ATLANTA — The Atlanta City Council wants Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to consider changes to the giant carving at Stone Mountain, according to various media reports.
The state-owned memorial features a carving of famous Confederate leaders Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. One city councilman thinks other famous Georgians should be added to the carving, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; others have suggested sandblasting the carving off the side of the mountain.
“That would make Stone Mountain, I think, an enlightened place that reflects all of Georgia’s history,” the newspaper quoted Councilman Michael Julian Bond as saying. “…Georgia’s history is much greater than the four years of the Confederacy; it’s much more diverse and rich than that period which has been highly romanticized, particularly in the last 50 to 60 years.”
The city council passed a resolution asking the governor to take action. Stone Mountain does not sit within Atlanta city limits, so the city council has no real authority to mandate changes.
“The memorial that is placed there doesn’t reflect my cultural perspective,” the Atlanta Business Chronicle quoted Bond as saying. “It ought to reflect all of Georgia.”
The fate of Confederate memorials is the subject of a national debate in the wake of a white gunman killing nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. There are thousands of Confederate monuments nationwide, particularly in the south.
In South Carolina, for example, Gov. Nikki Haley earlier this month signed a bill to remove the Confederate battle flag from flying on the statehouse grounds. The flag was removed the following morning.