Six pointed stars, Microsoft Word and the US election

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The current US Presidential campaign is, how shall we say, ‘interesting’ to put it mildly.  And now Microsoft Word has been drawn into political controversy … not for the first time either.

Office-Watch.com prefers to stay well away from politics in any country but this is directly about MS Word and we’ve had questions from readers asking us to clarify.

It’s all about a ‘poster’ sent out by the Trump campaign and the candidate himself via Twitter.  The original image, from an anti-Semitic internet forum, included this element:

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The use of a six-pointed star has been interpreted as being anti-Semitic given the source of the image, the wording and background of money.

Controversy ensued about the meaning, or lack of, in the six-pointed star which could be viewed as a ‘Star of David’.  If you’ve just come back from Mars, here’s a summary of the whole story.

The response from the Trump campaign tried to link Microsoft with all this:

” The sheriff’s badge — which is available under Microsoft’s “shapes” — fit with the theme of corrupt Hillary and that is why I selected it. “

The image could have been made in Word or some other Microsoft program.  Word has a wide range of stars under Insert | Shapes.

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The easily accessible ‘Recently Used Shapes’ by default includes a 5 pointed star.  The Stars and Banners section has many more options from a 4-point version up to 32-points.

There’s an option labelled ‘Star: 6 points’ which can serve as a Star of David, Sheriff’s Badge or simply a design element with no other meaning at all.

The same or very similar shapes are available in any design/graphics program.  It’s a staple element you’d expect to see in any such package.

If the original image was made in Word (which seems to be assumed, not known), then the six-pointed star would appear to be a deliberate choice from 11 star types.

It’s not Microsoft’s fault.  What people do with the tools they provide isn’t something Microsoft can control.

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