LONGVIEW - East Texas is known to hold a few things commemorating the confederacy. There's a statue in front of the Gregg county courthouse. In Tyler, one of the high schools is named after one of the confederate generals. The protest to take down a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville turned deadly. Soon after, city leaders across the nation demanding confederate monuments to be taken down.
It is believed by some, the confederacy nowadays represents Southern pride and heritage. However, to NAACP members like Branden Johnson, the symbolism has been twisted into racism and bigotry.
"Anyone should have their heritage and their history preserved," Johnson said. "I get it, but I also understand who's using those symbols and it needs to be denounced."
CBS 19 reached out to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Confederate Family, a Heritage. Both organization says when a white nationalist, supremist or neo-nazi holds their flag and defends their monuments, it ruins the confederate legacy.
"Robert E. Lee was of the highest character and would be outraged to see the tactics used by the neo-nazi hate group," Marshall Davis said, who's the spokesperson for the SCV.
J. Williamson of CFH said he wouldn't want to see another person's history erased. He said taking down monuments is as if someone is erasing the past. However, Branden Johnson believes the monuments would be better off in a museum.
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