Lawmaker wants Stone Mountain to recognize Union and Confederacy

An Atlanta lawmaker who called for a boycott of Stone Mountain Park until the Confederate battle flag was removed has proposed legislation to make the park a memorial even to Yankees.

State Rep. LaDawn Jones, D-Atlanta, has introduced legislation that would designate the park as a memorial to the Civil War, not just the Confederacy.

After the massacre church shooting promoted South Carolina to take the Confederate battle flag of its Capitol grounds, some Georgia lawmakers called for the same to happen at Stone Mountain. Jones called for July 4 boycott of Stone Mountain, where the flag flies at the mountain’s base.

“It would still be my preference that the flag would not be there,” Jones, an attorney, said Thursday.

But she said as she talked to people about the issue, she realized how divisive it was.

Jones said she decided the solution was not to erase that part of history but rather to expand on it and put it into context.

Lives were lost from the Confederacy and the Union, and they included slaves, women and native Americans, she said.

“I do not want to take anyone’s heritage nor erase anyone’s heritage,” Jones said.

She acknowledges that some of her legislative colleagues may be uncomfortable tackling the issue in an election year.

“I am comfortable with the discussion of race,” Jones said.

She said she was supportive of the suggestion of a freedom bell being put at the top of the mountain, but believes that proposal likely got lost in all the politics from both extremes and the silence from those of us in the middle.”

Stone Mountain is home to the largest high relief sculpture in the world.

The Confederate Memorial Carving, depicts three Confederate heroes of the Civil War — President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.

The entire carved surface measures three-acres, larger than a football field and Mount Rushmore.