Kennesaw to debate Confederate symbolism as a damper on economic development

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A Kennesaw street festival. AJC file

The city of Kennesaw will take up a resolution this evening asking the state Legislature to reconsider a state law that prohibits local governments in Georgia from removing or relocating the Confederate memorials in their midst.

The Confederate battle emblem currently flies in the city’s Commemorative Park, though it was removed last week. City officials blame vandals. From Shaddi Abusaid of the Marietta Daily Journal:

Yvette Daniel, an Army veteran and former law enforcement officer, said Friday the flag that flies in a downtown Kennesaw park is divisive and should be taken down.

At her request, the City Council will discuss a resolution Monday asking the state Legislature to revisit a law prohibiting cities from removing military memorials, which would give council members the authority to decide whether the Confederate banner should remain on display at the city’s Commemorative Park.

Similar discussions are occurring elsewhere. On Saturday night, about 75 people in Decatur gathered to discuss the removal of the “Lost Cause” monument in the city’s square.

But it is Kennesaw that bears close watching. Located at the edge of Kennesaw Mountain battlefield park, the city in past decades has scratched a living from its role in the Civil War, when it was a railroad stop known as Big Shanty. (Kennesaw is also the city that requires the head of every household to own a gun – unless he or she doesn’t want to. Which was another publicity-generating endeavor.)

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