<figure> <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2018.09/article/5b9d3464dda4c84c258b4582.jpg"> <figcaption>© Getty Images / <span class="copyright">Free</span></figcaption> </figure> <strong>The US Coast Guard has “removed” one of its members from the Hurricane Florence response team after he allegedly made a ‘white power’ hand signal during a live TV broadcast. </strong> The unidentified team member made the “<em>offensive</em>” ‘OK’ hand gesture while looking into the camera during a live broadcast with Sector Charleston Commanding Officer Captain John Reed on MSNBC.
The move was picked up by many viewers who took to social media to express their outrage at what they believed was an intentional display of a hate symbol. The Coast Guard responded to the outcry on Saturday by saying they had “removed” the member from the response team.
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“We are aware of the offensive video on twitter – the Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response. His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard,” the agency tweeted.
The universal hand signal has become a topic of debate after it reportedly started off as a 4chan hoax to “troll the libs” in 2017, but then actually became a symbol used by white supremacists and some Trump supporters. Just this month the wife of a US attorney, Zina Bash, denied flashing the symbol during a Senate hearing and insisted she was just resting her fingers in that position.