Johnny Milano's photographs of members of the Ku Klux Klan in candid settings provide an intimate and behind-the-scenes look at a culture that still exists on the margins in America today, 150 years after the end of the Civil War.

Inside the Ku Klux Klan
A tattoo on the knuckles of a Klansman reads "Love" as he and members of the Nordic Order Knights and the Rebel Brigade Knights take part in a cross-lighting ceremony on a private property in Henry County, VirginiaJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Female members of the Virgil Griffin White Knights pose for a photograph in their robes ahead of a cross-lighting ceremony at a private farmhouse in Carter County, TennesseeJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Jim, a member of the Nordic Order Knights, displays a KKK emblem tattoo on his back in Henry County, VirginiaJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Billy Snuffer, Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights, reads from a version of the Kloran ahead of a cross-lighting ceremony at a private residence in Henry County, Virginia. The Kloran, a guide for the Ku Klux Klan, contains rank responsibilities and ceremonial proceduresJohnny Milano/Reuters

Milano started to research white power groups and their rise in popularity after the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11 2001. He reached out to the regional head of the National Socialist Movement, and was invited to photograph meetings where he came face to face with Ku Klux Klan members.

He travelled from state to state to cover rallies and cross-lighting ceremonies, which have come to symbolise the Klan.

Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Members of the Virgil Griffin White Knights hold a ceremony for new members at a private farm house in Carter County, TennesseeJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Members of the Virgil Griffin White Knights wrap a cross with sacking before a cross-lighting ceremony on a private farm in Carter County, TennesseeJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Members of the Rebel Brigade Knights and the Nordic Order Knights pose for a group photograph in front of a burning cross at a private residence in Henry County, VirginiaJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Members of the Adirondack Fraternity White Knights display their tattoos and salute towards the camera during a cross- and swastika-lighting ceremony at a private residence in Hunt County, TexasJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Members of the Rebel Brigade Knights and the Nordic Order Knights hold their torches during a cross-lighting ceremony at a private residence in Henry County, VirginiaJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
A member of the Ku Klux Klan salutes a burning cross at a private residence in Henry County, VirginiaJohnny Milano/Reuters

The Ku Klux Klan, which had about six million members in the 1920s, now has some 2,000 to 3,000 members nationally in about 72 chapters, or klaverns, according to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, an organisation that monitors extremist groups.

A Klan group plans to hold a pro-Confederate flag rally at South Carolina's capitol on 18 July. The Civil War-era flag and related monuments have become flashpoints after nine black men and women were gunned down at a historic church in Charleston.

The suspected shooter, Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man, had posed with a Confederate battle flag in photos posted on a website that displayed a racist manifesto attributed to him.

South Carolina removed the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol grounds on 10 July, relegating the divisive symbol to a museum.

The Loyal White Knights chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Pelham, North Carolina, said it will rally at the South Carolina State House on 18 July.

Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Members of the National Socialist Movement and Adirondack Fraternity White Knights wave flags while rallying outside a courthouse in Rockwall, TexasJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Jim, a member of the Nordic Order Knights, adjusts his hood before holding a public rally outside a courthouse in Stuart, Virginia. Jim asked that his last name not be usedJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
An Adolf Hitler banner hangs inside a home where members affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan and the National Socialist Movement gathered for a joint rally in Hunt County, TexasJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
An Imperial Kludd for the Rebel Brigade Knights lights the torches of fellow Klansmen and members of the Nordic Order Knights as they prepare for a cross-lighting ceremony on a member's property in Henry County, VirginiaJohnny Milano/Reuters
Inside the Ku Klux Klan
Members of the Virgil Griffin White Knights encircle a burning cross during a ceremony at a private farm house in Carter County, TennesseeJohnny Milano/Reuters

"We're standing up for the Confederacy," James Spears, the chapter's "great titan," said. He added speakers would address slavery, then the Klan will hold a cross-lighting, or cross-burning, ceremony on private property.