Posters depicting confederate flags have been scattered around American University in Washington, DC, just months after bananas scrawled with racist slurs were discovered on the campus.

Confederate flags were associated with Southern slave-owning states during the American Civil War and have been adopted as emblems by white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan in the past century.

Ten Confederate flag posters were distributed across three different campuses at the Washington university, taped to bulletin boards with a piece of cotton and displaying the lyrics of Civil War song I Wish I Was In The Land Of Cotton."

The discovery of the posters is the latest racist incident at the university. In May, bananas featuring racist slogans were strung up in nooses around campus.

One banana reportedly displayed the words "Harambe bait", a reference to the male western lowland gorilla who was killed after a boy fell into his enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo last year, while the letters "AKA", referring to a black college sorority, were scrawled across another.

The racist messages appeared shortly after Taylor Dumpson was elected as the first black female president of the university's student council.

The posters are believed to have been hung up on the same night as a presentation by historian Dr Ibram Kendi about his plans for the university's Anti-racist Research and Policy Center.

American University condemned the latest racist incident as a "cowardly attempt at intimidation".

"We are well aware this act occurred the same evening Dr. Ibram Kendi presented 'A Vision for Equality', an introduction to the Antiracist Research and Policy Center," the university said in a statement. "We will not be deterred by this cowardly attempt at intimidation."

On social media, people shared their disgust at the racist posters and called on the university board to take serious measures to bring an end to discrimination on campus.

"How many times does this have to happen before AU steps up and ensures that black students can and will feel safe on campus?" one woman wrote.

"This fear tactic will not stop anti-racists on campus. We are strong and we are together #antiracism," another person tweeted.