A former FBI official is warning that President Donald Trump’s decision to re-raise American flags on August 8 is a mistake because the date is significant to white supremacist groups and neo-Nazis.
President Trump on Sunday singed a directive ordering U.S. flags to be flown at half-mast because of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and is set to expire at dusk on Aug. 8.
“It’s the little things and the language and messaging that matters,” Frank Figluizzi, an NBC News national security contributor and former FBI assistant director of counterintelligence, told anchor MSNBC’s Brian Williams on “The 11th Hour.” “The president said that we will fly our flags at half-mast until Aug. 8. That’s 8/8.”
“Now, I’m not going to imply that he did this deliberately, but I am using it as an example of the ignorance of the adversary that’s being demonstrated by the White House,” he continued.
“The numbers 88 are very significant in neo-Nazi and white supremacy movement. Why? Because the letter ‘H’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and to them the numbers 88 together stand for ‘Heil Hitler.’ So we’re going to be raising the flag back up at dusk on 8/8,” Figluizzi added.
“No one’s thinking about this, no one’s giving him the advice,” he concluded. “Or he’s rejecting the advice.”
The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have both classified 88 as a hate symbol used by white supremacists.
“One of the most common white supremacist symbols, 88 is used throughout the entire white supremacist movement, not just neo-Nazis,” the ADL’s website reads.
“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.
“The number is frequently combined with another white supremacist numeric code, 14.”
The El Paso gunman posted a racist, anti-immigrant screed before carrying out a massacre inside a Walmart, which left 22 dead and injured dozens more.
Who is advising this President on counter-radicalization? https://t.co/jjRk0Bnm5o
— Frank Figliuzzi (@FrankFigliuzzi1) August 7, 2019