture and society.”

While indigenous peoples are generally not the central focus of white nationalists, Vanguard America attacks efforts to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day by mimicking arguments of the organized anti-Indian movement:

Such a view would justify the further dispossession of Indian Nations from their homelands.

Vanguard America’s views on women generally conform to those of national socialism – emphasizing women’s role in the family and reproduction while relegating them to a subordinate position to men. Such views are actively promoted by Vanguard Women as seen in tweets from Vanguard America’s women’s auxiliary:

Vanguard America’s Organizing

Formed in California roughly two years ago, Vanguard America “commander” Dillon Irizarry, aka Dillon Ulysses Hopper, boasts that the group has about 200 members in the United States, with a base of young men, primarily in the 18 to 24 age-range. Irizarry (pictured below, speaking) also claims followers in Canada, Britain and Australia.

Vanguard America maintains an active presence on social media. As of October 2017, groups using the Vanguard America moniker had active Twitter accounts in 22 states. The national group garnered 1548 Twitter followers by late 2017 while the most popular accounts were in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and Virginia. The group also operates a website and boasts a YouTube page for promoting its aims, though the latter has had little activity.

Following the murder of Heather Heyer at the August 2017 white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, WordPress terminated Vanguard America’s website, forcing it to create a new website. Vanguard America had helped organized the event. Twitter also banned Vanguard America and other white nationalists from their service in late 2017. Vanguard America’s social media presence dropped from 22 state accounts in October 2017 to just seven accounts by January 2018. Three of the remaining accounts had existed in October 2017 (New York, Wyoming, and Arizona, though Vanguard Arizona changed its account name between October 2017 and January 2018). Accounts for Vanguard Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee started in December 2017 as Twitter was removing other sites. The most popular accounts in January 2018 were in Arizona, New York, Ohio and Wyoming.

Vanguard America’s social media presence is paired with recruitment, mobilization and coalition-building efforts. During the 2016 and 2017 school years the group actively targeted college campuses for recruits, distributing flyers at least 32 times in 10 states, according to the Anti-Defamation League. ADL describes that in 2017 Vanguard America leafleted Jewish institutions in Texas, Louisiana and New Jersey. Other actions included hanging banners and appealing to whites to turn in undocumented immigrants, as seen here in a poster promoted by Texas Vanguard at Texas A&M University in Commerce, Texas:

The group has also targeted antifa (short for anti-fascists) activists, placing their images and identifying information in tweets.

Vanguard American has played an active role in organizing rallies and demonstrations. This included playing a prominent role in the August 2017 white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and White Lives Matter rallies in Tennessee in October 2017. Others organizing these rallies included the National Socialist Movement, League of the South and Traditionalist Worker Party. In 2017, Vanguard America also protested outside of an anarchist bookstore in Houston, Texas.

As a sign of its networking, the group regularly retweets messages from Neo-Nazi David Duke, League of the South leader Michael Hill and Hunter Wallace of Occidental Dissent.

Vanguard America and Charlottesville

Vanguard America gained national infamy in August 2017 when several news outlets published photographs of James Alex Field Jr. at a rally carrying a shield emblazoned with the group’s symbol and wearing its activists’ characteristic white polo shirt and khaki pants.  Following the August Charlottesville rally, Fields was arrested and charged with second-degree murder for allegedly driving his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters and killing Heather Heyer. The participation of a violent racist in Vanguard America events is unsurprising. Vanguard America is a revolutionary white nationalist group that promotes violence:

The line between supporting violence and white revolution, while masquerading as non-violent, is visible in this speech by Vanguard America leader Dillon Irizzary:

“Soon enough our people, our race will have to set our humanity aside for a short time. We will have to subdue our empathy and compassion and do exactly what is necessary to preserve our people…. Those who currently have control over our systems will kill each and every one of us to maintain it. After all, we are only goyim to them. I look back at a quote of one of our nation’s founders, ‘The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure…’. I will say that a human body does make excellent fertilizer, but in no way am I advocating violence. This is why we were granted the right of the second amendment, though. That is the ultimate system of checks and balances. I now say to you all, it’s been 152 years since the last rebellion in this nation. Our trees are now ripe with the rot and decay of a century and a half. We have the means and the way of preserving these mighty oaks, these sturdy Ash and unyielding hickory. Will you help us clear the brush and waste from our crop to yield the spoils of our labor? Victory or Death. Conquer or Die. Capitulate, Never. We shall fight and we shall win because to lose now, is to lose our entire people. Do not lose hope. The love of our forefathers shall guide us through these dark times. I love you all. Dillon R. Hopper, Vanguard America, Commanding.”

Vanguard America and the Patriot Front

Vanguard America helped birth a new configuration, the Patriot Front, in an apparent attempt to distance the group from open Nazism and re-brand fascism as American. By mid-2017, Vanguard America began promoting the Patriot Front website. By October 2017, Vanguard America groups in five states were promoting the Patriot Front website on Twitter, while Vanguard Arizona did so as of early January 2018. Thomas Rousseau, a onetime Vanguard America activist based in Texas, now leads the Patriot Front, as reported extensively by It’s Going Down. Despite the re-branding efforts, Patriot Front continues to promote national socialist ideas.

Vanguard America and the Nationalist Front

In 2017, Vanguard America “commander” Dillon Irizarry led an effort to form a new white nationalist coalition. Irizarry joined leaders of the National Socialist Movement, the Traditionalist Worker Party and the League of the South, to create the Nationalist Front. Comprised of openly national socialist and neo-Confederate organizations, this new white nationalist coalition defines whites as “descendants of indigenous Europeans,” excluding “Jews and other groups who have light skin but are not Europeans…and thus should have their own homes, separate from ours.” The Nationalist Front further proclaims in its “Fourteen Points” (a nod to neo-Nazi murderer David Lane’s “14 Words”) that the Nationalist Front’s purpose is to “unite pro-White organizations…to achieve the main objective: The creation of a white ethno-state for White people in North America.”



[1] A check of the website on November 10, 2017, indicated that the “Platform” section had been removed. A copy of the pre-November platform and other white nationalist resources listed in this article can be obtained from

Chuck Tanner

Author Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner is an Advisory Board member and researcher for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. He lives in Washington State where he researches and works to counter white nationalism and the anti-Indian and other far right social movements.

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