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A member of an American coastguard team that responded to Tropical Storm Florence in South Carolina seemed to flash in the background a white power gesture while a captain was interviewed Friday by MSNBC.
The man has since been removed from the reaction operations of Florence and the incident is being investigated, said Coast Guard Lt. J.B. Zorn.
The decision of the federal agency came after heavy setback online to the apparent gesture that was recorded on "Live with Ali Velshi."
Several Twitter users called for an investigation into the incident and others called for the dismissal of the member of the agency.
"Whatever that symbol means, it does not reflect the coastguard and our core values," Zorn said. "It will not be tolerated."
Officials from the coast guard did not identify the man and refused to discuss possible disciplinary measures.
He flashed the signal when Capt. John Reed, commanding the reaction of Florence in Charleston, South Carolina, declared a new tactic when the storm changed direction. A man in a red shirt nonchalantly saw the "OK" signal on the right side of his face as he sat at a table in the background.
Although the gesture seems harmless and may have started as an online trolling campaign, it has apparently become a symbol used by alt-right supporters to trigger & # 39; & # 39; trigger & # 39; with the implicit suggestion that white nationalist views have become more prominent.
The Coast Guard has taken a leading position in the rescue operations in the Carolinas, where at least five people have died since the storm reached the coastline on Friday morning.
"We will not let anyone abandon the good work the Coast Guard does in the region," Zorn said. "We will stay focused."