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Gang signs... or what?

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I am not saying that these boys are showing gang signs on purpose. It may be something they saw on TV and thought it was cool. I am just saying that this is something that can lead to potential BAD situations. That is why I say that it is not allowed in my pack. It is easier to put a limit on those type of things than take chances. I say this because there is evidence and proof that gang activity is increasing in my area.


I am not knocking the youth for having fun. There just needs to be a little knowledge and awareness of what they are doing.

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Thanks for the input and discussion.


I'm heading off on a winter camping trip this week-end with the GS, but will send SctDad a photo of the guys in the pose next week and he can see if it means anything dangerous or really is just goofing around.


I fully appreciate misunderstood signs... a good buddy was severely beat in Oakland, CA about 15 years ago apparently because he had a blue bandanna poking out of his back pocket. He's recovered, and to this day has no clear idea what set the guy off, but police believe it was a misinterpreted gang sign.

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SMT; While I think showing the sign while posing atop a mountain is nothing at alto wory about, and it sounds like what they are doing won't be confused as a gang sign.....I do know how you can solve this.


You and the other leaders do the same thing. Start giving each other, as well as the scouts that sign.

Within the week, the scouts will have dropped doing that like a hot potatoe! LOL!

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I work with gang members and ex-gang members everyday.

You would be far better off looking at tattoos and graffiti than looking for signs.

Most gang signs are used in jail as a method of communication between gang members who hope that the correction officers either can't see or is aware of what is happening.


While gangs are different in different parts of the US. Here in PA. The department of corrections is at present tracking 2 African-American Gangs, 3 Hispanic gangs, 2 gangs of White supremacists along with a very nasty Motor-cycle gang.

Learning to read and understand the meanings of street graffiti (Tags) And body art will at the end of the day keep you and your team a lot safer than trying to understand signs.

The gangs that are believed to be the most organized are the Hispanic gangs. (The Latin Kings.)


Many of kids Scout age are listening to Gangsta Rap.

A lot of this stuff seems to be more about shock value than anything else. It kinda peaked a few years back and while still around is not as popular (Even with young African-Americans) as it once was.

Just as everyone who rides a motor-cycle, wears colors and has tattoos doesn't belong to a gang.

We need to not be looking for Zebras at a race course.

Gangs are normally all about money.

Money raised mainly from drugs.

Gangs want to protect what they see as being theirs.- Their turf, their reputation.

All the gang members I talk with (I talk with them almost everyday!) Think the little white boys playing their Ludacris downloads on their i-pods are just something to laugh at..



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you bring up many good points. I apologize if what i said sounded like I was depending on just one act or sign. When I teach this subject to my fellow EMS professionals, I teach all the signs. All the indicators.


As for the things that are in my area, we are having a lot of MS 13 in the area, Latin Kings, Bloods and Crips. All looking at our little rural area as a good way to take a quiet area.


Would love to be able to talk off line.


As for the original subject, my comments were mostly as a, know what you are doing and where type of suggestion.

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I agree that you should always know where you are and what a gesture means in that location. When I lived in Brazil I learned that the gesture that means A-OK in the US (tip of first finger to tip of thumb making a circle) means F-U down there. I knew a couple of guys who learned it the hard way.





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Being as this is a Scouting site, maybe I ought not post that being from England I was used to using two fingers to show my displeasure with others.

When I first moved States-side I knew that it was only one finger.

One day I was driving and someone did something that upset me, so I put the "Bird" to work.

Bad thing was I was using the wrong finger!

After that I just took to swearing under my breath.

After 25 years I never mastered the bird and still at times have a problem with the wrong way Americans date things.



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Along with others, I agree that it would be a lot easier to tell with a picture. I'm relatively young (22) and consider myself to be pretty aware of popular culture. From what you described, I see nothing gang related or negative at all. Its a common pose in pictures and the like. There's no real meaning to it that I'm aware. In a social situation, a sign similar to that is used as a parting gesture. It's a derivative of the term "peace out" and was/is the accompanying gesture. Perhaps it was originally a gang related thing but it is now very much a mainstream thing.


Now if they start shaving lines in their eyebrows or getting tattoos...you have a problem. Leave the kids be. They are just having fun.

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