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Anti-Defamation League: Group behind hung banner recruits with seemingly patriotic message

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This banner was hanging above I-215 Monday and belongs to the group Patriot Front, what the Anti-Defamation League says espouses white supremacy. (Photo: KUTV)

Salt Lake County, Utah (KUTV) -- A banner from a white nationalist group hung over Interstate 215 Monday morning, on an overpass near 1300 East in Cottonwood Heights.

The banner said "Reclaim America," and had a website link to the group Patriot Front.

Multiple drivers called 2 News about this sign. Mary, who didn’t want to give her last name, said she saw it on her way to work.

“It was just ridiculous and disgusting,” she said.

Seth Brysk, the regional director of Anti-Defamation League, said Patriot Front is a white supremacist organization.

"A group like Patriot Front, they are not patriotic, they are not representing the best of what America has to offer, they're not truly representing American ideals at all,” Brysk said.

He said they started in 2017 as an offshoot of Vanguard America, known for being active in the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Brysak said Patriot Front espouses racism, anti-Semitism, and intolerance under the guise of preserving the ethnic and cultural origins of the European ancestors.

"One of their calls is blood and soil, which is an allusion to a Nazi piece of propaganda,” Brysk said.

He said Patriot Front is the most active of white supremacist groups across the country, in terms of propaganda and recruiting.

"They are known for distributing flyers stickers, in particular targeting universities and college campuses to try and recruit people."

He said, like the sign on the overpass, a lot of their messaging is generalized and meant to appear patriotic.

"This is really just sort of the hook to get somebody in. To say, 'I believe in reclaiming America's glory' or 'I think that America should be better, I believe in Lady Liberty.' "

He said once one digs deeper into the group, he finds what they stand for isn't patriotism, but racism.

Brysk said it’s important to speak out against these groups, and Mary agrees.

“I hear too often that it's not a problem anymore that racism is dead, or that people aren't oppressed anymore, but they are every day, and hanging up a banner like this is something we can't let slide by,” she said.

KUTV reached out to Patriot Front for comment but did not hear back. A spokesperson for the Utah Department of Transportation said they went to look into the sign Monday, and it had already been taken down.

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