Coast Guard member flashes white power hand signal on TV

A screen capture from the MSNBC broadcast

John Reed was in the process of giving a live MSNBC interview on Live with Ali Velshi to provide an update on the Coast Guard response to the storm, when-unbeknownst to him-one of his men sitting behind him decided to make a not-so-subtle "OK" gesture in front of the rolling cameras. Others were offended because they connect the gesture to President Donald Trump and conservatives.

In video footage of the MSNBC telecast, Sector Charleston Commanding Officer Capt. John Reed can be seen providing an update on the storm, which has claimed at least seven lives since it made landfall in the mid-Atlantic region on Thursday. Which leaves it uncertain: Is this an online joke or a white-power symbol-or did one become the other?

The Coast Guard was quick to apologise via tweet, saying the organisation was aware of the clip and clarifying that it does not condone the flashing of the sign or what it represented.

In a statement provided to Buzzfeed News, the Coast Guard called the incident a "frustrating distraction. during our hurricane response" and said that "these types of actions are not reflective of the core values of the Coast Guard".

Coast Guard Lt. J.B. Zorn later gave a statement that the unidentified man had been removed from duty and that the incident is now under investigation.

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What does the gesture really mean?

"We weren't even familiar with the hateful symbol being attributed to her for the random way she rested her hand during a long hearing".

The Anti-Defamation League previously noted that the "OK" gesture isn't a hate symbol.

So, it is not always clear if and when the hand gesture is actually being used in a racist fashion, but the Coast Guard still deemed the act to be inappropriate. "Well, no, it hasn't, but you are likely to hear just the opposite from social media, thanks to the latest hoax from members of notorious website 4chan", stated a post on the anti-racism group's website. It also can carry a vulgar connotation in some overseas cultures.

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