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The Army and Navy academies are looking into hand signs flashed by students that can be associated with “white power" and were televised during the Army-Navy football game on Saturday, school officials said.

Cadets at West Point and midshipmen at the Naval Academy in the stands both appeared to display the sign during the broadcast, officials with the two military academies told The Wall Street Journal. The gesture was seen during an ESPN broadcast segment.

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School officials are trying to determine what the hand signals were meant to convey, they said. The U.S. Naval Academy announced Sunday it had appointed an officer to look into the incident.

“U.S. Naval Academy officials have appointed a preliminary inquiry officer to conduct an internal investigation into the hand gestures made during the ESPN College GameDay broadcast prior to yesterday’s Army-Navy game,” said Cmdr. Alana Garas, Naval Academy spokeswoman. “Based on the findings of the investigation, those involved will be held appropriately accountable. It would be inappropriate to speculate any further while we are conducting this investigation.”

As of Sunday afternoon, Army officials were also looking into the incident.

“We’re looking into it,” Lt. Col. Chris Ophardt, a spokesperson for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York, told the Journal. “I don’t know what their intention is.”

The Pentagon didn’t immediately respond to the Journal's request for comment.

The hand sign is similar to the one often used to indicate “OK,” but the Anti-Defamation League says it has lately been used as an extremist meme, in part because of its ambiguity. It is also used in a game. One person tries to get the others to “look” at the sign, often through trickery. If the person looks at it, they lose the game and sometimes are hit in the arm or leg as punishment. It is sometimes known as the “circle game.”

U.S. Coast Guard leaders last year reprimanded an officer who used a similar hand sign during a television broadcast.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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