Trump Bought 88 Ads With Nazi Symbol. 88 Is A Neo-Nazi Symbol For ‘Heil Hitler’
The Trump campaign recently ran a slew of ads on Facebook decrying antifa and “far-left groups” that displayed a red inverted triangle — a former Nazi symbol used to designate Communists, Social Democrats, liberals, and other members of opposition parties imprisoned in concentration camps.
The ads, quickly taken down by Facebook for violating its policy against organized hate, were reported The Washington Post this week, which noted that the campaign had purchased 88 of the ads:
Eighty-eight ads with the inverted red triangle ran in total — across pages for Trump, Pence and the official “Team Trump” page on the social network. They targeted all 50 states.
GQ’s Julia Ioffe noted on Twitter that 88 is the neo-Nazi symbol for ‘HH’, or “heil Hitler,” adding, “What a coincidence, right?”
Given the nature of the ad’s Nazi symbolism, particularly as it railed against leftist groups, it is not a hard sell that the 88 was a dog whistle — especially given Trump's "good people on both sides" comment after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017 and his six-pointed star mishap in 2016. Some Twitter users commented under Ioffe’s post that the Trump campaign likely knew that Facebook would pull the ad and merely placed it in an effort to garner headlines.
Stories would accompany those headlines, and the reporting would all but surely entail the detail of how many ads were purchased, or so the theory goes.
The Anti-Defamation League reports that 88 is a commonly-used symbol among white supremacists:
88 is a white supremacist numerical code for "Heil Hitler." H is the eighth letter of the alphabet, so 88 = HH = Heil Hitler. One of the most common white supremacist symbols, 88 is used throughout the entire white supremacist movement, not just neo-Nazis.
One can find it as a tattoo or graphic symbol; as part of the name of a group, publication or website; or as part of a screenname or e-mail address. It is even sometimes used as a greeting or sign-off (particularly in messages on social networking websites).
The number is frequently combined with another white supremacist numeric code, 14 (shorthand for the so-called "14 Words" slogan: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children") in the form of 1488, 14/88, 14-88, or 8814.