This week's rallies in opposition to confederate monuments, in both San Antonio and Virginia, are proof that membership in various white nationalist groups is on the rise, and is expanding from rural parts of the country to urban cores, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"You have Knights of the KKK in Ft. Worth. You have Texas Rebel Knights in Quinlan. You have the United White Knights in New Boston," Dayan Gross, Southwest Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI.
In the case of Charlottesville, VA, it was no surprise that protests were coming over the weekend. The city has been a heated debate over the sale of a statue of Robert E. Lee, paving the way for a buyer removes it.
What was surprising to many who watched the rally unfold was the size of the tiki-torch waving crowd. In a press release the Southern Poverty Law Center described it as the "largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades."
A similar event unfolded in San Antonio, where close to 500 protestors and counter-protestors gathered in Travis Park, where there's a debate over the fate of a confederate memorial.
Gross says the confederate-flag waving groups are becoming more vocal in Texas."The demographic they're drawing from is primarily rural bases, but we're seeing their activities more and more in places like San Antonio," he explains.
And while some want the white nationalists to be labeled as terrorist groups, St. Mary's Professor Jeff Addicott, who heads the Center for Terrorism Law, says it's not that easy.
Addicott says, at the rally in San Antonio, there were both African Americans and Hispanics who carried the Confederate flag, and spike in support of the monument.
"You have pro-Confederate groups who are not terror groups but you have KKK and white supremacist groups and they are terror groups," he says.
He says different groups use common symbols in different ways, making it difficult to separate them without careful digging.