There’s a bizarre story emerging on Twitter. At CPAC today, the crowd starting waving Russian flags during President Donald Trump‘s speech.
The flags were the exact color combination as the Russia flag, except they had the word “TRUMP” plastered across the middle blue stripe. CNN’s Peter Hamby uploaded images to Twitter of the crowd waving the flags, followed by someone rushing to confiscate them.
Crowd at CPAC waving these little pro-Trump flags that look exactly like the Russian flag. Staffers quickly come around to confiscate them. pic.twitter.com/YhPpkwFCNc
— Peter Hamby (@PeterHamby) February 24, 2017
Another person shared a close-up image:
— #HappyDee (@DeeInHouston) February 24, 2017
Other images documenting the bizarre event popped up as well:
Flags just distributed at CPac. Russia anyone? pic.twitter.com/7SQ5N2U3ZO
— Kylie Morris (@C4KylieM) February 24, 2017
— DivaKnevil ❄️ (@DivaKnevil) February 24, 2017
According to RawStory, the fiasco began when “staffers” handed out the flags “to wave during the president’s speech that also happened to have the same white-blue-and-red striped pattern as Russian’s official flag.”
However, it’s still not clear how the flags ended up in the hands of the audience. Although it’s possible the intention was to put Trump’s name on a patriotic-themed red, white, and blue flag forgetting that it resembled the Russia flag, it could also be the work of either pranksters or protesters.
We’ll update this story as more info becomes available.
Update, 2/24/17, 4:32 pm PST:
Talking Points Memo is reporting that two D.C. progressive activists, Jason Charter and Ryan Clayton from the group Americans Take Action, purchased tickets to the conference and handed out nearly 1,000 flags to attendees as a prank.
After they were thrown out of the conference, they told TPM they wanted to “shed light on an important issue”—namely, the drip of revelations of backchannel communications between the Russian government and the Trump campaign—and allow people to “get a laugh out of their day.”
[The title of this story has been updated to more accurately reflect the facts as we know them] Featured image via Twitter. To follow Sky Palma on Facebook, click here.