By Gary Reese –
“Stone Mountain is set up and preserved by state law as a Confederate memorial. In fact, the law that changed the state flag expressly prohibited any changes at Stone Mountain Park.” With those words, Gov. Nathan Deal pushed back hard against critics of the nationally-known Georgia symbol highlighted by a giant rock carving of three Confederate heroes: President Jefferson Davis and Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
“In recent weeks, many on both sides of the argument have said that these Confederate symbols belong in places where we view historical artifacts, such as museums. In Georgia, where these symbols are no longer on our state flag or on Capitol grounds, Stone Mountain serves that purpose,” the governor explained in a statement released by his office.
Stone Mountain is specifically protected in the Official Code of Georgia 50-3-21, which reads in part: “Any other provision of law notwithstanding, the memorial to the heroes of the Confederate States of America graven upon the face of Stone Mountain shall never be altered, removed, concealed or obscured in any fashion and shall be preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of the state who suffered and died in their cause.”
InsiderAdvantage is told that, as the park prepares for its big family-oriented Fourth of July Independence Day weekend, Confederate-era flags are permitted to be carried on the sprawling park grounds, but displays of any kind are not allowed during fireworks and laser show presentations. The Confederate battle flag and other secessionist flags are flown at the park and Rebel memorabilia is sold.
The Stone Mountain Memorial Association, which is a state of Georgia authority, oversees and is responsible for the park which is operated by the Herschend Family Entertainment Group.