- Twitter users noted the design of a stage at CPAC closely resembles a symbol used on Nazi uniforms.
- CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp denied the resemblance was intentional, calling the idea “outrageous and slanderous.”
- The “Odal rune” has also been used by white supremacists in Europe and North America.
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A stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference drew attention over the weekend for its resemblance to a Nordic rune that appeared on Nazi uniforms.
—The Daily Beans Podcast (@dailybeanspod) February 26, 2021
After people on Twitter noticed the similarity, the organizer of the conservative conference strongly denied it was intentional, saying the “stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous.”
“We have a long-standing commitment to the Jewish community,” Matt Schlapp, the head of the American Conservative Union, said in a tweet. “CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage.”
The design of the stage is in the shape of an “Odal rune,” which was used on Nazi uniforms in some divisions of the SS and has also been used by white supremacists in Europe and North America in the years following World War II.
However, because the symbol is part of the runic alphabet, it’s used in non-extremist contexts as well, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Insider identified a version of the symbol in a photo taken in Germany in 2008 at a neo-Nazi summer camp that was broken up by police.
Runic alphabets predate the modern Roman alphabet and were used widely across Europe. They were appropriated by white supremacists due to the use of runes by Nazi Germany.
Nazis have coopted numerous symbols from other cultures. The swastika was used for millennia as a symbol of good fortune by Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains before being appropriated by Nazis.