“Paper Bullets” 29 (Germany) Football Club St. Pauli (FCSP)

Hamburg, the German port city home to the St. Pauli football club (Fußball St. Pauli or FC St. Pauli), hosts a sports team well known for its outspoken anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic politics and its staunchly progressive social activism. Founded in 1910, the club is located in the working-class district along the docks near the Reeperbahn red-light district, and for the past thirty years has maintained a certain cult following across Europe, initially attracting radicals, squatters, dockers, and prostitutes in the 1980s, and later, anarchists, punks, bikers, anti-fascists, and other politicized groups.

Known as the “pirates of the league,” the club has adopted a number of shipyard-related visual icons, including the Jolly Roger flag’s skull and crossbones, which is the unofficial crest and seen everywhere, as well as anchors, galleons, and sword brandishing buccaneers.

St. Pauli-fans gegen rechts!

St. Pauli was the first team in Germany to ban right-wing activities and displays at its stadium, in response to hooligan fascists and neo-Nazis in the 1980s and ‘90s that were infiltrating matches across the country, fighting rival teams and police, and causing a great deal of violence and damage. The sticker “St. Pauli-fans gegen Rechts!” or “St. Pauli fans against the Right!” has been widely produced and distributed and is said to have sold over two million copies. Variants of “St. Pauli is brown [and] white,” the team’s home and away colors, are also common. 

Many St. Pauli stickers portray the revolutionary guerrilla leader, Ernesto “Che” Guevara. 

Others incorporate ad-busting techniques and similar forms of culture jamming, as seen in the appropriation of popular television and cartoon characters such as Homer Simpson, Hello Kitty, and Beavis and Butthead.

FCSP Stickers Sorted by Themes

Team logo

Hamburg ist braun weiss.

Founded in 1910

Pirates of the league

The port city of Hamburg and shipyard icons

Che Guevara

Social justice warriors outspoken against fascism, sexism, racism, and homophobia

See Pirates of the League: FC St. Pauli and its Hooligan Activists by Jacob Lee for more.

Team and Millerntor Stadium

Supporters, fan clubs, ultras, skinheads, etc.

FC St. Pauli and Celtic FC, i.e., “The Rebel’s Choice”

For more, see St. Pauli FC on the Celtic Wiki.

Rival teams: Hamburger SV and Hansa Rostock

Pop culture and culture jamming

Hamburg graffiti artist OZ and street art

Raised fist

Miners and slingshot symbol

(“As a recurring symbol in The Kite Runner, the slingshot represents loyalty in the hands of those who use it to defend the innocent from injustice. In the course of the novel, it is seen not just as a play toy, but a weapon that acts to defeat evil and enforce good.” –from The Kite Runner Symbol: Slingshot by Juliyah Brevard)

Diffidati Con Noi

“Diffidati Con Noi” is an Italian phrase that’s been repurposed by German ultras to show solidarity support for fans who are banned from attending games for disciplinary reasons.

ACAB (1312)

Good Night White Pride, German nationalism, etc.