Did Alabama GOP Group Post Elephant Photo with KKK Imagery?

On August 17, it was unclear what happened on that day before or just after the posted picture on Facebook, which showed the GOP elephant with KKK Klan imagery. However, on August 19, 2022, we received mail from readers who asked about a rumor regarding the Republican group in Alabama apologizing for the aforementioned picture.

The disputed image was shared in other places on social networking platforms, including in the subsequent tweet:.

Klansmen appear similar to extraterrestrial beings, with their eyes resembling the void, which had been included to intimidate Black individuals. The image posted by the Alabama-based KKK group depicted three hoods, resembling the space between the legs of the Republican Party’s symbol, the elephant.

The news upset users who were upset and may have been temporarily removed from appearing on the Republican County Lawrence party’s page that occurred on Aug. 19, according to the AP’s report.

A party official said the image was taken from the results of a Google search and that the image was immediately replaced once the mistake was detected.

“I would like to offer a deep and sincere apology for a picture that temporarily appeared on this page last night. A google search picture of a GOP elephant was used and later found to have hidden images that do not represent the views or beliefs of the Lawrence County Republican Party,” Shannon Terry wrote in a Facebook post apologizing for the use of the image.

“As chairman I take full responsibility for the error,” Terry added.

The image had been used in a 2020 article in Mother Jones accusing the GOP of racism.

According to History.Com, it is believed that the elephant was first used as a symbol for the Republican Party during the American Civil War in the 1860s.

The Republican Party was formed in 1854 and six years later Abraham Lincoln became its first member elected to the White House. An image of an elephant was featured as a Republican symbol in at least one political cartoon and a newspaper illustration during the Civil War (when “seeing the elephant” was an expression used by soldiers to mean experiencing combat), but the pachyderm didn’t start to take hold as a GOP symbol until Thomas Nast, who’s considered the father of the modern political cartoon, used it in an 1874 “Harper’s Weekly” cartoon.

Titled “The Third-Term Panic,” Nast’s drawing mocked the New York Herald, which had been critical of President Ulysses Grant’s rumored bid for a third term, and portrayed various interest groups as animals, including an elephant labeled “the Republican vote,” which was shown standing at the edge of a pit. Nast employed the elephant to represent Republicans in additional cartoons during the 1870s, and by 1880 other cartoonists were using the creature to symbolize the party.