Lawmakers push to remove Stone Mountain Park’s Confederate designation

A carving on Stone Mountain honoring Confederate generals is shown on Monday, May 24, 2021, in...
A carving on Stone Mountain honoring Confederate generals is shown on Monday, May 24, 2021, in Stone Mountain, Ga. The Stone Mountain Memorial Association board approved some minor changes in the popular park, located near Atlanta, but did not address any possible changes to the carving or streets named after Confederate generals as some had hoped.(Source: AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 11:05 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2023 at 8:09 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A bill has been introduced to remove Stone Mountain Park as a Confederate Memorial designation by three DeKalb County legislators.

State Representatives Billy Mitchel (D-Stone Mountain), Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur), and Omari Crawford (D-Decatur) are trying to remove the word " Memorial” from the park’s official title by introducing House Bill 794.

“We have been waiting too long for action by the Stone Mountain Memorial Authority to act on needed changes to the false history of the park and the carving,” said Rep. Mitchell, whose district includes the park. “We do not understand the delay and wish to set forth the changes that we see as necessary.”

“I am a native of Georgia and DeKalb County, and Stone Mountain has been a part of all the stages of my life,” said Rep. Oliver. “The park is an important asset for our county and state and enjoys enormous popularity and use. As such, the park needs to change its statutory history of honoring the Confederacy and adhere to a ‘lost cause.’ This legislation is consistent with recommendations from other groups and historians who wish to set forth a more accurate history of Stone Mountain Park and its carving.”

RELATED: Counter-protest planned after Confederate event approved at Stone Mountain Park

They propose the name change to “Stone Mountain Park Association” from its current name “Stone Mountain Memorial Association.” This change will also remove the requirement to sell ad stock confederate memorabilia. The removal to preserve the carvings of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on Stone Mountain.

“I’m a proud product of DeKalb County, and Stone Mountain was integral to my development,” said Rep. Crawford. “The diversity of DeKalb County is an under-amplified gem in the great state of Georgia. Our ability to work together, despite our diversity, is what makes DeKalb County unique. Honoring any Confederate history in an area with so much diversity is inconsistent with DeKalb County’s present-day values. It is time that our park reflects our evolution.”

There were other state legislators that have co-sponsored this bill, including the following; Dar’shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia), Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), Karen Lupton (D-Chamblee), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), Becky Evans (D-Atlanta), Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain), Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), Imani Barnes (D-Tucker), Doreen Carter (D-Lithonia), Saira Draper (D-Atlanta), Shea Roberts (D-Atlanta), Long Tran (D-Dunwoody) and Rhonda Taylor (D-Conyers).