The display of a Nazi flag by a man at a Bernie Sanders rally in Arizona drew condemnation from Jewish groups Friday and from the candidate himself. Images of a flag depicting a swastika that was displayed at Sanders' Thursday night rally in Phoenix began circulating online after the rally, the AP reports. The moment elicited warnings about anti-Semitism directed at Sanders, who is Jewish and has talked about members of his father's family being "wiped out" by the Holocaust. "Good people, regardless of how they vote, should call this out in no uncertain terms," the Anti-Defamation League's CEO said, adding that "I worry we'll see more of this" given the anti-Semitism that emerged during the 2016 campaign. The American Jewish Committee tweeted that "Nazi flags are symbols of pure hate and have no place anywhere in America."
The Anti-Defamation League identified a white supremacist with a history of anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic harassment as the perpetrator, citing a social media post in which the man takes credit. Sanders said Friday the incident doesn't raise “a question of whether I feel unsafe,” but of the bigger impact of anti-Semitism in the public square. "It is horrific. It is beyond disgusting that, in the United States of America, there are people who would" display Nazi symbolism, he said. Security notified state police officers about the flag before Sanders took the stage, said a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The crowd "turned on the man," and he dropped the flag and ran when he saw officers approach, said the spokesman. Officers were not able to find him. (Secret Service says Democratic candidates haven't asked for protection.)