Trump billboard vandalized with swastikas

Posted: Updated:
The billboard is off Interstate 10 near Jefferson Street, south of Sky Harbor International Airport. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) The billboard is off Interstate 10 near Jefferson Street, south of Sky Harbor International Airport. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

In yet another sign of the ugliness that has plagued this election season, somebody has vandalized a Phoenix billboard touting Donald Trump.

The billboard is off Interstate 10 near Jefferson Street, south of Sky Harbor International Airport.

The Penguin Air & Plumbing Newschopper showed us the vandalism -- several spray-painted swastikas along the bottom of the sign.

The swastika -- a hooked cross -- is an ancient religious symbol that was adopted by the German Nazi Party as part of its emblem.

The symbol originally was one of good fortune. Swastika is actually a Sanskrit word for "well-being," according to Holocaust Teacher Resource Center.

"It also is considered to be a representation of the sun and is associated with the worship of Aryan sun gods," according to the site. "It is a symbol in both Jainism and Buddhism, as well as a Nordic runic emblem and a Navajo sign."

"Even today, the swastika is a common symbol across Asia, used by Hindus, Buddhists, and adherents of other religions, where it is often associated with good fortune," according to the Anti-Defamation League, which maintains an extensive database of hate symbols.

It was only in recent history that the swastika acquired its status as a hate symbol -- perhaps the hate symbol.

"The murderous legacy of the Nazi regime, especially the Holocaust, permanently converted the swastika into a symbol of hate, anti-Semitism and infamy," reads ADL.org's page about the swastika. " Since 1945, the swastika has served as the most significant and notorious of hate symbols, anti-Semitism and white supremacy for most of the world outside of Asia."

Some, perhaps most notably Stephen Colbert, have compared Trump to a Nazi.

The Republican nominee for president also has been depicted as a Nazi in Atlanta street graffiti.

We are checking out reports that there might be other Trump billboards that have been similarly defaced. Sgt. Jonathan Howard of the Phoenix Police Department said shortly before 8 a.m. that he has not had any reports of billboards being vandalized.

RELATED: Pepe the Frog designated a hate symbol by ADL

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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