STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga — There is a new push for changes at Stone Mountain Park. A citizens' coalition has made a pitch for Confederate flags to be removed and street names changed.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot looked into how that push could run in to state law.
State law protects the carvings on the side of Stone Mountain; however, some opponents believe those laws do not apply to the Confederate imagery around the park.
The collection of Confederate flags at the bottom of the walk-up trail should be removed, according to the Stone Mountain Action coalition.
“There’s one culture that may consider it victory. On the other side, another culture, we consider it a lack of respect,” Pastor Stewart Reese III of Covington Bethesda Cathedral said. “How you view those flags may say something about how you view other people.”
In addition to removing the flags, the Stone Mountain Action Coalition is asking the Stone Mountain Memorial Association to consider changing the name of some streets named to honor Confederate generals.
The coalition presented some of their ideas at the association meeting last month.
Ryan Gravel, co-chair of the coalition, concedes state law clearly protects the carving but other Confederate imagery is not protected.
“Those flags should not be flying over people’s heads when they walk up the trail. They should be in a museum,” Gravel said.
There are some who believes the flags are a part of history and should not be erased.
“It’s a part of this country’s history, and by taking it down, you’re not changing the history, and I don’t believe, I believe that if you don’t learn from history, you’re doomed to repeat it,” Phil Bonadonna said.
Gravel and the coalition plan to officially submit their proposal for changes later this week. The Memorial association will consider every one very carefully; however, their hands may be tied by state law, according to a spokesperson for the association.
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