Urban street gang graffiti is the most common way for gangs to communicate their message. Organized graffiti
is one of the first signs that street gangs are taking hold in your neighborhood and is also an excellent way to
track gang growth, affiliation, and sometimes even provides membership information.
Graffiti serves several purposes, all of which is understood by other “gangbangers,” even members of rival sets.
Graffiti has been called the newspaper or bulletin boards for gangs and communicates many messages,
including challenges, warnings, and pronouncements of deeds accomplished or about to occur. Local authorities
should establish procedures to deal with this public eyesore. This is an area where the community can band
together to show gangs they will not be tolerated. Graffiti should be removed or painted over after it is
documented and investigated by the police. Some graffiti is nothing more than “tagging.” An example of this is
“Johnny loves Mary”. Police departments and school officials should be sure someone within their respective
departments develops an expertise in reading and understanding graffiti.
Officials should understand that graffiti also develops local flavor which must be identified. Some examples of
street gang graffiti found in central Arkansas are as follows:
This indicates the name of the gang claiming this territory, usually a neighborhood name. “Folks” is a reference
to the Folk or Hoover Nation gang which is based in Chicago but is popping up all over the South. Sometimes
these gang members also are known as Shorty Folks, Shorties, and Black Gangster Disciples/BGD’s.
These are the individual gang members’ street names. Names are usually given based on a particular trait of the
This is the six-pointed star which is the symbol of the Folks. In this example, they have both proudly
proclaimed their affiliation and dissed (issued disrespect) to the rival Vice Lords by turning t