On Saturday, February 27, many people on Twitter noticed that the stage at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was shaped exactly like a well-known Nazi symbol.
Here is a well known Nazi symbol and the stage design at the 2021 #CPAC Convention. What a wacky coincidence!… https://t.co/gnPiyFDBwT— Daylin Leach (@Daylin Leach) 1614447100.0
Has anyone else noticed the shape of the CPAC stage is the Odal Rune/SS insignia? https://t.co/TCns4B1tq8— The Daily Beans Podcast (@The Daily Beans Podcast) 1614370746.0
By the way, the idiots downplaying the Nazi symbolism on display at CPAC (their stage design for example) are delus… https://t.co/KZFbcsUtii— Nicole Sandler (@Nicole Sandler) 1614623714.0
Nazi uses of the symbol included divisional insignia of two Waffen SS divisions during World War II.
Following World War II, White supremacists in Europe, North America, and elsewhere began using the othala or odal rune. Today, it is commonly seen in tattoo form, on flags or banners, as part of group logos and elsewhere in neo-Nazi and White supremacist organizations.
After being confronted with tens of thousands of tweets on the topic, CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp responded online, saying:
Stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous. We have a long standing commitment to the Jewish community… https://t.co/cupHpMKVje— Matt Schlapp (@Matt Schlapp) 1614458864.0
On Twitter, many pointed out to Schlapp the stage was in the shape of the rune regardless of intention.
The best move would be to change the stage once the issue was raised even if the resemblance was purely coincidental.
@mschlapp It’s no “conspiracy.” It’s an exact replica of a Nazi rune, anyone can see that. It is what it is, delibe… https://t.co/JLp897nvzC— Charles Johnson (@Charles Johnson) 1614461142.0
@mschlapp Schlapp’s reaction actually makes me more likely to suspect the Nazi rune was deliberate. Who the hell le… https://t.co/Z4EykyaQqY— Charles Johnson (@Charles Johnson) 1614462004.0
The CPAC stage resembles a known SS Nazi insignia. Generously, let's assume the design was in error. They should im… https://t.co/xmFnrpw2HV— Ilyse Hogue (@Ilyse Hogue) 1614448277.0
Twitter users didn't seem particularly swayed by Schlapp's statement.
And by "resembles," I mean "is identical to."— Ilyse Hogue (@Ilyse Hogue) 1614448342.0
Neo-Nazis have been using the Odal Rune sign in place of the swastika for several years. CPAC's stage is the same… https://t.co/Xxg3IQbAuZ— Kimberley Johnson (@Kimberley Johnson) 1614446687.0
Many people online reached out to the Hyatt hotel chain (who hosted this year's CPAC), drawing their attention to the potential Nazi propaganda in their midst.
.@Hyatt, the #CPAC stage is designed to be a rune used by the Nazis. Curious if you are okay with Nazi symbols bein… https://t.co/655mIiZDCL— Fred Guttenberg (@Fred Guttenberg) 1614448504.0
Dear @Hyatt Are you okay with Nazi symbols being used on your properties? Because if you fail to speak out & do… https://t.co/TqDlx3bVgc— Sari Beth Rosenberg (@Sari Beth Rosenberg) 1614446560.0
The mistake might have been easy to fix if Schlapp was willing to address the problem.
A short thread on #CPAC2021's unusual stage, which is clearly in the shape of a well known Nazi symbol. It is als… https://t.co/EWiRzd1nbh— Simon Rosenberg (@Simon Rosenberg) 1614434365.0
Would be easy for Matt Schlapp to address this today, apologize and make some small changes to the stage. Would… https://t.co/Ou0P1aethh— Simon Rosenberg (@Simon Rosenberg) 1614435599.0
As low as Conservatives have sunk, I’ll be honest... I did Nazi this coming! https://t.co/i5OevIJ24A— Brian O'Sullivan (@Brian O'Sullivan) 1614451103.0
Meanwhile, many online suggested there was intention behind the shape.
How can anyone Nazi the shape of the stage at CPAC? https://t.co/Q1k0s8lugU— Dr. Allison Gill (@Dr. Allison Gill) 1614369426.0
CPAC accidentally making their stage the shape of a Nazi symbol https://t.co/6b07CAPS13— Zack Bornstein (@Zack Bornstein) 1614389496.0
Given the observations about the shape of the stage at CPAC, I'm reupping @jasonintrator's piece on the movie shown… https://t.co/Rea87sh8I1— Asha Rangappa (@Asha Rangappa) 1614382769.0
The Republican party's many connections to White supremacy continue to expand as conservative leaders deny there is any problem within their ranks.