Who at Secret Service came up with Team Trump’s gay-Holocaust pin?

The Secret Service has reportedly given Donald Trump’s presidential campaign a lapel pin that key staffers can wear to identity themselves.

The question is why the Secret Service would choose a pin that looks like it came from the Holocaust.

I noticed the pin a few months back on the jacket of Trump chief of staff Corey Lewandowki. The pin, an upside down triangle made up of two colors that look like pink and purple, struck me as odd, and oddly familiar, at the time.

by default 2016-05-24 at 11.06.55 AM

I didn’t think about it again until this morning, when Trump adviser Michael Cohen was on CNN, sporting the same pin.

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Friends on Twitter suggested it might be something from the Secret Service. (Members of Congress sport their own unique pin to identify themselves to security, and the White House has its own version as well.)

And in fact, Vocativ confirmed that the pin was issued by the Secret Service.

But the problem remains: Why use a pin that looks straight out of the Holocaust? And it does. The Nazis forced many of their prisoners to wear inverted triangles, the color of which indicated the particular class of prisoner. For example, gays sported pink, while criminals wore green, political prisoners wore red, “asocials” wore black, and Jehovah’s Witnesses wore purple. Jews got an extra triangle added as well.

So the Trump button is a combination of the ones the Nazis forced gays (pink) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (purple) to wear in concentration camps.

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Here is a specimen of the Nazi’s gay emblem:

nazi-pink-triangle

An extremely rare specimen of an actual pink triangle the Nazis forced gay concentration camp prisoners to wear.

Gays in Nazi Germany were considered a threat to German purity. The Nazis arrested 100,000 men, with 10,000 to 15,000 sent to concentration camps to die.

Gays in Nazi Germany were considered a threat to German purity. The Nazis arrested 100,000 men, with 10,000 to 15,000 sent to concentration camps to die.

In more recent times, the pink triangle was a symbol of gay liberation and pride from the 1970s through the early 1990s, before the rainbow became the prevalent symbol of the LGBT movement. The gay pride version of the triangle is decidedly pink, and looks remarkably like the Trump Secret Service pin. See examples here, here, and here.

Congresswoman and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks at the Pink Triangle Ceremonies in 1999 and 2012. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Pink Triangle and The PinkTriangle.com.

Congresswoman and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks at the Pink Triangle Ceremonies in 1999 and 2012. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Pink Triangle and The PinkTriangle.com.

It’s bad enough that Trump’s triangle (bi)color looks awfully pink from a distance, but regardless of color, what could have possibly crossed the Secret Service’s mind to choose an inverted triangle as a symbol of presidential security when the inverted triangle is, and forever will be, a symbol of Nazi persecution?

Even though I’m certain it was a historical oversight, rather than a bad joke about Trump’s more extreme policies, it’s weird — and weirdly inappropriate.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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