SEFFNER (FOX 13) - The giant flag at Interstate 75 and Interstate 4 is one of the largest symbols of the Confederacy anywhere, so David King wasn't surprised when he heard the news.
"I knew that when Charlottesville went down Saturday night, something was going to happen at the flag site. And it did,” said King, a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans, the group that maintains the flag and the memorial at the bottom.
Sunday, King and other members spent hours scrubbing off the red paint that covered many names.
"Those are family members, my great, great-grandfather's name is on that wall out there. It's nothing about racism, it's nothing about white supremacy, it's nothing about the Ku Klux Klan," insisted King. He says white supremacists aren't allowed in the group.
Albert Fields of the Hillsborough chapter of the NAACP says he saw reports of the vandalism. He says the organization does not condone defacing property, but he finds the flag offensive.
"It creates a tremendous problem. You have to hold your breath and say why?” he offered. “What point does it make, other than what it used to make – intimidation.”
The vandals left what could be an intimidating signature. The word "Antifa" was written with paint. That's a violent left-wing group on the other side of the spectrum from white supremacists. It's possibly a reaction to what happened in Charlottesville.
"Anytime we have an escalation at one end, the right wing, there's going to be an escalation on the left wing," says retired FBI analyst Joe Navarro. "The mediator that should be the government, should be actively investigating.”
The U.S. Justice Department has indeed opened an investigation into the events in Charlottesville. And the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating the vandalism at the flag site.
"We rolled up our sleeves and cleaned it and life goes on," added King. "Just leave it alone. It's the history of this country, whether you like it or not."