HOUSTON (AP) — Hundreds of individuals, some armed, gathered at a Houston park Saturday to protest what they believe are efforts to remove a statue of Texas hero Sam Houston because he owned slaves.

There hasn’t been any organized effort to remove Houston’s statue, which has stood near a city park since 1925.

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Protesters, some carrying Confederate flags, said they were concerned local activists have been calling for the statue’s removal. But it’s not clear any such removal efforts have been formally proposed in the wake of other cities around the country taking down Confederate monuments.

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Houston was the Republic of Texas’ first president. While he did own slaves, he also refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy.

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