Changes to Stone Mountain State Park begin with new logo for governing body
The group that oversees Stone Mountain State Park has officially adopted a new logo — one that does not include an image of the large Confederate carving on the side of the mountain.
The Stone Mountain Memorial Association’s new logo features a picture of the park’s lake and a wider view of the mountain.
“Some thought the other symbol was not unifying, so we wanted to make a change,” CEO Bill Stephens said following Monday’s board meeting. “And I think this is an appropriate logo for a state authority, and we’ll go forward with it.”
The previous logo featured a close-up image of the carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on horseback.
Stephens says the Stone Mountain Memorial Association is finalizing an advisory committee that will explore other potential changes. He said it should be announced within weeks. The board is also in the process of moving Confederate flags away from the main hiking trail at the park.
“We are gathering proposals from contractors to relocate the flags,” Stephens said. “Georgia law requires that they be placed in a place of similar prominence to where they are now, so we want to make sure the place they’re located at looks good.”
Several people who spoke during Monday’s meeting bemoaned the changes to the park. Jim Davis of Columbia County, Georgia suggested a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans or a member of the Civil War commission be a part of the Stone Mountain Association board.
“On your board, we need a member that knows something about the heritage, the Confederate heritage of our veterans,” Davis said.
DeKalb NAACP branch president Teresa Hardy says maintaining the status quo at the park is unacceptable.
“There is absolutely nothing about the Confederacy that is worth preserving,” Hardy said. “Other than the memory of what it stood for and the horror that it caused.”
A drop in park visitors and activities during the pandemic has contributed to a $1.3 million net loss in the latest financial report. The park says it has also cut back on expenses to offset some of those losses. It is currently looking for a new company to manage day-to-day operations of the park’s hotel and attractions.