National News

One sign targeted liberals. The other aimed at bigots. Even billboards battle in Texas

Posted June 25, 2018 4:11 p.m. EDT

— When a billboard telling liberals to leave Texas went up near a small town named Vega, another popped up with a quick response: "Texas is for everyone."

The battle of the billboards started when a photo of the first billboard went viral last week on social media. Its message? "Liberals, please continue on I-40 until you have left our GREAT STATE OF TEXAS."

The responding billboard sang to a different tune, saying "Texas is for everyone -- Not for bigotry. Welcome y'all."

The new sign was made possible by a GoFundMe page created by Roman Leal, a longtime resident of Amarillo, Texas. Leal said he started the fundraiser because he was dismayed by the anti-liberal billboard when he saw it.

"When that other sign went up that was telling liberals to leave, for me that didn't reflect the spirit of the Texas that I know and love," Leal told CNN. "I know at its heart Texas is a welcoming and supportive place."

The original billboard didn't last long, and was taken down the day after it went up. The owner of Burkett Outdoor Advertising said the client who paid for the billboard requested it be taken down, according to CNN affiliate KAMR.

Kyle Mccallie, who lives in Fritch, Texas, posted a picture of the original billboard that went viral. He says he is offended it was taken down because of public outcry.

"I thought it was a good message," Mccallie told CNN. "If you're offended by it, then follow the directions like the sign says."

Even though some see the billboards as opposing, Leal says he doesn't view the two signs as a rivalry.

"I saw the billboard as an opportunity for the people of Amarillo to present a different message and to give a chance for Amarillo to welcome people of different ideologies and different mindsets," Leal said.

Leal's GoFundMe page had raised more than $3,800 as of Monday afternoon, exceeding its original goal of $1,800. Leal said it means the billboard can stay up for eight weeks instead of four.