A new t-shirt released by President Donald Trump's campaign is being accused of featuring a likeness of the Nazi Eagle, which is the official symbol of the Nazi party and has since been appropriated by neo-Nazis and other white supremacists. For sale on the official website for the president’s campaign and featuring an eagle clutching an image of the American flag in a circular border, photos of the controversial shirt circulated online after Bend the Arc: Jewish Action shared images of it Wednesday morning.
The President of the United States is campaigning for reelection with a Nazi symbol. Again.
On the left: an official Trump/Pence “America First” tee.
On the right; the Iron Eagle, the official symbol of the Nazi party.— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) July 1, 2020
⁰It’s not an accident. Bigotry is their entire brand. pic.twitter.com/mSOBxwf7Wa
While some have argued that the image is most likely a take on the seal of the United States, which features an eagle, many have claimed that its likeness to the Nazi eagle is too hard to overlook. On Twitter, one person wrote that it's "incredibly similar, to the point of clear symbolism." Another person said that the shirt was "particularly unsubtle." Somebody else pointed out that "the American eagle has a shield, not carries a circular emblem."
Important to note that they *could* have used the uncontroversial eagle from the US Seal but intentionally stylized to evoke Nazi imagery... pic.twitter.com/831IZXWAwg— girl who wishes her name weren’t Karen😔 (@Karen_Bethany_) July 1, 2020
The Nazi Eagle is listed as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League, which notes that "the symbol originally featured an eagle clutching a swastika, but many variations replace the swastika with some other hate symbol, such as SS bolts or a Celtic Cross." The ADL adds that "occasionally, extremists will leave the circle blank where the swastika normally would appear; this seems to be more common in countries where the swastika is prohibited." However, the ADL also notes that not all eagle symbols are derived from Nazi uniforms.
As the controversy continues, the Trump campaign has denied that their shirt features a Nazi symbol. In a statement to the Daily Caller, the campaign called such accusations "moronic" and instead "pointed to a long American legacy of using the bald eagle to represent the country."
This is not the first time that the Trump campaign has been accused of using images likened to that used by Nazis. In 2015, as he began his bid for president, an image circulated online purportedly showing Trump’s campaign logo. The image featured four Ts, with the negative space between them containing what appeared to be a swastika. Although the logo had drawn plenty of backlash, it was later confirmed to be false, with Snopes reporting that “it was a spoof based on Trump's personality and public statements created by the satirical web site Facthole."
More recently, however, a Trump campaign video was removed from Facebook for violating the platform’s hate speech policy. The video, which included text warning of "dangerous mobs of far-left groups,” featured an inverted red triangle, the same symbols used by Nazi Germany to identify Communists and members of other opposition parties.