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Fact Check-KKK billboard was not built ahead of Donald Trump’s North Carolina rally in April 2022

An image of a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) billboard was not taken in 2022 at a town in North Carolina where former U.S. president Donald Trump was holding a rally, contrary to claims made online.

The image of the billboard reads: “Help fight communism and integration. Join and support United Klan of America inc. KKKK welcomes you to Smithfield.”

Users shared the image of the banner with claims that the poster was viewable in a town where the former president was holding a rally.

A tweet with the image posted on April 10 reads: “This is Johnston County NC where trump held his rally.” ( archive.ph/wip/yl7FL ).

One user said in the comments: “and why is this still legal in the united states of america @TheJusticeDept what is wrong with you people?”

Another user who shared a screenshot of the tweet on Facebook can be seen: “This is Johnston County NC where trump held his rally last night. Explain how the gop is not a safe haven for white supremests [sic]?” ( here ).

One individual said: “Talk about being out of the closet. Ever since Trump no shame” ( here ).

Examples of the claim made on Facebook can be seen ( here ), ( here ), ( here ) and ( here ).

A reverse image search shows that the image shared online is not recent and that the billboard was not built ahead of the Donald Trump rally in North Carolina in April 2022.

The specific image of the billboard is viewable on IMDb, a database pertaining to the film industry, linked to the movie ‘Brotherhood of Death’ released in 1976 ( archive.ph/iuLQi ).

The billboard can be seen at the end of the 1976 movie, which was uploaded to YouTube [1:15:04 seconds] ( archive.ph/vS7IA ).

The photograph is also viewable in a movie blog published in 2015 ( archive.ph/wip/dWQTe ).

A reverse image search of the photograph reveals a local news outlet based in North Carolina, The News & Observer, who wrote in 2019 that the billboard had been removed in 1977 after standing for 10 years ( here ), ( here ).

Reuters did not find any recent images of the billboard, or any news report about such a billboard being built ahead of the Trump rally.

Former president Trump held a rally in Selma, North Carolina on April 9, 2022, and was joined by Representative Ted Budd, who is running for a Senate seat ( here ), ( here ).

Reuters has previously addressed a miscaptioned image of a 1921 KKK ceremony, which users falsely claimed showed the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in 1924 ( here ).

VERDICT

Miscaptioned. An image of a KKK billboard is not recent and was not built ahead of a rally held by former President Donald Trump in North Carolina in April 2022. A reverse image search shows a local news article which reports that the billboard was removed in 1977, after standing for a decade.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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