Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

High-Stakes Capture the Flag

June 16th, 2010 · 6 Comments

If you’ve ever been curious about the day-to-day operations of outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs), the recent federal racketeering indictment against the Outlaws is an absolute goldmine. The lengthy document lays out exactly how a multi-chapter “one percenter” organization generates revenue, enforces discipline, and has a raucous (albeit morally objectionable) good time.

What struck us most, however, was the Outlaws’ strange obsession with a seemingly childish game: Seizing the sew-on patches of their enemies. A case in point:

On or about June 22, 2005, defendant JOSEPH ALLMAN and four other Outlaws members struck Diablos MC member H.T. with their vehicle as the victim was riding his motorcycle near Ossipee, New Hampshire. As a result of the attack, H.T. wrecked his motorcycle and was rendered unconscious. ALLMAN and another Outlaws member removed H.T.’s Diablos MC vest and left the victim on the side of the road.

On or about October 5, 2009, and on or about October 9, 2009, while at the Petersburg Outlaws clubhouse, ALLMAN described an attack that he and other Outlaws members had executed in 2005, where they struck a Diablos MC member with their vehicle, causing him to wreck his motorcycle and suffer serious injury. As a result, ALLMAN acquired a Diablos MC patch.

As far as we can tell from the indictment, the patches from these seized vests were either ritualistically burned (if the Outlaws really didn’t like you), or kept as trophies (if the Outlaws just thought your gang was a bunch of sissies not worth their time). Whatever the case, we have to say this factoid makes us fear OMGs a bit less. Grown men obsessing over the talismanic powers of sew-on patches? We grew out of that phase back in the third grade, when we finally tired of having this on our knapsack.

That said, gotta love the Outlaws’ nicknames. We would be reluctant to tangle with 50-year-old men who go by Torch or Rebar.


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6 Comments so far ↓

  • shothotbot

    The idea makes me think of counting coup. Surely there is some deep warrior instinct to take an enemies banner.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @shothotbot: Don’t know why this didn’t occur to me while writing the post, but there’s an obvious comparison between the bikers and the armies of Imperial Rome, for whom protecting their eagle standards from capture was of the utmost priority:


  • tsg

    I’m definitely no Civil War expert, but I believe more medals were awarded during the Civil War for capturing or saving flags than for any other reason.

  • Capture the Flag, Cont’d

    […] ← High-Stakes Capture the Flag […]

  • hubcap

    You will get my Megatron patch when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    Or I guess preferably my warm, but temporarily unconscious hands.

    I mean, I can always get another Megatron patch.

  • scottstev

    Hey, most of the action happened here in my adopted home-state. The Roman Legionary Eagles were considered quasi-deities, representing the spirit and soul of the legion (whose history could easily go back 300 years). I can’t imagine the affect on morale should those eagles get lost.