Pro-Confederates celebrating 'Confederate Memorial Day' clashed with protestors at Georgia's Stone Mountain

Pro-Confederates celebrating 'Confederate Memorial Day' clashed with protestors at Georgia's Stone Mountain
A carving on Stone Mountain honoring Confederate generals is shown on Monday, May 24, 2021, in Stone Mountain, Georgia.Ron Harris/AP
  • Pro-Confederates gathered at Stone Mountain in Georgia for Confederate Memorial Day. So did counter-protestors.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center called for the event to be shut down for giving "white nationalists a platform."

A group of pro-Confederates gathered at Stone Mountain in Georgia to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day, which is no longer an official state holiday in Georgia.

The group of about 200 Confederacy supporters was met with 100 protestors on Saturday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"These protesters are against our Christian faith. They are anti-Christ," said Kenneth Buggay, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, per the AJC. "We have been fighting this war since 1861. We will be victorious."

There were calls for Stone Mountain, a state-owned park, to revoke the SVC's permit ahead of the event. The Southern Poverty Law Center called on the state park to "stop this weekend's event and all future events that give white nationalists a platform at Stone Mountain Park."

"Stone Mountain Park is keeping the Confederacy alive by allowing white nationalists to commemorate the legacy of slavery on public land," the SPLC tweeted on Saturday.


The CEO of the park association told WSB-TV that they cannot legally revoke the permit.

"This is a free speech event covered by the First Amendment. We will continue to follow state law as well as honor the First Amendment rights of all Georgians," the CEO told the news outlet.

Stone Mountain has the largest relief carving in the world, a 1,700-foot carving of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. The relief was commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1915 and wasn't completed until 1972, shortly after the Civil Rights Movement.

Before the relief was completed, Stone Mountain was a stronghold of the Confederacy. In 1915, the Klu Klux Klan was reborn atop the mountain, where cross burnings were regular events for decades.

Saturday's event was attended by prominent white nationalists, including attorneys Martin O'Toole, Sam Dickson, and Randy Sheppard, according to the AJC.


"There are more of us than you think, people who think like us," Sheppard said, per the AJC. "White nationalists, pro-Confederate, pro-white."

Counterprotestors booed at the pro-Confederates from across the park.

"Nobody wants to be truthful. This mountain is a symbol of hate. It's a symbol of people that supported segregation," Dunwoody resident Brian Smith told the AJC. "It's just a stain on the state of Georgia. A state-funded park that supports this kind of evil."