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Confederate flag supporters claim harassment at Stone Mountain

While the bulk of the Confederate flag enthusiasts have yet to arrive for today's planned rally at Stone Mountain, one early arriving couple claimed they were accosted on their way into the park.

Ann Harper of Griffin claimed she and her companion were followed for several blocks by a man upset with their display of the Confederate flag. Harper said the man jumped out at a red light and complained to them about their "slave flag."

"I said I'm sorry you feel that way, but it's a Southern thing for me," she said.

Harper was one of just a half dozen protesters to arrive at the park before 9 a.m. Organizers and park officials are anticipating hundreds. While organizers have pledged to hold a peaceful protest, online comments on several Facebook pages promoting the event indicate the group is anticipating "trouble."

The rally is in reaction to calls to remove or alter Stone Mountain's iconic carving of Confederate leaders and the removal of the Confederate battle flag from public spaces. Civil rights groups have pressed for the changes since the June 17 mass shooting at a black church in Charleston by an avowed white supremacist.

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>>Caravans of Confederate flag supporters arrive for rally at Stone Mountain

>>Stone Mountain Park officials prep for all-day Confederate flag rally

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Joyner’s column, AJC Watchdog, investigates topics in your community and Georgia.

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