DNC Tribute to Veterans Showcased Russian Ships

September 11, 2012

The backdrop for a tribute to U.S. veterans during the final night of the Democratic National Convention showcased a series of Russian warships, flying a Russian naval flag.

The image was projected behind retired Adm. John Nathman and more than a dozen Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans on Sept. 6. The entire image was projected at the beginning and end of the tribute; a portion of the image (the right-most ship) could be seen at some points during the more than five-minute tribute.

The Navy Times first reported the mistake Tuesday:

"The ships are definitely Russian," said noted naval author Norman Polmar after reviewing hi-resolution photos from the event. "There’s no question of that in my mind."

Naval experts concluded the background was a photo composite of Russian ships that were overflown by what appear to be U.S. trainer jets. It remains unclear how or why the Democratic Party used what’s believed to be images of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at their convention.

A spokesman for the Democratic National Convention Committee was not able to immediately comment Tuesday, saying he had to track down personnel to find out what had happened.

Not only are ships clearly outfitted with Russian radar equipment, but they are even flying a Russian naval flag, according to the Times.

Update (9:50 p.m.): An earlier version of this post said the ships were showcased in a video; the ships were in a backdrop during the tribute. The post has been updated to correct that.

Published under: DNC , Russia