The People Nation is not a gang, but an alliance under which gangs align themselves. The People Nation was created in Chicago in 1978, along with their long-time rivals, the Folk Nation.
Many gangs align themselves with the People Nation and generally all of these groups consider themselves allies with each other as well as enemies of Folk Nation gangs. People Nation gangs include the Latin Kings; the Vicelords; the Spanish Lords; the El Rukns; the Black P Stones; the Bishops; the Gaylords; the Latin Counts; the Kents; the South Side Popes; and the Mickey Cobras.
The oldest and largest Hispanic-led street gang in Chicago is the Latin Kings. The Latin Kings are a multi-cultural, male and female gang whose aliases are LK (for Latin Kings); Almighty Latin King Nation (ALKN); Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (ALKQN); and Almighty Latin Charter Nation (ALCN). Their numbers run as high as 25,000 in Chicago and members of the gang have traveled throughout the country to assist in establishing new chapters or factions.
Identifiers, or symbols, are used as a way for People Nation alliance member to recognize each other. This is referred to “representing” and also includes the use of hand signs, specific colors, graffiti, and the use of certain words or phrases.
People Nation symbols include a 5-point crown; a staff; the crescent moon; a single die showing 5 dots; the number 5; a Spanish cross; a cholo, which is a representation of an Hispanic male; an Egyptian pyramid; a 5-finger glove; a five-point star; an old fashioned champagne glass; and a bunny head. In graffiti, People Nation members often draw upside-down pitchforks as a sign of disrespect for the Folk Nation. They also utilize a 5-pointed star, which is also referenced in much of the group’s slang.
Because People Nation uses the number 5 to represent and their rival gang, Folk Nation, uses the number 6, much of the slang terminology revolves around these two numbers. They use the term, “High five, six must die,” to refer to the five-pointed star versus the six-pointed star the Folk Nation uses. Other terms used are, “Five in the sky, six must die,” and “Five poppin’, six droppin’”.
In one form or another, most of the People Nation identifiers are shared by other aligned gangs. Some sets add their initials to People Nation identifiers to indicate which gang they are. For example, the Vicelords add “VL” to a star and the Latin Kings add “LK” to a crown. This allows them to recognize each other as members of People Nation while establishing the individual identity of their gang.
Another way People Nation members identify each other is by using “left” identifiers. Left identifiers include wearing hats tilted to the left; rolling up their left pant leg; untying their left shoe; resting a hand in their left pocket; and wearing jewelry to the left side (wearing an earring in the left ear only, for example). Also, the People Nation hand sign is made and thrown toward the left shoulder.