October 30, 2020

Confederate Flags Returned to Graves by Georgia Power

The Confederate flags, which were removed from the graves of several Confederate Veterans at Yellow Dirt Baptist Cemetery at Georgia Power’s Plant Wansley in Heard County last week, have been replaced.

Mark Williams, a spokesperson for Georgia Power, told HeardCitizen.com via phone interview this afternoon that an internal investigation is still going on in regards to the property deeds.

“The flags have been placed back for now. We are still looking into the matter as far as the ownership question. There is a title search going on and those normally take about thirty days, but for now, we are still looking into it and waiting for some results,” stated Williams.

When asked if the flags would remain for thirty days Williams added, “I am not sure about that I just know that they are back on now and I know that we have the title search initiated so we won’t really know our next steps until we get those results back.”

We also asked him if they were indeed able to prove the cemetery belonged to Georgia Power, did he think they would then have the right to remove the flags. Williams answered, “That is all part of our internal investigation and review of the matter. We want to make sure exactly what can and should be done in that situation. It is all being reviewed at this time.” 

The removal of the flags last week prompted a campaign by several members of The Sons of Confederate Veterans and other groups to have the flags returned to the graves.

Billy Bearden, who had previously stated that he felt many state laws were broken by the removal of the flags by employees of Georgia Power, spear-headed the campaign over the last several days via phone calls, electronic mail, and a facebook group to inform others with like-minded opinions of the situation at Plant Wansley. When we asked Bearden today about the news that the flags had been replaced he released the following statement:

“I am not trusting this is a permanent situation. Currently, Ga Power seems to be of the attitude that ‘ok we’ll put the flags back up for now because we dislike the outrage we created and this will hopefully make the complainers go away and we have yet to make a determination on cemetery ownership even though it is already in black and white it is not ours – however you can be sure as soon as we make it look like it is ours the flags will come off again’ which is a nasty horrible attitude to have, Georgia Law as well as moral and religious beliefs should account for dictating behaviours towards graves of Veterans. Unfortunately, in the corporate world, leftist multi-cultist agendas and political correctness warps common sense into an unrecognizable human society.

I honestly hope those who wrongly instituted this bizarre and indefensible course of action have learned a serious lesson in humanity, and am thankful for the current reversal of such a terrible corporate policy to vandalize graves of American Veterans resulting in criminal trespassing. We should pray for their souls, and we will monitor this situation closely regardless of spoken words lest another round of grave desecrations begin anew. 

To Plant Wansley: I would recommend a step in the right direction to repair your damaged reputation would be an official public apology with a promise to respect all American Veterans regardless where they reside, leave the dead to lie in peace, and follow all applicable Georgia Laws regarding burial plots.”- Billy Bearden, Mt. Zion, GA.

When we spoke with Heard County resident Walter Webb, he stated that he had met with Plant Wansley officials yesterday about the situation, and that they had returned the flags to him directly. He also expressed that he was thankful for Billy Bearden’s efforts regarding the matter. Webb is the great grandson of J.P. Shelnutt, one of the deceased veterans in the cemetery.

Georgia Power and Plant Wansley are owned by The Southern Company which is headquartered in Atlanta. The Heard Citizen will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.




  1. Mr. Williams, If you would drive the 15 minutes from Plant Wansley to the Court House in Franklin and then look for about an hour you will find nothing to benefit you. This would result in Georgia Power knowing they have no right to any of those graves or the land. Anyone can do this and unlike Georgia Power dragging their feet can be done quickly. Why would it take 30 days you ask? Because they are obviously stalling. I’m pretty sure some high up on the totem pole knows they dont own it, but lets drag it out to calm everyone down. Until Georgia Power admits they are wrong and punish all involved in this heinous act, it will not calm down.

  2. Kay Borden says

    If I could buy my electricity from someone else, I would. Very poor community relations, Georgia Power.

  3. Marvin Slappey says

    I think you will find that even if Ga Power owns the land they can in no way disturb a gravesite without a state permit. Disturbing a grave site in any way is a criminal act in GA–that includes removing objects, flowers , flags etc. You probably could file a criminal complaint against those who stole the flags. Anyone!!! correct me if I am wrong. Marvin Slappey

    • Billy Bearden says

      You are correct, Georgia Law protects and provides for jail time for what crimes were committed on the Yellow Dirt cemetery. Heard County Sheriff’s Dept is aware of the situation, but are very reluctant to persue charges against the county’s biggest taxpayer

  4. Alan R. Lee says

    It’s funny to me that you can see all kinds of vulgarity and such on TV and printed in books that are on our book shelves and magazine racks but you can’t use a word that is in the “BIBLE”!!!!!!!!!! My,My, what’s this country coming to?!?!?!? Good luck to you decendents of these fine men who fought for the South. You’re RIGHT!

  5. Richard Brice says

    Thanks to the Heard Citizen for following this story.
    John Pink Shellnutt is a relative of mine as well (distant but related just the same) but even if it did not involve family, this is an unbelievable act by Ga. Power. It doesn’t matter who the land belongs to, you do not bother anyone’s grave…let alone a veteran’s.

    Thank you to all who have brought this sad episode to light and keep up the good work.

  6. Billy Beardens lame.

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