As a part of his re-election campaign, US President Donald Trump has issued a T-shirt which features an eagle, that some have noted closely resembles the Nazi party's official symbol, the Iron Eagle, garnering backlash.
The T-shirt, advertised on the website shop.donaldtrump.com, portrays an eagle with its wings spread wide as it perches on a circular US flag. Similarly, the Iron Eagle of the Nazi party also portrays an eagle with its wings spread wide, as it perches on a circular wreath enclosing the renowned swastika shape. Notably, the eagle used on Trump's shirt faces in the same direction as the face of the eagle used by the Nazis.
According to the Jewish American media outlet The Forward, the similarity was first noticed by Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, which describes itself as a “movement of progressive Jews across the country who are fighting for justice and equality for all."
"The President of the United States is campaigning for reelection with a Nazi symbol. Again," the Jewish group posted to their Twitter account on July 1.
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
"It's not an accident. Bigotry is their entire brand," they added to the caption accompanying side-by-side images of both the campaign T-shirt and the Nazi symbol.
Backlash was garnered online from other sources as well, such as the Republican anti-Trump group, the Lincoln Project. In a Twitter post, they simply wrote "Come. On." followed by a picture of the T-Shirt.
Come. On. pic.twitter.com/VtfgrM8hIW— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) July 2, 2020
Moreover, the controversial T-shirt has gained a lot of traction on Facebook as well. One Facebook user posted another side-by-side image, and began their caption with, "Trump is now selling straight up propaganda."
Following online backlash, the Trump campaign released a statement pushing back against the idea that the image has any relation to the Nazi party's symbol, USA Today reported in a controversial article fact checking the claim that the symbol bears resemblance to the Nazi symbol.
The article states that Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director, sent an email to the news outlet, which read: "“This is moronic. In Democrats’ America, Mount Rushmore glorifies white supremacy and the bald eagle with an American flag is a Nazi symbol. They have lost their minds."
The USA Today article released facts which critics feel supported the claim. The history of both symbols was given, and they then pointed out the differences between the two eagle images.
"In Trump’s, the eagle holds the American flag up near its chest; the Nazi symbol holds the swastika lower. Trump’s design also features “Trump 2020” below it. The American eagle is also a bald eagle, whereas the Nazi eagle is depicted as an all-black bird," USA Today wrote.
While the end of the article published on July 11 states that the claim is inconclusive, a day later they posted a tweet that read, "The claim: Trump campaign officials shirts features imperial eagle, a Nazi Symbol
The claim: Trump campaign shirts feature imperial eagle, a Nazi symbolOur ruling: True https://t.co/3eCiYdgQvK— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 12, 2020
Both the tweet and the article garnered sincere online criticism, both on Twitter, and on the Conservative website Hot Air, which criticized USA Today as being being “totally dishonest” by having its introductory claim differ from the claim in its conclusion ruled “True.”
This isn't the first time that the Trump campaign has been criticized for usage of Nazi symbolism.
While the Trump campaign has been criticized many times over for similar circumstances regarding hate speech and imagery, the most recent incident occurred last month regarding a campaign advertisement.Just several weeks ago Facebook removed Trump's campaign advertisements for including an upside down triangle, which the social media giant claims is related to hate speech.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the triangle "is practically identical to that used by the Nazi regime” to mark political prisoners in the concentration camps, CNN reported.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this article.