In popular culture, a white bandana may denote gang membership or indicate a preference for a specific sexual obsession. Colors linked with gang allegiance have long been associated with bandanas, although the so-called hanky code is less well-known among the general public.
Wearing a white bandana could be associated with a variety of gangs. The connection between red and blue bandanas with the Bloods and Crips gangs, respectively, is stronger and more well-known. Gangs associated with white bandanas and other colours include Black Gangster Disciples, Party People, and Brothers of Struggle. The hanky (or handkerchief) code is used to identify people who share sexual interests in homosexual and fetish societies. This hint is provided by white or coloured bandanas placed into back pants pockets.