WACO, Texas — Although the Civil War ended more than 150 years ago, the Confederate Flag remains a controversial topic that divides many Americans. For some, the flag represents southern pride.
Others say it is a symbol of hate and racism.
A Waco man said he regrets getting the flag tattooed across his arm. Kole Owens is looking for a local tattoo artist to help him cover up the divisive symbol.
Owens grew up in Louisiana, where in some parts of the state, people had as much pride in the Confederate Flag as the American one.
"People flew it on their trucks, and I think everyone just grew up with that mindset of the southern meaning of it," he said. "But not everyone knows what it's tied to."
Owens said he got the flag tattooed on his arm in 2016, right after he finished high school.
"It was never meant to be racist," he said. " The only meaning I knew behind it was that it was southern pride."
About a year ago, he had a change of heart.
"I started realizing that I needed to get this covered up or removed," he said. "I could have a whole conversation with somebody, and they would glance down at my arm and their whole demeanor would change. I never want anybody to be intimidated or be afraid to approach me."
Owens has a message for anyone thinking about getting some ink.
"Just definitely think things through before you do it," he said.
Owens said he just moved to the area a few weeks ago, and he's hoping for a fresh start.
Getting a tattoo covered up can be expensive, so he started a GoFundMe to help raise funds.