KEMP, Texas — Area residents are reacting to a controversial billboard that recently went up in Kemp — sparking debate on both sides of Dallas council members' latest decision to remove a Confederate War Memorial in downtown Dallas.
The 11-4 vote by the Dallas City Council to remove the massive 65-foot Confederate War Memorial was made in February — the latest decision by the council since a 2017 vote to remove the Robert E. Lee statue in Uptown. The council is now proposing a $480,000 plan to remove and store the monument.
Yesterday, readers began sending in photos of the billboard which depicts a confederate soldier peeing on Dallas, the city's name and its skyline, next to a Confederate flag with a subtitle that reads, "I Support Confederate Heritage."
At the heart of the issue, many area residents say the billboard doesn't represent them or Kemp. Others, some opposed to the message and its delivery, say the first amendment protects the display of free speech.
Multiple calls by inForney.com to the owner of the billboard went unanswered Tuesday. A reader however, speaking to inForney.com, says she spoke with the owner who said, in part, the billboard was paid for and that was the content of the message they wished to have displayed.
"This billboard is not in the city of Kemp City Limits, therefore we have no jurisdiction," stated Kemp Mayor Laura Peace on social media. "Politics aside, I would think that with a day care across the street most people would be appalled at the vulgarity of a man urinating on public display."
Despite a 45-mile separation between the billboard in Kemp and the Confederate War Memorial in Dallas, the issue, and its debate, hits close to home for many area residents.
In the summer of 2018, a billboard in the Texas panhandle sparked controversy, it read, “Liberals, Please continue on I-40 until you have left our great State of Texas.” That client opted to pull the advertisement less than 24 hours after it was erected.
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