Guy Fawkes mask stencil

Here's some handy, infringealicious clip art for the discriminating Anon who wants to make a statement without paying a royalty: a Guy Fawkes mask, suitable for urban art, dress-up, and silkscreening.

Guy Fawkes Mask clip art (Thanks, @crisnoble!)


  1. Cory… thanks for scaring the FSM out of me…
     The microsecond of terror as I ponder if I’ve just been doxed

    1. I was thinking the same thing.  I feel like that image has been dragged kicking and screaming into the public domain.  Who would be the rightful “owner” of that image anyway.  Would it be David Lloyd (the illustrator for V for Vendetta) or DC Comics?  Googled it and found this quote form Lloyd, on wikipedia, who sounds like he feels the same way: “The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I’m happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way.”

  2. LOL! Given the Blue Screen of Death heart posted above this story, and the heart-shaped outline of this graphic (not to mention the male and female symbols semingly encoded within; speck the nose/nostrils and goatee), I figured Cory was delivering a 1-2 punch of Valentines alt-ness, with this item suitable for signalling your “secret admirer” status. Wups!

  3. *sigh*… rant mode engaged:

    1) You know people have been wearing masks at protests for as long as there’s been protests? It acts as a uniform — as all uniforms do, it both creates a sense of unified identity (within the group and in the minds of onlookers/journalists/etc), and symbolizes the incidentiality of the particular identity of the wearer. Sure, a cop/soldier/surgeon/Occupier is a unique person, but that person’s irrelevant when they put on their uniform, and they’re “on the job”.

    And masks in particular… well, protests tend to comprise people who feel disenfranchised by traditional means of representation, and hiding their faces makes it that much harder to pidgeonhole them according to the usual tired stereotypes that tie in to that disenfranchisement — “it’s fine, we can ignore them, they’re only youths/blacks/commoners/etcetc”.

    There’s a *lot* more depth to it than mere cowardice. Even if did mean they were cowards, the claim that that would “discredit every demonstration [they] attend” is a complete non-sequitur. Show your working.

    2) Ah, the good old “anti-corporatists are buying corporations’ stuff, they’re stoopid hypocrites!” argument. Been answered plenty of times before, that one. For one thing, the very BB post you’re replying to undermines it. But aside from that… you can’t avoid partaking of corporate products in the modern world, any more than you can avoid partaking of government products like roads.

    Sure, you could try to avoid as many corporate products as possible …  make all your own clothes, and grow your own food (and then you’d be too busy avoiding corporations to protest) … refuse to use smartphones, and social networking (and then no-one would hear you when you *did* protest) … shun mass-produced masks (and so pass up a uniform anyone who wants to join in can acquire) …

    Or, you could break a few eggs to make your omelet. Accept that you’ve got to work within the system in the short-term in order to enact longer-term change. Buy a pickaxe off “the man” so you can chip away at his foundations, instead of clawing ineffectually at them by hand.

    3) It’s not about Guy Fawkes’ political ideals, any more than the war of the roses was about who had the prettiest-coloured flowers. No-one thinks it *is* about Fawkes… well, apart from people disingenuously seeking trite excuses to disregard the protests.

    It’s a little more about the character of V than it is about Fawkes, in that some particular lines & bits of symbolism from V for Vendetta have struck a chord with the protesters — but the mask, in the context of protests, is very much a phenomenon in its own right at this point. Symbols come adrift from their origins all the time. Etymology is not meaning.

  4. Wow. The implications. Publishing elsewhere and then linking to the publication yourself, to ensure that your work cannot be moderated by the editorial staff except by outright refusal to allow you to comment.

    Burning bridges, the sheer chutzpah.

  5. Symbols do indeed carry meaning, and no matter how prolix your response, that fact is immutable.  When I see that mask I don’t think of economic inequality, or of the movie V, but of the man Fawkes himself.  

    And I am saddened to think that today’s protesters equate (at some implicit level) the disputatious realm of “i’m right, you’re wrong” in religion with the rather clear area of our enormous Gini coefficient here in the U.S.  

    If you want to “start” a new, clever movement, why not start by organizing around a new symbol?  Or is that too challenging?  I suppose usurpation of an old symbol worked for the tea party.  Sigh.  Perhaps this is why there are so many sequels and so few originals today.

  6.  Guess how many Americans have ever heard of Guy Fawkes, let alone understand the political or religious ramifications or background associated with his name.

    Statistically, “close to none” would be my guess.

  7. Wouldn’t the swastika be a counter-example to your “immutable” fact? A symbol of good fortune turned into the exact opposite.

    I don’t see too many swastika ‘hipsters’ out there insisting that it’s cool to use because of its old pre-nazi connotations.

  8. no, because the hindu symbol it was based upon had precisely the opposite orientation (CW vs. CCW).  so it’s a bit like pondering the complications of the opposition/negation of an image being taken to connote the opposite of the original symbol.  no confusion of significance there, as the nazi intent was to invert the symbol.

Comments are closed.