QAnon conspiracy theorists have begun sneaking their QAnon shirts into Trump rallies amid reports that people wearing the shirts have been turned away by people they claim are Secret Service officers staffing Trump events.
QAnon is founded on a series of anonymous clues posted online by a person named “Q” that purport to show a secret world where Trump is engaged in endless battle with a pedophile cabal of high-ranking Democrats and where Trump’s foes will soon be banished to Gitmo. It is an inherently ludicrous idea but one that’s managed to gain a ton of traction through Trump rallies, where attendees regularly show up with Q shirts and signs.
Indeed, the conspiracy theory jumped into the mainstream in July, when a number of people with QAnon shirts and signs were shown on TV at a Trump rally in Florida. Other QAnon supporters who get caught on camera at Trump rallies have earned cryptic shout-outs from Q, and believers in the theory scrutinize Trump’s hand gestures at rallies to claim he’s pointing to QAnon believers.
But now QAnon fans hoping for a viral moment of their own say they’re being told they can’t wear QAnon-related shirts to the Trump rallies. On Monday, a QAnon supporter trying to attend a rally the president was holding in Tennessee claimed on Twitter that a Secret Service agent told her that “Q” shirts weren’t allowed at the rally.
This isn’t the first time QAnon supporters have claimed their gear is being banned at Trump events. Lisa Thornburg, a QAnon believer, told The Daily Beast that a Secret Service officer told her husband that he couldn’t wear QAnon T-shirt to a Trump rally in West Virginia.
But Thornburg still managed to show her QAnon support.
“I ended up holding the shirt up high and waving it during the rally so it could be seen,” Thornburg told The Daily Beast.
The Secret Service didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Other QAnon believers have started to get more creative, with one covering a shirt with a jacket in an attempt to get around the rally ban.
A ban on QAnon gear at Trump rallies would seem to conflict with the heart of the conspiracy theory, which is that Trump is communicating to his supporters with the anonymous clues that make up QAnon. But in a post, Q claimed that the shirts weren’t being banned because they embarrass Trump—instead, they’re banned because deep-state operatives posing as QAnon believers are calling in threats.
Either way, the mystery poster “Q” had a solution: just buy more QAnon shirts and wear it in layers.
“When one shirt is not enough,” the post reads, “TWO becomes the solution.”