VASS, N.C. (WGHP) — The governor has weighed in on a banner emblazoned with Nazi imagery that was found in Moore County over the weekend, just as Hannukah began.
Sharing an article posted by WRAL, Gov. Cooper tweeted “Violence and threats against Jewish communities are on the rise all across the world. White supremacy and antisemitism will not be tolerated in North Carolina, and our state stands strong against this hate.”
The banner was spotted in Moore County on an overpass on US Route 1 Sunday. It was painted with four red swastikas, the letters “1488” and the phrase “bring it all down” as well as a URL for the messaging app Telegram.
The Moore County Sheriff’s Office says they are “investigating the verbiage and researching what it means.”
They also said that they are investigating this independently from the substation attacks and cannot say if they’re connected. The sign, found in Vass, was about 10 miles from the substation in Carthage and about 20 miles from the West End substation.
“1488” is a number associated with white supremacist movements. The 14 represents the “14 Words,” a Nazi slogan, and the “88” represents “Heil Hitler,” with “h” being the eighth letter of the alphabet, the ADL explains.
“Bring it all down” does not seem to be a specific slogan of any particular white nationalist movement.
However, the Telegram channel linked on the banner does have graphics referencing the same slogan superimposed over a picture of what appears to be an electrical substation. This was posted to the channel on Nov. 13. On Nov. 11, a Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative substation was vandalized, leaving 12,000 customers without power for several hours.
No one has determined a suspect or a motivation for that act of vandalism. People with neo-Nazi ties have been convicted for conspiring to attack power infrastructure in the past.
The Telegram channel that is advertised on the banner contains messages about Nazism, sharing German propaganda and articles about people like Timothy McVeigh, as well as graphics with the group’s name on it, over Nazi imagery.
A post made around 3 p.m. Sunday shows pictures of the banner, reading “Some amazing work coming from Moore County, North Carolina. Get off the internet and take action! Destroy the system or be destroyed by it! You choose!”
This display of antisemitism came hours before the start of Hannukah, which began at sundown on Sunday.
The attack in Moore County is still under investigation and so is the banner. Duke Energy is still assessing the cost of the damages to the substations and how it may impact customers, while law enforcement has confirmed that search warrants have been obtained.