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It should be noted that gang members often wear clothing that is currently popular among juveniles in general. The wearing of the clothing that is described in this section does not automatically make that person a gang member. However, a combination of the clothing worn, along with a certain color scheme or the manner in which the clothing is worn can indicate membership in a gang. As gang members find out what clothing is becoming too noticeable to people, they may change what they wear. What is fashionable today, may not be tomorrow and gang members like to be fashionable.

The following are examples of gang clothing:

The individual pictured to the right has several examples of common gang clothing.  Starting from the top, he is wearing a blue colored handkerchief on his head.  These are often referred to as "rags" and come in many different colors.  Gangs often adapt a color that they will identify with.

Many other gangs may use the same color rag and often time alliances between different gangs can be recognized by the use of thei same color rag. He is also wearing a blue rag around his neck and a blue t-shirt following the same color scheme. top, he is wearing a blue colored handkerchief on his head.

His pants are hanging low which is known as "sagging" and he is wearing blue boxer shorts.  He is also throwing handsigns which will be discussed below.  The pants he is wearing are Dickie work pants which are popular amongst the gang culture.  They come in different colors, with tan usually being a neutral color being worn by many different gangs. 



The use of colored shoe laces is also common.  The type of tennis shoes worn can also indicate gang membership. 


Customized T-shirt and baseball caps are also popular amongst gangsters.  Most often the name or initials of the gang will be used along with any symbols used by clothing, shoes, baseball caps, or their wallets or other articles of clothing.  Many times a gang will adopt a popular sports team's style of apparel, especially if the colors of that team is the same as their gang color or the team logo has some significant meaning to the gang.



The use of handsigns is a popular form of communication among street gangs.  The handsign usually identifies what major gang affilication the individual is a part of and the particular gang he is in.  The hangsign is also a form of disrespect to rival gangs. 




Gang tattoos are the sign of a gang member.  Individuals who mark themselves with gang writing have usually made a decision to stay in the gang for a long time.  Usually, the gang tattoo are the same symbols or words used in gang graffiti.



Get connected with your neighborhood. 

  • Neighborhood Watch
  • Neighborhood Association
  • Report all crime and gang activity

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Some information provided courtesy of Imagine Media Soluations and used with permission by SECURE in Clarksville, TN

Last updated: 5/12/2010 3:53:00 PM