A friend who grew up on the South Side of Chicago explained a few of the meanings of iconography for the gang the Latin Kings:
Their colors are gold and black. Gold is supposed to represent like Life for the members. And black is supposed to be their blackness absorbing the other rival gangs.
Then they have the 5 Point Crown. The five points…each point stands for something. So it’s like Love, Unity, Knowledge, Respect and Honesty.
It’s either a 3 or 5 point Crown. It depends on the gang. Gangs that have more Mexicans have 3 points. The gangs that have more Puerto Ricans use the 5 point Crown.”
The existence of so much symbolism in gang iconography is part of the bonding of the gang. Unity is a major part of developing a gang mentality and symbolism can be employed to establish unity as an almost natural state outside of the manipulation of the gang. Discipline is also important to the success of a gang and the Latin Kings are known for their close knit control on their members’ discipline. The virtues expressed by this symbolism suggest a strict discipline if not moralism, although this may be relative to who they are interacting.