Sons of Confederate Veterans November 22, 2011
GEORGIA POWER BACKS DOWN OVER CONFEDERATE FLAG
(Atlanta – November 22, 2011) Earlier this year, Georgia Power twice removed Confederate flags from the graves of veterans buried in the Yellow Dirt Baptist Cemetery located within the grounds of Plant Wansley. When Georgia Power failed to respond to concerns of family members of the veterans buried in the cemetery, the families decided to contact the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for help. Following several weeks of activity by members of the local SCV camp, the Haralson Invincibles Camp #673, as well as support from the entire Georgia Division, Georgia Power spokesman Mark Williams finally acknowledged the families’ concerns and admitted that Georgia Power and it’s parent company, the Southern Company, do not have authority to control the cemetery where veterans are buried.
Family members have expressed their appreciation to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the largest heritage preservation organization in the state and across America. Georgia Division Commander Jack Bridwell spoke on behalf of the SCV, "We are happy to see that Georgia Power has finally acknowledged that it has no authority to remove flags from the graves of these veterans, and we are happy to have been able to provide help to these families who wished to honor their ancestors. It is unfortunate that Georgia Power refused to honor the requests of the family members until our organization became involved. We will continue to fight for the preservation of Southern heritage and the respect of veterans across Georgia whenever such violations as these by Georgia Power occur; and we appreciate the outpouring of appreciation shown to the SCV by local residents and elected officials of Heard County.
Despite acknowledging their errors, however, neither Georgia Power nor the Southern Company have issued an apology to the families for removing the flags; nor have they restored the flags that were originally taken by Georgia Power employees. Georgia Power spokesman Konswello Monroe previously admitted that the company took the flags in a statement to the media: "Yes, we did remove those flags that were put up October 8, and we will be monitoring. If they are put back up we will remove them once again." The families of the veterans buried in the cemetery have not yet decided whether or not to press charges for the theft of the flags or the violation of the state and federal laws which protect the graves and flags of veterans. Family members and SCV leaders will be meeting within the next several days to discuss whether or not to have warrants issued for the arrest of Georgia Power officials.
For more information about Georgia Power’s decision to restore the Confederate flags at the Yellow Dirt Baptist Cemetery, please contact Jack Bridwell, Division Commander of the Georgia Sons of Confederate Veterans at 1-866-SCV-in-GA or online at www.GeorgiaSCV.org.