ELDON, Mo. (KMIZ)
Driving up Highway 54 on the way to Lake of the Ozarks, visitors are greeted by an old symbol waving high above the trees: a Confederate flag.
The Confederate flag has long been a divisive symbol of the Civil War. While some say it stands for history and patriotism, others say it stands for hate and racism.
Amanda Burrow of Tuscumbia falls in the latter category. Burrows was upset this flag may be all some people remember about driving through her corner of Missouri. She decided to buy the billboard next to the flag and have it say "Equality, bigger than hate."
Burrows started a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the billboard. The initial goal on the fundraiser was set at $3,850, which would cover the cost of the art, vinyl and price of keeping the billboard up for six months. As of Saturday evening, the Burrows has raised over $28,000.
The fundraiser and billboard have gone viral since receiving media attention on Friday. In the 24 hours after Friday, the fundraiser received over 400 new donations, with donors from around the country. Comments on the fundraiser show donors from outside of Missouri in places such as California, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Guam.
In the description of the fundraiser, Burrows said she chose to put up a billboard because "voice and images matter."
"I didn't think it was fair and even though it's everyone's right to express their opinion and free speech which I respect," Burrows said. "I don't want that flag to speak for me."
Mary Ratliff, president of the Columbia NAACP chapter, commends Burrow for standing up in what she believes.
"If I were to speak to her, I would tell her how courageous it was for her to do this thing, and how much it means to how much it can mean to the community for her to be standing up there and letting folks know that this is not the way that all the people in the area feel," Ratliff said.
The flag is on private property, so no one can make the owner take it down.