Though it looks innocent to some, it’s definitely used by white supremacists to call for white power. It came up during an investigation for being potentially shown by cadets at an Army-Navy game, though the military eventually ruled it wasn’t the case.
A big danger that comes with the ‘OK’ symbols is how inconspicuous it is. White supremacists can say it wasn’t meant to be racist and evade the consequences of doing something as bold as a Nazi salute (which a group of correctional cadets just got caught doing in West Virginia).
So as the investigation is ongoing in the DC Fire Department, be aware of this white supremacist symbol and others like it. No matter what happens, racism is all around us and we need to be able to identify it when it’s in our face.