Stone Mountain Park set on keeping Confederate flag

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — As South Carolina prepares to take down the Confederate battle flag, which has flown at the Statehouse for more than 50 years, debate over where the flag should fly in Georgia continues to stir up emotions on both sides.

State lawmaker Ladawn Jones has received dozens of emails, tweets and messages over the past week. Some of them appear to be threatening.  

One email read in part "rest assured you will be met at the gates of Stone Mountain by my Southern brothers and myself on the day you come to take down the flags…"

"Some of the authors were intending to be threatening, but they didn't threaten me at all," Jones told Channel 2's Erin Coleman. "In fact, what they did was highlight why this is an important issue in 2015."

Jones says she applauds the South Carolina legislature for voting to take down the Confederate flag at the state capitol. She wants to see the same done for state property in Georgia.

"Every individual has their First Amendment right to personally wear whatever flag they would like, but on places like Stone Mountain that's run by a state authority, or state property, the Confederate flag should not fly with the U.S. flag and the Georgia flag," Jones added.

Stone Mountain Park spokesman John Bankhead says the flags fly in one area of the park. He also points out the mountain was established by state law as a memorial to the Confederacy. 

"We understand it's an issue sensitive to many people, we understand the reason, but at this point (it's) up to the Georgia legislature to make any changes," Bankhead said.

Jones says it's something the state should consider next session. And she says if the flag is really about heritage, include all of it.

"There were a lot of people, actually a lot of these emails said that there were slaves that fought for the Confederacy and against it. Where's their monument in Stone Mountain? I think we can begin to repair the problems that that flag portrays if we use that memorial park to show the sacrifices of everyone," Jones said.

Charles Kelly Barrow, the commander-in-chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, says the flags at Stone Mountain should stay. He said taking them down would create even more disharmony.