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"Legionary life is beautiful, not because of riches, partying or the acquisition of luxury, but because of the noble comradeship which binds all Legionaries in a sacred brotherhood of struggle."

Legionarism, also variably known as the Iron Guard, Legionary Fascism, and more generally as Romanian Fascism, is an authoritarian, culturally far-right and economically third positionist fascist ideology. It believes in clerical fascism, Romanian nationalism, anti-communism, anti-capitalism, and anti-magyarism.


The Ideology was founded in Romania 1927 by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu. The party was called Legion of the Archangel Michael. The Party was in power from 14 September 1940 until February 1941, staying in power for just 5 months. During the Iron Guard regime there was also a  Constitutional Monarchy with King Michael I as the King of Romania. The party was banned on the 23rd of January 1941.

The core beliefs of Legionarism have seen somewhat of a resurgence in modern Romanian politics. A couple of Romanian political parties and non-official institutions have Legionarism characteristics. Some examples include the AUR (Alliance for the Unification of Romanians) tho which denies their correlation. And the ND (New Right) which rather embraces their far-right extremism, stating that they are the modern successors of the TPT party. Political extremism on both sides is banned in Romania but the government lacks the funds to prevent the spread of it, leading to great amounts of Legionarist propaganda on the internet and on social media platforms.

Outside of Romania, the ideology has gained a following among the ranks of the Alt-Right and other far-right extremists. On the internet, Legionarism is seen as the default Christian fascism, many Far-right groups use the tic-tac-toe style logo as a replacement for the swastika. Due to its covert nature, the cross of archangel Michal (The official name of the logo) can be sneaked in various places or used as a dog whistle in order to avoid detection. Many social media websites have taken to removing the symbol, such measures are difficult due to the symbol being part of Unicode (U+2A69) therefore ai detection is made difficult.


Corneliu Zelea Codreanu was born on September 13, 1899 in Husi, Vaslui County, Romania. His father was a teacher from Bukovina in what was then Austria-Hungary and his mother was of German ancestry. During World War I he was too young to be conscripted, tried to enlist anyway and ended up in a military academy while never seeing combat. At this early period in his life he first developed his adamant opposition to communism. He blamed the communists for much of the suffering Romania endured during World War I (the country was swiftly conquered by Austro-German forces) because it was the communists who had taken Russia out of the war and robbed Romania of their closest and most powerful ally. Over time his hatred of communism would grow deeper as his own opinions solidified. He was a devout son of the Romanian Orthodox Church whereas the communists were atheistic. He was an ardent Romanian nationalist whereas the communists were internationalists. He rejected equality as either real or desirable whereas the communists not only espoused the equality of all but were determined to use force to realize it. In short, they were the embodiment of everything opposed to what he held most dear. This was also the root of his anti-Semitism.

Like many at the time he viewed the Jews as being behind the communist revolutionary movement. That would have been enough to warrant his opposition to the Jews in Romania but he had other reasons as well. One level was religious. His ideal was a purely Christian Romania and the Jews were of a different faith. His nationalism also engendered his distrust of Jews who were a nation without a country of their own, living in Romania but, as he saw it, always remaining Jews first and Romanians second. Had a Jewish state existed at the time one can imagine Codreanu, for all his much talked about anti-Semitism, being totally supportive of it. As he grew older and more involved in politics he took a very dim view of the world around him. Having studied in Berlin he was sickened by the chaos and depravity rampant in the Weimar Republic of Germany. When Mussolini and his Black shirts successfully pulled off their “March on Rome” he applauded them, as did many in the world at the time, for putting a stop to the threat of a communist revolution in Italy.

After a rough time in the world of right-wing politics in Romania, in 1927 Codreanu formed the Legion of the Archangel Michael. He dressed his followers in green shirts and made all new members swear an oath to die for Christ. This group would later better be known as the Iron Guard though members continued to be called “legionnaires” throughout the life of the organization. The group was adamantly Romanian Orthodox and while other groups shared certain parts of their platform it was their zealously religious nature that made the Legion stand out from the others. They rejected capitalism as materialistic but were, of course, staunchly anti-communist and their economic policy was never well developed. They were most defined by what they were opposed to which included, of course, communists, freemasons, liberals, democrats, homosexuals, atheists and any non-Christians. Codreanu also left no doubt that he was opposed to the idea of a republic though many overlook this today. It is also important to remember that during much of this time the Romanian monarch, King Carol II, was opposed to the Iron Guard and doing his best to thwart them in favor of his own political program. Nonetheless, Codreanu was open about his feelings on monarchy.

Codreanu himself said, “I reject republicanism. At the head of races, above the elite, there is Monarchy. Not all monarchs have been good. Monarchy, however, has always been good. The individual monarch must not be confused with the institution of Monarchy, the conclusions drawn from this would be false. There can be bad priests, but this does not mean that we can draw the conclusion that the Church must be ended and God stoned to death. There are certainly weak or bad monarchs, but we cannot renounce Monarchy. The race has a line of life. A monarch is great and good, when he stays on this line ; he is petty and bad, to the extent that he moves away from this racial line of life or he opposes it. There are many lines by which a monarch can be tempted. He must set them all aside and follow the line of the race. Here is the law of Monarchy.” One can speculate that the invocation of race in speaking of the monarchy was perhaps in reference to the fact that King Carol II had a girlfriend who was from a Jewish background which irritated a great many people. In 1937 the Legion placed third in national elections but King Carol II came down hard on them as he was himself trying to establish his own royal-political regime and would tolerate no opposition.

In 1938 King Carol II dissolved Parliament and began ruling on his own. Codreanu was swiftly arrested and on the night of November 29-30 was strangled to death along with several of his compatriots by the police while he was trying to breakout. The Legion was almost wiped out, but finally achieved some measure of power under the pro-Axis dictator General Ion Antonescu. However, the general soon turned against them, removed their members from power and with German support succeeded in wiping out most of them.



Codreanu also believed in fighting the Capitalist system, which he realized was an inherently exploitive system, which allowed corporations to exploit millions of workers. In 1919, when forming the program of “National Christian Socialism,” he stated that “It is not enough to defeat Communism. We must also fight for the rights of the workers. They have a right to bread and a fight to honor. We must fight against the oligarchic parties, creating national workers organizations which can gain their rights within the framework of the state and not against the state.”

Later in 1935 he announced the creation of a new system which he hoped would be adopted by the nation as a whole once the Legionary Movement took power: “Legionary commerce signifies a new phase in the history of commerce which has been stained by the Jewish spirit. It is called: Christian commerce — based on the love of people and not on robbing them; commerce based on honor.” Essentially Codreanu was a Third Position socialist, supporting private property but at the same time opposing the materialistic and money-centered system of capitalism. Another important point of Codreanu’s ideas for Romania is that labor is something in which everyone must be involved in. Laziness was a trait that should be treated as a highly negative vice. All Legionaries in some way did some kind of physical work, often to help lower-class Romanians in their own labor and problems. Codreanu wrote: “The law of work: Work! Work every day. Put your heart into it. Let your reward be, not gain, but the satisfaction that you have laid another brick to the building of the Legion and the flourishing of Romania.”

Nation and Land

The Legionaries believed that nations were not merely products of history and geography, but were created by God Himself and had a spiritual component to them. Codreanu wrote in For My Legionaries, adopting the teachings of Nichifor Crainic:

If Christian mysticism and its goal, ecstasy, is the contact of man with god through a “leap from human nature to divine nature,” national mysticism is nothing other than the contact of man and crowds with the soul of their people through the leap which these forces make from the world of personal and material interests into the outer world of nation. Not through the mind, since this any historian can do, but by living with their soul.

A nation was also inseparable from the land on which it developed, to which the people grew a spiritual connection with over time. Codreanu wrote of the Romanian people:

"We were born in the mist of time on this land together with the oaks and fir trees. We are bound to it not only by the bread and existence it furnishes us as we toil on it, but also by all the bones of our ancestors who sleep in its ground. All our parents are here. All our memories, all our war-like glory, all our history here, in this land lies buried. . . . Here . . . sleep the Romanians fallen there in battles, nobles and peasants, as numerous as the leaves and blades of grass . . . everywhere Romanian blood flowed like rivers. In the middle of the night, in difficult times for our people, we hear the call of the Romanian soil urging us to battle. . . . We are bound to this land by millions of tombs and millions of unseen threads that only our soul feels . . ."

Finally, it must be noted that Codreanu also believed that every nation has a mission to fulfill in the world and therefore that only the nations which betray their mission, given to them by God, will disappear from the earth. “To us Romanians, to our people, as to any other people in the world, God has given a mission, a historic destiny,” wrote Codreanu, “The first law that a person must follow is that of going on the path of this destiny, accomplishing its entrusted mission. Our people has never laid down its arms or deserted its mission, no matter how difficult or lengthy was its Golgotha Way.” The aim of a nation, or its destiny in the world of spirit, was that it does not simply live in the world but that it aims for resurrection through the teachings of Christ. “There will come a time when all the peoples of the earth shall be resurrected, with all their dead and all their kings and emperors, each people having its place before God’s throne. This final moment . . . is the noblest and most sublime one toward which a people can rise.” It was for this ideal that the Legion fought tirelessly against all obstacles, corrupt politicians, and alien peoples such as the Jews which insisted on feeding off the Romanian people and land.

Religion and Culture

One aim of the Legionary Movement was the preservation and regeneration of Romanian culture and customs. They knew that culture was the expression of national genius, its products the unique creations of the members of a specific nation. Culture could have international influence, but it was always national in origin. Therefore, the Liberal-Capitalist position that different ethnic groups should be allowed to freely move into another group’s nation, interfering with that nation’s culture and development by their presence and influence, was incredibly wrong. Each ethnic group has its own soul and produces and crystallizes its own form and style of culture. For example, a Romanian cultural image could not be created from German essence any more than a German cultural image could be created from Romanian essence.

Furthermore, religion was an important aspect in a people’s culture, oftentimes the origin of many customs and traditions. The Legionaries believed that Christianity was not only a significant part of their culture, but also that it was the religion which represented divine truth. This is why in order to join the Legion of Michael the Archangel one had to be a Christian and could not be of another religion or an atheist. With these principles clear, the Legion therefore aimed for a Romanian nation made up of only ethnic Romanians and only Christians.

With this in mind, it becomes clear why Codreanu and many other Romanians felt that the Jewish presence in their nation was so threatening. The Jews became influential in economics, finance, newspapers, cinema, and even politics. Through this they even became powerful in the field of culture, slowly changing Romanian customs and Romanian thinking, making it more related to that of the Jews. Codreanu, as concerned about the problem as people such as Cuza and Gavanescul, commented:

Is it not frightening, that we, the Romanian people, no longer can produce fruit? That we do not have a Romanian culture of our own, of our people, of our blood, to shine in the world side by side with that of other peoples? That we be condemned today to present ourselves before the world with products of Jewish essence?” and “Not only will the Jews be incapable of creating Romanian culture, but they will falsify the one we have in order to serve it to us poisoned.


Codreanu wrote of the importance of keeping a nation racially cohesive. In For My Legionaries, Codreanu quoted Conta’s racial separatist arguments, which formed the basis of his own attitudes on race, and even compared them to the German National Socialist view. He wrote: “Consider the attitude our great Vasile Conta held in the Chamber in 1879. Fifty years earlier the Romanian philosopher demonstrated with unshakeable scientific arguments, framed in a system of impeccable logic, the soundness of racial truths that must lie at the foundation of the national state; a theory adopted fifty years later by the same Berlin which had imposed on us the granting of civil rights to the Jews in 1879.”

However, it should be noted that at least a few Legionaries did not agree that race was important. Ion Mota, in 1935 when he met with the NSDAP in Germany, criticized the National Socialists by telling them that “Racism is the most vulgar form of materialism. Peoples are not different by flesh, blood or color of skin. They are different by their spirit, i.e. by their creations, culture and religion.” Of course, Mota’s attitude is unlikely to have been dominant among the Legion, since Codreanu was the founder of the ideas the majority of its members shared. It is also notable that Horia Sima, in his works on Legionary beliefs, agreed with Codreanu that race is real and important. However, Sima disagreed with connecting Romanian racial views with German racialism, censuring the followers of Hitler by asserting that their worldview misused racialism, making it too absolute and materialistic.

The New Man

The Legionary Movement aimed to create a New Man (Omul Nou), to transform the entire nation through Legionary education by transforming each individual into a person of quality. The New Man would be more honest and moral, more intelligent, industrious, courageous, willing to sacrifice, and completely free of materialism. His view of the world would be centered around spirituality, service to his nation, and love of his fellow countrymen. This new and improved form of human being would transform history, setting the foundations of a new era never before seen in Romanian history. Codreanu wrote:

We shall create an atmosphere, a moral medium in which the heroic man can be born and can grow. This medium must be isolated from the rest of the world by the highest possible spiritual fortifications. It must be defended from all the dangerous winds of cowardice, corruption, licentiousness, and of all the passions which entomb nations and murder individuals. Once the Legionary will have developed in such a milieu... he shall be sent into the world... He will be an example; will turn others into Legionaries. And people, in search of better days, will follow him... will make a force which will fight and will win. Therefore, a spiritual revolution would create the basis for a political revolution, since without the New Man no political program could achieve any lasting accomplishment.


Romania’s government was a constitutional monarchy, thus the nation’s government was considered a democracy. Corneliu Codreanu was a member of the Romanian parliament two times, and his experiences with democratic politics led him to firmly conclude that the democratic system, although claiming to represent the will of the people, rarely ever achieved its goal of representation. In fact, he felt that it did just the opposite. In For My Legionaries, he listed out some major objections he had to the system and the way it worked (the following is a paraphrase of his points):

  • Democracy destroys the unity of the people since it creates factionalism.
  • Democracy turns millions of Jews (and other alien groups) into Romanian citizens, thus carelessly destroying the ancient ethnic makeup of a nation.
  • Democracy is incapable of enduring effort and responsibility because by design it inherently leads to an unending change in leadership over a short period of time. A leader or party works to improve the nation with a specific plan, but only rules for a few years before being replaced by a new one with a new plan, who largely if not completely disregard the old one. Thus little is achieved and the nation is harmed.
  • Democracy lacks authority since it does not give a leader the power he needs to accomplish his duties to the nation and turns him into a slave of his selfish political supporters.
  • Democracy is manipulated by financiers and bankers, since most parties are dependent on their funding and are thus influenced by them.
  • Democracy does not guarantee the election of virtuous leaders, since the majority of politicians are either demagogues or corrupt, and the masses of common people usually are not capable or knowledgeable enough to elect good men. Codreanu rhetorically remarked about the idea of the masses choosing its elite, “Why then do soldiers not choose the best general?”

Therefore, Codreanu aimed for a new form of government, In this new system the leaders would not inherit power through heredity, nor would they be elected as in a republic, but rather they would be selected. Thus, selection and not election is the method of choosing a new elite. Natural leaders, demonstrating bravery and skill, would rise up through Legionary ranks, and the old elite would be responsible for choosing the new elite. The concept of the New Man is important to Codreanu’s system of leadership, because only by the establishment of the New Man would the right leaders rise and become the leaders of the nation. The elite would be founded on the principles Codreanu himself laid out: “a) Purity of soul. b) Capacity of work and creativity. c) Bravery. d) Tough living and permanent warring against difficulties facing the nation. e) Poverty, namely voluntary renunciation of amassing a fortune. f) Faith in God. g) Love.”

This new system of government which Codreanu aimed to establish would be authoritarian. He described it this way: “He (the leader) does not do what he wants, he does what he has to do. And he is guided, not by individual interests, nor by collective ones, but instead by the interests of the eternal nation, to the consciousness of which the people have attained. In the framework of these interests and only in their framework, personal interests as well as collective ones find the highest degree of normal satisfaction.”

An important point in the Legionary political system is that the Legion recognized three entities: “1) The individual. 2) The present national collectivity, that is, the totality of all the individuals of the same nation, living in a state at a given moment. 3) The nation, that historical entity whose life extends over centuries, its roots imbedded deep in the mists of time, and with an infinite future.”

Each of these entities had their own rights in a hierarchical sense. Republicanism recognized only the rights of the individual, but the Legionary Movement claimed to recognize the rights of all three. The nation was the most important entity, and thus the rights of the national collectivity were subordinate to it, and finally the rights of the individual were subordinate to the rights of the national collectivity. According to them, the destructive individualism of “democracy” infringed on the rights of the national collectivity and the rights of the nation, since it ignored the rights of those two entities and placed that of the individual above all.


“The Legionary embraces death,” wrote Codreanu, “for his blood will serve to mold the cement of Legionary Romania.” Throughout the struggles and intense persecutions it faced, the Legionary Movement produced many martyrs, two of the most often referenced being Ion Mota and Vasile Marin, who died in 1937 helping Franco fight against Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. Other martyrs of the Legion include Sterie Ciumetti, Nicoleta Nicolescu, Lucia Grecu, and Victor Dragomirescu among hundreds of others. Finally, in 1938, Corneliu Codreanu himself became a martyr after Armand Calinescu, acting outside of the law, had him murdered. Martyrs were often honored in songs all Legionaries sang and in Legionary rituals, when their names were announced in the roll call, all Legionaries attending spoke “present!” They believed that the souls of Romanian dead would still be present with them in their battles.


Along with martyrdom, in which death was received, there was an occasional violence committed by Legionaries against their enemies. Codreanu originally intended that the Legionary Movement would be nonviolent, but the unusually ruthless and cruel manner in which their enemies treated them created conditions in which violence was inevitable. When their political opponents physically attacked them, the Legionaries often struck back. In certain select cases, certain top enemies of the Legion were assassinated. There are three most prominent examples:

In 1933, the government of I. G. Duca had banned the Legion to keep it from participating in elections, arrested 18,000 Legionaries, and tortured and murdered several others. On December 29–30 of that year, the Legionaries Nicolae Constantinescu, Doro Belimace, and Ion Caranica (who are often referred to as the Nicadori) assassinated Duca in revenge.

In 1934, Mihail Stelescu, a member of the Legion, was investigated by top Legionaries and discovered to have had planned to betray the Legion and create his own group and was therefore expelled. Stelescu then created the group in 1935, calling it Cruciada Romanismuliu (“The Crusade of Romanianism”), and slandered Codreanu in its newspaper. There is also evidence that Stelescu was plotting to assassinate Codreanu and that, after contacting top political figures, he received government support for this plan. In this situation, ten Legionaries later called the Decemviri (“The Ten Men”) shot him.

In November of 1938, Armand Calinescu had the military police illegally murder Codreanu (who was earlier that year imprisoned for ten years for unproven charges at unfair trials), the Nicadori, and the Decemviri. On September 21, 1939 nine Legionaries referred to as the Rasbunatorii (“The Avengers”) assassinated Calinescu. After they turned themselves in, they were tortured and executed without trial. These nine men were: Miti Dumitrescu, Cezar Popescu, Traian Popescu, Nelu Moldoveanu, Ion Ionescu, Ion Vasiliu, Marin Stanciulescu, Isaia Ovidiu, and Gheorghe Paraschivescu.

One may object to such actions on the part of the Legionaries, asserting that they are thus taking part in un-Christian actions. However, to correctly understand this, one must remember that throughout the history of Christianity there were many people who had committed violent acts or killed for the sake of their religion. Certain crusader knights who had killed huge numbers of people were even sainted. Some would argue that because Christ taught people to “love their enemies” that therefore Codreanu was openly violating Christian teaching. But it is not quite so clear.

In the original Greek and Latin the phrase “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27) referred specifically to private enemy, not public enemy or national enemy (who could therefore be hated according to Codreanu's logic). This is why Codreanu said to the Legionaries:

Forgive those who struck you for personal reasons. Those who have tortured you for your faith in the Romanian people, you will not forgive. Do not confuse the Christian right and duty of forgiving those who wronged you, with the right and duty of our people to punish those who have betrayed it and assumed for themselves the responsibility to oppose its destiny. Do not forget that the swords you have put on belong to the nation. You carry them in her name. In her name you will use them for punishment-unforgiving and unmerciful. Thus and only thus, will you be preparing a healthy future for this nation.[1]

How to Draw

Flag of Legionarism
  1. Draw a ball.
  2. Fill it dark green
  3. Draw a white cross (optional for unofficial use)
  4. Draw a black 4 by 4 grid without the edges, so that it looks like ⩩ (U+2A69)
  5. Draw in the two eyes.
  6. And you’re done
Color Name HEX RGB
Dark Green #088A58 8, 138, 88
White #FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
Black #141414 20, 20, 20



  • Clerical Fascism - My father. He taught me a lot. Long Live the Romanian Orthodox Church!
  • Fascism - I agree a lot with him and his nationalist views but he should be a bit more tolerant towards religion.
  • Nazism - I agree with him on his views about race and nationalism. Also a very good ally!
  • Nationalism - Traiasca Romania, traiasca tricolorul!
  • Traditionalism - We must protect our traditions!
  • Alt-Right - Fellow troll companion.
  • Orthodox Theocracy - God save the Capitan and his legion.


  • Ceaușescuism- Thanks for rehibiltating my movement and you were friends with Iosif Constantin Drăgan.
  • Romanian Liberalism - You helped us and want to regain Moldova but your system is degenerate, also, you make peace with (((them))).
  • Antonescuism - I admire your devotion to him and your alliance to Hitler. However, you betrayed me and smashed my movement.


  • Communism - Commie atheist scum that wants to destroy Tradition, Nation, and Religion.
  • Capitalism -Jewish creation.
  • Crusade of Romanianism - You're weird (to say the least). What makes you prefer Romania over Hitler or Mussolini? Also, drop the libertarian sh*t.
  • Zionism - Filthy jews, bord the trains already!
  • Anarchists - Degenerates that want to get rid of the nation and state. I especially hate Anarcho-Communism. Wait, I'm RELATED TO THEM!?
  • State Atheism - Fuck you. You're a godless piece of filth.
  • LGBT - Degenerates! We must protect our children from this godless filthy agenda!
  • Hungarism - MORTI TAI DE UNGUR DE AI VENIT LA NOI SA NE FURI TARA! FUTUTI MORTI MATII DE MAGHIAR! (untranslatable romanian swears)

Further Information







  1. Bibliography to be added:Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, The Nest Leader’s Manual (USA: CZC Books, 2005). Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, The Prison Notes (USA: Reconquista Press, 2011). Radu Mihai Crisan, Eminescu Interzis: Gândirea Politică (Forbidden Eminescu: Political Thought) (Bucharest: Criterion Publishing, 2008). Radu Mihai Crisan, Istoria Interzisă (Forbidden History) (Bucharest: Editura Tibo, 2008). Alexander E. Ronnett and Faust Bradescu, “The Legionary Movement in Romania,” The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 193–228. Alexander E. Ronnett, Romanian Nationalism: The Legionary Movement (Chicago: Romanian-American National Congress, 1995). Horia Sima, Doctrina legionară (Legionary Doctrine) (Madrid: Editura Mişcării Legionare, 1980). Horia Sima, Era Libertaţii – Statul naţional-Legionar, vol. 1 (It was Freedom – National Legionary State, vol. 1) (Madrid: Editura “Miscarii Legionare, 1982). Horia Sima, Era Libertaţii – Statul naţional-Legionar, vol. 2 (It was Freedom – National Legionary State, vol. 2) (Madrid: Editura Miscãrii Legionare, 1990). Horia Sima, Istoria Mişcarii Legionare (History of the Legionary Movement) (Timişoara: Editura Gordian, 1994). Horia Sima, Guvernul National Român de la Viena (Romanian National Government in Vienna) (Madrid: Editura Miscarii Legionare, 1993). Horia Sima, The History of the Legionary Movement (Liss, England: Legionary Press, 1995). Horia Sima, Menirea Nationalismului (The Meaning of Nationalism) (Salamanca: Editura Asociaţiei Culturale Hispano-Române, 1951). Horia Sima, Prizonieri ai Puterilor Axei (Prisoners of the Axis Powers) (Madrid: Editura Miscarii Legionare, 1990). Horia Sima, Sfârşitul unei domnii sângeroase (The End of a Bloody Reign) (Madrid: Editura Miscarii Legionare, 1977). Horia Sima, The History of the Legionary Movement (Liss, England: Legionary Press, 1995). Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). Michael Sturdza, The Suicide of Europe: Memoirs of Prince Michael Sturdza, Former Foreign Minister of Rumania (Boston & Los Angeles: Western Islands Publishers, 1968).