Who is anonymous?

Anonymous is a large, unnamed, collective, hacktivist group. Anonymous was formed in 2004, and in its early days, they focused on entertaining hacking activities. Though later on, they focused on international issues and are recognized as “freedom fighters” by their supporters and on the other hand, some called them “cyber-terrorists”. Since 2008, Anonymous had done countless hack operations, mostly on political and morality related issues. Their latest targets were terrorist groups like ISIS or big corporations like PayPal, MasterCard and so on.

Logo of Anonymous

I am going to talk about the very known and symbolic mask that is related to this hacktivist group, so-called “the Anonymous Mask.” The origin of this mask actually has nothing to do with Anonymous itself. It is actually a visual representation of a man named Guy Fawkes, who was a soldier and a conspiracy theorist.

Who was Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes is known as one of the biggest traitors in England. He was a catholic and he became a part of an activist catholic revolutionary group. This group aimed to kill protestant King James the first. Their plan was simple: Exploding the Westminster Parliament Building on the night on 5th November. Guards searched the Westminster Palace when they prompted by an anonymous letter. They found Fawkes guarding explosives and Fawkes got caught. He was questioned and tortured until he confessed to wanting to blow up the palace.

Discovery of the Gunpowder Plot (c. 1823), Henry Perronet Briggs

This night is celebrated in England every year as The Guy Fawkes Night. People celebrate this day with fireworks and burning dummies that wear a Guy Fawkes mask.

Origin of modern Guy Fawkes mask

The traditional Guy Fawkes mask is different than the one that we all used to see. Here is a traditional-looking Guy Fawkes Mask.

Modern Guy Fawkes mask comes from the graphic novel V for Vendetta. V for Vendetta is a British graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd. The comic depicts a revolutionary dressed in Guy Fawkes mask who wants to bring anarchy to a dystopic and fascist version of the United Kingdom.

What does this mask represent?

Guy Fawkes’s acts itself is enough to give us an idea about what this mask represents. Guy Fawkes wanted to demolish a parliament building which would create an anarchy state if he was succeeded. The mask is a symbol of revolution, freedom and anarchy. It is widely adopted by protesters and activists from all over the world.

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