Matt Schlapp, the head of the American Conservative Union who organizes the Conservative Political Action Conference, is pushing back against those who said that the stage for the event that is taking place in Orlando is eerily reminiscent of a Nazi symbol. “Stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous,” Schlapp tweeted. He went on to say that “CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies.”
The fact that Schlapp felt the need to comment on the issue illustrates just how pervasive the comparisons had become on social media, as many pointed out that the shape of the stage looked like a Nazi symbol. Specifically, many said the stage looked like a version of the Odal rune, also referred to as the Othala rune. The symbol dates back centuries but was also used by some Nazi SS divisions during World War II. The symbol was emblazoned on uniforms of some Nazi soldiers.
Some social media users shared photos that compared the CPAC stage to the old uniforms, illustrating the resemblance. The Anti-Defamation League has pointed out that after World War II the symbol became commonly used among white supremacists and neo-Nazis in both Europe and North America.