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CPAC stage design equated with Nazi rune

The design of a stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has drawn comparisons to a Norse rune used by Nazis during the second world war.

A photo of the CPAC stage went viral on social media on Saturday, with thousands of Twitter users sharing posts comparing its distinctive design to an othala rune, also known as an odal rune, one of many ancient European symbols that Nazis adopted to “reconstruct a mythic ‘Aryan’ past”, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

High-profile Republicans including former president Donald Trump attended the four-day event in Orlando, Florida, as The Hyatt Hotels Corporation called the stage design at CPAC held at one of its hotels an “abhorrent” symbol of hate on Sunday.

The comparisons were “outrageous and slanderous”, Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union, said on Saturday. He added the organization had a “long standing commitment to the Jewish community” and that the conference featured several Jewish speakers.

In its statement on Sunday, Hyatt said: “We take the concern raised about the prospect of symbols of hate being included in the stage design at CPAC 2021 very seriously as all such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company.”