Hundreds of people had arrived at the Confederate flag rally at Stone Mountain Park by 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2015. DANIEL FUNKE / DANIEL.FUNKE@COXINC.COM
John Gibbs and James Howard sat perched atop the roof of the pickup truck that carried them from Meriwether County to Stone Mountain Park Saturday morning. The Army of Northern Virginia battle flag – recognized more as the Confederate flag – stood in the bed of the truck. As they waited for the flag rally to start, the lifelong friends talked about what brought them to the park.
“It’s our heritage. It’s not hate. Not at all,” said Gibbs, 17.
The 20-year-old Howard was a bit more strident.
“They will not erase our history,” he said.
Please return to the AJC Latest News blog for up-to-the-minute updates. Check AJC.com throughout the day for the full story.
>>VIDEO: Police suppress verbal dispute at Confederate flag rally in Stone Mountain
>>Rebel flag about ‘heritage not hate,’ organizers say
>>Caravans of Confederate flag supporters arrive for rally at Stone Mountain
>>Confederate flag supporters claim harassment
>>Stone Mountain Park officials prep for all-day Confederate flag rally