STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (AP) - Officials at a Georgia park featuring a giant bas relief of Confederate leaders said a Confederate battle flag that had been taken from its pole was quickly replaced Friday.
Officials noticed the flag was missing about 11 a.m. Friday and it was replaced by noon, Stone Mountain Park police spokesman John Bankhead told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (https://bit.ly/1L3x8yK).
The Confederate battle flag has come under renewed scrutiny in the weeks since nine black churchgoers were fatally shot during Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina. Dylann Storm Roof, a white man who was photographed with the flag, is charged in the shooting deaths and authorities are investigating the killings as a hate crime.
Stone Mountain features a 3-acre relief sculpture of Jefferson Davis, who was president of the Confederacy, and generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The Ku Klux Klan also once held notorious cross-burnings and organizational meetings on the mountain.
The park’s Flag Terrace, where multiple versions of Confederate flags fly, was donated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1964, according to Executive Director of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, Bill Stephens. It is considered a memorial and, as such, can’t be removed or relocated under Georgia law, Stephens has said.
Officials in South Carolina on Friday removed a Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse that had been flying there for 54 years.
Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, https://www.ajc.com
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