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A white-supremacist, anti-Semitic group modeled after Hitler's Brownshirts, the paramilitary Silver Legion wore a silver shirt with a tie along with a campaign hat and blue corduroy trousers with leggings. The uniform shirts bore a scarlet letter L over the heart: an emblem meant to symbolize Loyalty to the American Republic, Liberation from materialism and, of course, the Silver Legion itself. The blocky slab serif L-emblem was in a typeface similar to the present-day Rockwell Extra Bold. The organizational flag was a plain silver field with such an L in the canton at the upper left.
By 1934, the Silver Shirts had about 15,000 members. Circa 1935 with Nazi German funding, Silver Shirts had begun construction on a secluded 55 acre site in the Los Angeles hills meant to serve as a fortified world headquarters after the expected Fascist global conquest. Intended to be self-sustaining for long periods, the compound (location: ) had a water storage tank, bomb shelter, and various outbuildings and bunkers.
Silver Shirt leader Pelley ran for President of the United States in 1936 on a third-party ticket. Pelley hoped to seize power in a "silver revolution" and set himself up as dictator of the United States; the presidency remained in the hands of incumbent Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. By around 1938, the Silver Legion's membership was down to about 5,000.
After the Japanese 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, local police occupied the "world headquarters" bunker compound and detained members of the 50-strong caretaker force. The declaration of war on the United States by Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy led to the rapid decline of the Silver Legion. In 2012, plans to bulldoze the long-abandoned and graffiti-vandalized structures were underway.