Vanguard America: Expanding Activities

In the past six months, Vanguard America—a white supremacist group—has expanded beyond Internet-based activity to attending violent protests nationwide, distributing propaganda, and intimidating minority populations. The leader of the group claims there are approximately 200 members in 20 states, including New Jersey. 

  • On August 12, Vanguard America members attended a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, protesting the planned removal of a Confederate statue. During the rally, James Alex Fields Jr.—who drove his vehicle into a group of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19—was photographed with Vanguard America members, wearing their signature uniform of khakis and a white polo, and carrying a shield with an image affiliated with the group. Vanguard America has since stated that Fields is not a member of the organization.

  • Over the last year, Vanguard America has distributed fliers nationally to recruit new members—primarily targeting educated males 18-24. The group has also posted fliers at universities in at least 10 states—including at Rutgers University, New Brunswick (Middlesex County) and Princeton University, Princeton (Mercer County).

  • The group actively distributes hate-related propaganda targeting synagogues, Islamic centers, and cultural institutions to intimidate minority populations. On July 1, a Vanguard America banner was posted in front of a Holocaust memorial in Lakewood Township (Ocean County). The banner stated, “(((HEEBS))) will not divide us,” referencing a derogatory name for Jews and the echo—three parentheses with a name inside—used to label individuals as Jewish.


For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Analysis Bureau at analysis@njohsp.gov or 609-584-4000.