Guy Fawkes mask is the symbol of protest, post-modernism, popular way of concealing one’s identity and a trend among the teenagers to look cool.
All these things are associated with this Guy Fawkes Mask!, but what is the History of Guy Fawkes Mask? How it became THE symbol of protest? How different groups are using it to conceal their identities? All of these questions are answered below in a factual and easy to understand manner.
Ultimate Guide to Guy Fawkes Mask – 2018 Updated
What is Guy Fawkes Mask?
Guy Fawkes mask is the portrayal of the 17th Century Catholic Terrorist who was involved in the Gunpowder Treason Plot. It is used in many different ways, one of the most popular is the Bonfire Night or the Guy Fawkes Night celebrated in the United Kingdom in memory of the arrest of Guy Fawkes in 1605.
Guy Fawkes Mask – Origin & History
Origin of Guy Fawkes Mask dates back to the Victorian Era where children were reported to wear Guy Fawkes Mask on Bonfire Night to depict the ringleader of the Gunpowder Treason. Effigies of Guy Fawkes were also made and burnt to commemorate the arrest of Guy Fawkes and the evil plan of explosives.
Many different designs were in use during that Era.
The wide smile of the mask, upside mustache, pointing beard on the chin and deep eyes are all the iconic symbols of Guy Fawkes Mask.
There are many different designs and shapes of Guy Fawkes masks are available in the market but the most popular among them is the one designed by the original illustrator David Lloyd.
As back as 1846 a medical journal titles The Lancet records the death of a young girl after seeing and being terrified by a boy wearing a red Guy Fawkes Mask.
The Journal records this death as ‘death from freight’. Even today, the sight of Guy Fawkes mask is a sight of terror for many children. Therefore, one has to think twice before wearing this mask in the general public.
We have to be careful in the celebrations of Bonfire Night so as to keep this event a joyous one.
Guy Fawkes Mask – Hollywood – V for Vendetta
The famous writer of the Watchmen series, Alan Moore, further popularized the Guy Fawkes Mask by making his main character ‘V’ wear this mask throughout the movie to conceal his identity in 2006.
At the end of this movie, a large number of people can be seen wearing the Guy Fawkes mask on the streets to show their solidarity with the V.
This popularized the symbol of Guy Fawkes Mask among the young and old alike. Particularly, hackers groups took this mask and made it their symbol during their attacks on several websites.
Internet & the Guy Fawkes Mask – 4Chan & Anonymous
After the release of the movie, the Guy Fawkes mask popularity took a sharp rise among the denizens of Internet particularly in the forums like 4Chan.
4Chan seems to be the place where the ‘Anonymous’ group rose and took it to the streets to protest against the Government, CIA and other important authorities.
The Guy Fawkes mask was worn by every member in the protests arranged by the ‘Anonymous’ group to conceal their identity. The main purport of using this mask seems to be concealing the identity instead of following the Guy Fawkes. But the popularity of this iconic Guy Fawkes Mask is increased after every protest.
Anonymous & the Church of Scientology
One instance which made the Guy Fawkes mask particularly popular among the protestors was the protest arranged by the hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ against the Church of Scientology in 2008.
This protest was a huge one and it then grew into a national movement including the protests in many cities like Michigan, Boston, Florida, and Los Angeles.
Guy Fawkes Mask – the Global Symbol of Resistance
After the popularity of mask by the ‘Anonymous’ group, many other movements started to use Guy Fawkes mask as a symbol of resistance and as a way of concealing their identity.
In the Occupy Wall Street Movement, the protestors claimed that ‘We are the 99%’ which means that they are the ones who are suffering social and economic inequality from the dominant and elite 1% of the society. The protest was aimed at highlighting the social injustices dominant in the consumeristic and capitalistic societies. Many people used the Guy Fawkes mask in this protest started at 17 September 2011.
As for the Arab Spring Movement, it started in late 2010’s in response to the oppressive regimes and the low standard of living in Tunisia. The movement then spread among other cities and other countries as well. The main drivers for the widespread of this revolution were social media channels and forums where people used Guy Fawkes masks as well as other symbols to raise their voice and share their success stories.
Guy Fawkes Mask in Thailand Protest
As the global symbol of resistance, Guy Fawkes mask also reached in the protests in Thailand.
In the summer of 2013, an anti-government movement also took the Guy Fawkes mask in Thailand. Basically, the protestors wore these masks in the protests against the ‘claimed’ puppet government controlled by an ex-prime minister, who was exiled.
Incidentally, this was not the only time when protestors wore these Guy Fawkes masks because in 2011 a small group of protestors also protested in Bangkok while wearing the Guy Fawkes or Anonymous Mask the same day when the ‘Anonymous Thailand’ Facebook page was launched.
Turkey Protests & Guy Fawkes Mask
Another usage of the anonymous masks or the Guy Fawkes mask during protests was sighted during the Turkish Airline Workers protest for their labor rights.
According to some reports, employees of Turkish Airline wore the Guy Fawkes Mask to hide their identity and yet raise their voice against the unjust round of firing employees for utilizing their right to strike.
But the chairman of the Turkey Airline, Hamdi Topcu, denied the claims of the protestors saying that the majority of the employees are satisfied with their work conditions.
Middle East, Arab Spring & The Guy Fawkes Mask
As mentioned earlier in this article, Guy Fawkes Mask was used in the protests and demonstrations in the middle east during the Arab Spring.
Various photos of the protestors wearing the masks in Egypt can be seen over the internet.
After imposing the ban on the import of anonymous mask, the Government extended the decision towards the destruction of all the masks available in the market.
Million Mask March
One of the most popular and organized movement around the world using the Guy Fawkes mask is the Million Mask March
Started in March 2013, the Million Mask March grew in popularity around the world. It is being led by the Hacktivist Group ‘Anonymous’ and they have their own rules and principles related to the march.
One of the common factors among its marches around the world is the use of the Guy Fawkes Mask, also known as ‘Anonymous Mask’, by the huge majority of the members joining the protests.
From the start of this article, we have learned about the history of Guy Fawkes mask and how it was used in the past to how it is being used in the current socio-political landscape.
Let us know about any questions or any concern you might have about the information presented in this article.