A sign with references to a white supremacist group was removed Tuesday from an overpass in McAlester.
McAlester Police Lt. Preston Rodgers said officers received a call around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday about a sign referencing Patriot Front — known as a a white supremacist group — hung on the Oklahoma State Highway 270 overpass of US Highway 69.
Rodgers said an MPD officer removed the sign and the agency is still investigating the incident.
"Right now we don't have any suspects on who may have placed it there, but we'll continue to look into it and see what we can come up with," Rodgers said.
The sign had a link to Patriot Front's website, the group's emblem, and bold letters that read "America First."
Patriot Front is a white supremacist group whose members claim "their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it solely to them," according to the Anti-Defamation League. Patriot Front members define themselves as American fascists or American nationalists striving to preserve a European-American identity.
The ADL is an anti-hate organization founded in 1913 that strives toward justice and fair treatment for all through new programs, policies and training.
ADL tracks hate groups online, shares information with law enforcement, and provides resources and data on its website — including the ADL H.E.A.T. Map, which is an interactive map of data points for reports of extremist and anti-Semitic incidents nationwide.
The map shows no such reports in McAlester dating back to 2002, but two reports of white supremacist propaganda in Wilburton — including one in the last year.
Incidents can be reported to the ADL at www.adl.org/reportincident.
ADL states the Patriot Front "espouses racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance under the guise of preserving the “ethnic and cultural origins” of their European ancestors."
Patriot Front uses symbolism like the American flag and nationalistic verbiage on banners, fliers, posters and stickers to unite members and participates in "flash mobs" and torch marches/demonstrations, ADL states.
Patriot Front originated in 2017 when members split from Vanguard America — a white supremacist, neo-Nazi, neo-fascist organization that is known for directly targeting Jewish institutions, according to ADL.
When the members formed Patriot Front, the group focused on branding itself using “American Nationalism” and advocating "racist ideology that appeals to conservatives, using ostensibly unifying symbols like the American flag," according to ADL.
Rodgers said he is unaware of any white supremacist group activity in the McAlester area.
He said anyone with information about the sign can contact the MPD main number at 918-423-1212.