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Roman Salute

Description of the gesture:

The Roman salute involves placing a hand over one’s heart and then raising it upwards at a 45-degree angle.


The Nazis claimed the Roman salute was a greeting in ancient Rome, though there is no concrete evidence of this fact. It was most likely invented in the twentieth century.


The Roman salute was an accepted greeting among Italian fascists as a "linkage to and revival of glorious Roman traditions.” Nazis in various countries later copied it from Italian fascists.

Use as a hate symbol:

Certain neo-fascist organizations sometimes use the Roman salute as a greeting, while individuals use it as a sign of commitment to the ideas of Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini. The Nazi salute has supplanted the Roman salute as a common greeting among neo-Nazis.

The Roman salute is rarely used in Ukraine. In some cases, the Nazi salute is misinterpreted as a Roman salute or heart-to-sun gesture. This explanation is usually made in an attempt to disguise the Nazi salute and to avoid condemnation. In any case, the Roman salute is also considered a hate symbol.

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