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True meaning behind 'Punisher Skull' worn by American Sniper Chris Kyle

True meaning behind 'Punisher Skull' worn by American Sniper Chris Kyle

After the sniper's team began using the logo, so did many other Americans

American Sniper dropped on Netflix last year, with the 2014 film quickly trending on the UK streaming site.

And with that, interest in the life of Chris Kyle peaked back up again.

The movie starring Bradley Cooper is loosely based on the US marksman’s memoir, who struggled to live with the difficulties he lived through and saw while on tour in Iraq.

Kyle is widely known as ‘the most lethal sniper in US military history’ and was murdered by Eddie Ray Routh in 2013.

And another thing the ‘American Sniper’ was known for was using the ‘Punisher Skull’ logo.

His SEAL Team-3 adopted the logo in Iraq and it became an unofficial symbol for those who served there.

Chris Kyle.
YouTube / Time

As any Marvel fan will know, the skull logo actually comes from the MCU character of the same name, who was introduced back in 1974 as an anti-hero to Spider-Man. Real name Frank Castle, the Marvel character is an Italian-American Marine sniper who fought in Vietnam and he wore the logo of a white skull.

After he left the military in 2009, Kyle continued to sport the logo, often wearing it on his signature cap in interviews. And he explained how it came to be his thing in his autobiography.

“We called ourselves the Punishers,” the sniper wrote. “He’s a real bad a** who rights wrongs, delivering vigilante justice. A movie by the same name had just come out; the Punisher wore a shirt with a stylized white skull.”

Kyle explained that a ‘comms guy suggested it before deployment’.

“We all thought what the Punisher did was cool: He righted wrongs. He killed bad guys. He made wrongdoers fear him. That’s what we were all about. So we adapted his symbol - a skull - and made it our own, with some modifications,” he wrote.

The Punisher.

“We spray-painted it on our Hummers and body armor, and our helmets and all our guns. And we spray-painted it on every building or wall we could.

“We wanted people to know, we’re here and we want to f**k with you.”

Marvel ended up retiring the Punisher skull in 2022 after controversy and it becoming more used by far-right movements.

After it was adopted by members of the military, members of the US police also began to don it. And it was spotted on law enforcement officers at Black Lives Matter protests following George Floyd’s death in 2020.

The Punisher character’s creator, George Conway, told Forbes: “The Punisher is representative of the failure of law and order to address the concerns of people who feel abandoned by the legal system.

“It always struck me as stupid and ironic that members of the police are embracing what is fundamentally an outlaw symbol.”

Featured Image Credit: YouTube / Time / Marvel

Topics: Marvel, Army, US News