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Far-Right “Boogaloo” Movement Is Using Hawaiian Shirts to Hide Its Intentions

by Henry Navarro Delgado

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Hawaiian shirts’ meanings play out in surprising ways within the far-right’s efforts to make their ideology mainstream. For mainstream onlookers, Hawaiian shirts worn with tactical gear may fool them about the boogaloo’s true colours. The common association of Hawaiian prints with relaxed easy-going attitudes is misguided here. The boogaloo are bent on violence and hope for a second civil war to advance their agenda.

Called aloha shirts in Hawaii, these garments were reclaimed from their colonialist implications by Indigenous Hawaiian designers. Since the mid-1980s, designers like Sig Zane have injected aloha prints with authentic Indigenous energy.

Early Hawaiian shirts featured Asian motifs, which were replaced by local motifs in the 1930s. With this shift the shirts started embodying “aloha,” meaning respect for all animated or inanimate beings.”

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