LINCOLN, Neb. — The University of Nebraska is changing its mascot’s hand gesture because it was associated with a white supremacy symbol.
For more than 47 years, Herbie Husker made what appeared to be an “OK” hand gesture, with his thumb and forefinger making an “O.”
Now the mascot will form a “1” with his index finger.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, white nationalists have been using the “OK” sign as early as 2015.
White nationalists like Milo Yiannopoulos and Richard Spencer have been seen using the symbol on social media and in photos.
The University of Nebraska told the Flatwater Free Press, “the concern about the hand gesture was brought to our attention by our apparel provider and others, and we decided to move forward with a revised Herbie Husker logo.”
The university began the process of changing the logo in 2020.
Because the “OK” hand sign has only recently been known to signal “white power”, the Anti-Defamation League says, in most instances, it is just a sign of approval, and not everyone who uses it is doing it in a “white supremacist context.”