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Definition of Graffiti

Graffiti is a CRIME.Graffiti: Painting of graffiti, also known as “tagging”, is a crime. If you see someone tagging property, please call 9-1-1 immediately. If you see graffiti in your neighborhood, please report it to the Department of Code Compliance by calling the Graffiti Tip Line at 214-670-TIPS (8477).

You can also report graffiti by either calling 3-1-1 or by submitting a service request online.

Types of Graffiti

Graffiti is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as "an inscription, slogan, drawing, etc., scratched, scribbled, or drawn, often crudely, on a wall or other public surface."

  • Tagging - This type of graffiti can consist of monikers or “tags” in one color with communication secondary, if present at all. However, it can also consist of a mural with artistic effort a major consideration. They are the graffiti writer’s signature. Pictures and symbols are dominant with letters and numbers being secondary. They are done typically with spray paint, markers or pens. They are often more ornate than gang graffiti.
  • Satanic / Hate - This type of graffiti will be a religious, cultural or racial slur or aimed at a particular individual’s sexual orientation. It also can appear more often during more religious times of the year. Satanic graffiti can include the inverted pentagram (five pointed star), an up side down cross, the numbers 666, or the word "natas" (Satan spelled backwards). It usually appears to be the work of kids trying it out; not an organized cult or group.
  • Gang - This type of graffiti typically will involve multiple symbols (i.e.: letters, numbers, and symbols) rather than a personal tag with the artistic effort secondary, if present at all. It is used to mark a territory or “turf”, intimidate and send messages. It will often include explicit threats which can lead to violence. It can also praise deceased members.
  • Generic (Tagging-Non-Threatening) - This type will include random markings. They are non-threatening and can be an amateur “tagger”.
  • View Description of Graffiti Types

Examples of Graffiti

Most of the graffiti in the City of Dallas is tagging.


Tagging (Generic)



Vandalism (Satanic / Hate)