Guy Fawkes Mask

Guy Fawkes Mask

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Guy Fawkes Mask is a white face mask used to symbolize the visage of Guy Fawkes, who attempted to blow up British House of Lords in the failed Gunpowder Plot on November 5th, 1605. In the hundreds of years since, the mask has been used as both a symbol of the British parliamentary power and protest as seen in the film V for Vendetta, the hacktivist group Anonymous and the Occupy movement.


On November 5th, 1605, a group of conspirators attempted to blow up the British House of Lords and assassinate King James VI. Guy Fawkes, a British-born rebel, was caught guarding a stockpile of Gunpowder and was later hanged.

Following the failed assassination attempt, burning effigies of Fawkes on November 5th, became a yearly tradition. The day became known as Guy Fawkes Night, and it was common for children to dress up scarecrows with a grotesque depiction of Fawkes on the head. Among the earliest known mentions of the Guy Fawkes mask comes from the weekly, peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet, which attributed the death of a two-year-old to the horror of seeing another boy wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.[1] They write,

"Elizabeth S--, residing at 1 Stephen's-place, Somerstown, aged two years and three months, and previously in good health, was on Friday, the 2nd of October last, carried by a little girl into a "sweet-shop," and whilst there a little boy, in a red "Guy-Fawkes" mask, made his appearance at the window. This she told her little nurse was "Bogie," and it greatest such an alarm in her mind, that on her return home she was described by her friends to have been in a state of great excitement, trembling violently, and unable, from agitation to explain the cause of her distress."


On December 31st, 1863, an artist published an illustration entitled "Procession of a Guy." The image features a parade on Gunpowder Night."[2]


V for Vendetta

In 1982, the comic book V for Vendetta was published in Warrior, a British anthology comic. The book, which features a character who is an anarchist activist, wears a Guy Fawkes mask is a symbol of violent protest against the British government. The depiction of the mask was developed by artist David Lloyd and writer Alan Moore. Lloyd wrote of the design at the time, "papier-mâché masks, in a cape and a conical hat? He'd look really bizarre and it would give Guy Fawkes the image he's deserved all these years. We shouldn't burn the chap every Nov. 5th but celebrate his attempt to blow up Parliament!"[3]

Vol. I of X SEP 88 $2.00 US/$2.95 CAN FOR sted r Matures DET Readers y Alan Moore aa

On March 17th, 2006, after a four-month delay, the feature-film adaptation of V for Vendetta. The film opened to generally positive reviews and grossed more than $130 million worldwide.[4][5]

Epic Fail Guy

On September 30th 2006, the Guy Fawkes mask became associated with a 4chan stick figure character known as Epic Fail Guy, after a comic thread was posted on an unknown board showing the character finding the mask in a trash can (shown below). After this, the character, known for his inability to successfully complete any task, continued to be depicted wearing the mask. In addition, the phrase “Remember, Remember the Fifth of November” was also used on 4chan throughout 2007, including a June 2007 thread on /b/ (random) discussing overused memes on the site.

File :1159651513. gif-3 KB, 400x400, food gif) 09/3006(Sat) 1625:13 No.13611119 And so, to, I present to you a tread that is 100% fil-proof, giaranteed of sticky In this thread, we MSPaint our favorite foods >>「09/30/06(Sat) 16:25:42 No. 1361 1 135 File :1159651542 (3 KB. 400x400,food gif) Oh, you gotta be shittin' me. >>「093006(Sat)16:30:22 No.13611361 File :1159651822 -(2 KB, 400x400, foodgt) >>「09/30.06(Sat) 16:31:34 No 1361 1423 File :1159651894 (2 KB, 400x400, food >>「093006(Sat)16:32:17 No. 13611451 File :1159651937 f-(2 KB, 400x400, foodgf) eehh ehmf efh emf >>「09/30/06(Sat)16:32:45 No.1361 1473 File :1159651965E2 KB, 400x400, foodg) eh »「09/30.06(Sat)16:32:56 No. 1361 1483 File :1159651976df-(2 KB, 400x400, food >>「093006(Sat) 16:33:15 No. 1361 1507 File :1159631995 -(2 KB, 400x400, foodgf >>「09/30/06(Sat)16:33:33 No 13611525 File 1159652013 s-2 KB, 400x400, food g) This is really awkward »「093006(Sat)16:37:41 No.13611686 Fle:1 -(2 KB, 400x-400, foodgf) Heh heh uh don't mind me guys I was just uh about to throw this away >>「09:3006(Sat)16:39:41 No.13611773 File 1159652381-2 KB, 400x400, food gt) Lemme just go get my trashcan >>「09.3006(Sat)16:39:58 No.13611786 File B, 400x400, food gif) >>「09:30-06(Sat)16:40:30 No. 13611806 File :1159652430.圣(3 KB. 400x400, food lol found my trashcan >>「093006(Sat)16:41:18 No.1361 1828 File :1159652478 -(2 KB, 400x400, foodgt) wait a minute 093006(Sat)16:41:53 No.1361 1857 File :1159652513.of..(2 KB. 400x400, food >> What's that, inside? >>「093006(Sat) 16:42:22 No.1361 1875 File :1159652542 gf-(2 KB, 400x400, foodgf) Let me get a better look at this >>「09/30/06(Sat)16:42:40 No. 1361 1886 File :1159652560 of.(2 KB, 400x400, food »「09:3006(Sat)16:43:04 No. 1361 1904 File :1159652584df-(2 KB, 400x400, food >>「0930 06(Sat)16:44:06 No.13611942 File :1159632646.-(2 KB, 400x400, foodgf >>「09:3006(Sat)16:44:18 No 1361 1952 File :1159652658.豏(3 KB, 400x400, food Well hello there

The following month, YouTuber Chainsaw09 published a video animation of Epic Fail Guy dancing. The post (shown below) received more than 40,000 views in 12 years.


In January 2008, posters from both 4chan and 711chan, in addition to several other websites aligned with Anonymous, decided to launch a campaign against the Church of Scientology known as Project Chanology after the Church issued a DMCA takedown on a video containing material from an interview with actor Tom Cruise about the religion. Real-life gatherings were organized, taking place on February 10th, 2008, when more than 7000 members of the hacktivist collective from more than 100 cities globally protested in front of Scientology churches, marking the first offline action of Anonymous. Many members chose to wear a Guy Fawkes mask to the protests as a way to conceal their identity and show their alliance to the collective.


The mask has since become one of the overarching symbols for the Anonymous group. In the group's videos, which act as their main form of communication with the general public, the anchor who delivers the message wears a Guy Fawkes mask to protect their identity (examples below).

On December 3rd, 2011, YouTuber[6] anonymous04210 published a video entitled "Anonymous – Message to the American People." The video (shown below, left) features someone reading a statement while wearing the mask and has garnered more than 12 million views in seven years.

Several months later, on April 11th, 2012, a video by the official Anonymous YouTube[7] account published a video (shown below, right) of a person speaking in Spanish while wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. The video received more than 31,000 views in six years.

Various Examples


Search Interest

External References

[1] Google books – The London Lancet

[2] Wikipedia – Procession of a guy

[3] Wikipedia – Guy Fawkes mask

[4] Metacritic – V for Vendetta

[5] Box Office Mojo – V for Vendetta

[6] YouTube – Anonymous – Message to the American People

[7] YouTube – Anonymous

Recent Videos 3 total

Recent Images 14 total

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