Bikers Against Child Abuse and the kids "adopted" into its family wear a patch featuring a fist and a skull and crossbones.
The fist represents its opposition to child abuse and the skull and crossbones are a warning to the child abuser, according to BACA's Web site.
But after doing some research, Salt Lake attorney Mark Moffat sees something more sinister in the logo.
Pirates featured a white skull and crossbones on a black flag known as the Jolly Roger, he said. Among various theories on the origin of the term is one suggesting it is derived from the word roger, vulgar English for sexual intercourse. Female prisoners would be "rogered at the rail" and thrown overboard.
"These people who purportedly stand in the way of abuse have chosen as one of their symbols the skull and crossbones which inherently communicates the thought of violent sexual attack," Moffat said.
According to Webster's dictionary, the skull and crossbones originally displayed on pirate flags is now used as a warning sign, as in identifying poison. Crossbones, according to the dictionary, signify danger or death.
"It is a death symbol," said BACA founder JP Lilly.
There's a lot of death in child abuse, he said, listing childhood innocence, security and safety among its casualties.
"It is an emblem of our commitment to our mission, and that mission is to end child abuse. That would be another death but a good death."
The red, white and black BACA logo also includes a broken motorcycle chain, representing the chain of abuse bikers say they are breaking. White symbolizes the innocence of children, while red symbolizes the spilled blood of children.
BACA had to negotiate with notorious motorcycle gangs like the Hells Angels, Sundowners and Banditos to wear its patch. Dire consequences face those who put a patch on their leather jackets that might infringe on a gang's colors.
"They'll beat you up," says Chris Clark, BACA's Utah president.To appease the Hells Angels, white and red on the logo can't touch, so everything is outlined in black, he said. The central Utah chapter based in Provo also could not display the word Utah. A small skull and crossbones patch covers it on biker vests and jackets.
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