What Are the Identifying Tattoos of the “Gangster Disciples”?

Identifying tattoos for the “Gangster Disciples” include a six-pointed star, an eight ball, three dots in the shape of a triangle, pitchforks, a die showing the number six, a heart with wings and an upside down cane. Tattooed numbers and letters also have meaning.

Specific tattoos symbolize membership in the Gangster Disciples gang. They may also represent a belief system or be used to record violent acts. The gang uses the six-pointed star because its members associate with the number six, which is also the reason for the die showing a six. Six is supposed to represent life, love, loyalty, knowledge, respect and understanding. Gang members also get tattoos of the number six alone. Pitchforks and upside down canes show disrespect to rival gangs. An eight ball shows an alliance with another gang, the Crips.

The Gangster Disciples also get the initials for the gang, GD, tattooed on their bodies. Alternatively, they use numbers to represent the alphabet, 7 for G and 4 for D. The initials BOS and BOSS in a tattoo stand for “Brothers of the Struggle” and “Brothers of the Strong Struggle.”

The Gangster Disciples are part of the Folk Nation, an alliance of street gangs originating in Chicago. The heart with wings is common to all the Folk Nation sets, and tattoos may incorporate other symbols, numbers and letters.