The five-pointed red star, a pentagram without the inner pentagon, is a symbol of communism as well as broader socialism in general. It is sometimes understood to represent the five fingers of the worker's hand, as well as the five continents.
Following its adoption as an emblem of the Soviet Union, the red star became a symbol for communism in a larger sense. As the red star spread to communism in the East, it was adapted: while some states kept the star as it was, some used a yellow star, particularly on a red field, with the same symbolism. The Far Eastern Republic used a yellow star on its military uniforms, and the flag of the People's Republic of China has five yellow stars on a red field. In Brazil, however, the red star remained as it was.
The red star was included in the flag of the (EZLN) or Zapatista Army of National Liberation upon their formation in 1994. The EZLN, an armed revolutionary group based in Chiapas, Mexico, takes its name from the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata and is most often represented by Subcomandante Marcos, though he is not their leader. The same flag, a black flag with a red star, was used by American rock band Rage Against the Machine - who were vocal supporters of the EZLN and other left causes - so much so that the symbol came to be associated with the band, separate from the EZLN. The red star is used by the Workers' Party (Brazil). It is also used by the militant South African shack dweller's movement Abahlali baseMjondolo.
Hugo Chávez and his supporters in Venezuela have used the Red Star in numerous symbols and logos, and have proposed including it in logo of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). It was also used throughout 2007 as a symbol of the "5 Engines of the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution".