Stone Mountain logo in Georgia omits Confederate image
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (AP) – The board of directors that oversees a park near Atlanta voted on Monday for a new logo that excludes the giant mountainside sculpture from Confederate Leaders’ Park.
This is another change from the Stone Mountain Memorial Association to respond to criticism of the park’s Confederate heritage and strengthen its finances.
The board voted in May to move Confederate flags from a busy hiking trail on the mountainside and create a museum exhibit that recognizes the site’s connection to the Ku Klux Klan.
The previous logo included a photo of the famous sculpture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. The new logo includes an image of a lake inside the park and a side of the mountain where the sculpture is not visible.
Critics have asked the board to remove the colossal sculpture from the north face of the mountain. Completed in 1972, it measures 190 feet (58 meters) in diameter and 90 feet (27 meters) in height. It is the largest Confederate monument ever built and enjoys special protection under Georgian law.
The changes come amid a nationwide run reckoning that brought down dozens of Confederate monuments last year.
Work on the Stone Mountain sculpture languished until the state bought the mountain in 1958 to make it into a park. Finishing the monument took on renewed urgency amid resistance from Georgia and other southern states to the civil rights movement and efforts to end segregation.
Today, the park 25 kilometers northeast of downtown Atlanta bills itself as a family theme park rather than a Confederation monument.
The council-approved exhibit is meant to tell the story of sculpture, including its roots in efforts to maintain segregation. It will also reflect the site’s role in the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. The group marked their return with a mountain-top cross-burning ceremony on Thanksgiving night 1915.
Bill Stephens, CEO of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, said the seven-member committee responsible for creating the exhibit will include community leaders and historians. The original plan was for the team to be assembled before Monday’s meeting, but that did not happen.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Stephens said on Monday that the memorial association was in “final talks” with two historians and that an announcement could be made in about two weeks.
“We’re still working on this, and hopefully in the near future we’ll have everyone in place to move forward,” said Chairman of the Board, Rev. Abraham Mosley.