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White supremacist group billboard in north Florida removed • Wednesday April 9, 2003

AP, Apr. 9, 2003

OLD TOWN A billboard owner has removed a message in north Florida from a white supremacist organization that urged the United States to cut ties with Israel and to stop immigration.

The National Alliance’s message and its Internet address went up last month on a highway outside of Old Town, about 100 miles southeast of Tallahassee. It was painted over Sunday.

“I’d like to apologize,” said Mark Montgomery, who had rented out the space. “We were duped.”

He said his Micanopy-based Montgomery Ventures was asked by a man claiming to be a Vietnam veteran for use of the sign.

“I had no idea that what would be put up there would be offensive to me and to my Jewish relatives,” Montgomery said. “To have a hate group’s sign on one of our billboards is embarrassing to me.”

An alliance spokesman did not return a phone message early Tuesday.

A replacement sign will go up soon and will feature an American flag, a yellow ribbon and the words “God Bless Our Troops,” Montgomery said.

The National Alliance was founded by white supremacist William Pierce, who died last year. According to its Web site, the alliance proposes an all-white, non-Jewish society.

The alliance put up a similar billboard in Tampa two years ago. It was also removed after an advertising company that owned the billboard discovered what the message said.

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