What Does Wearing a Black Bandana Mean?


Wearing a black bandana is usually associated with gang affiliation. Law enforcement groups identify a variety of bandana colors and color combinations linked with a number of different gangs.

Latin Kings, Black Gangster Disciples, MS 13, Vice Lords and 18th Street are some of the gangs reputed to wear black bandanas, and other colors or combinations, as a symbol of membership.

In contrast, Crips are associated with the color blue, and members of the Bloods traditionally wear red bandanas. Tattoos, hand signs, graffiti and special jargon are other ways to discern and communicate gang affiliation. Public safety measures to promote awareness of common gang symbols aim at identifying and preventing juvenile delinquency and gang activity.