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Washington National Cathedral to Remove Confederate Flags From Stained Glass Windows

Image: Washington National Cathedral to Remove Confederate Flags From Stained Glass Windows
A stained-glass window honoring Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War, installed at the Washington Cathedral is seen June 29, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 09 Jun 2016 01:50 PM

The Washington National Cathedral will remove Confederate flag images from its stained glass windows that honored Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, it announced in a statement Wednesday.

The cathedral ordered a five-member task force to examine the windows in order to determine their future, the cathedral said in its news release. Though it voted unanimously to remove the Confederate flag images, the task force also decided to host a public discussion on the future of the windows to start July 17.

"The Lee-Jackson windows call the question of race and the legacy of slavery and instead of turning away from that question, the Cathedral has decided to lean into it," the Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, the cathedral's canon theologian and task force member, said in the statement.

"Instead of simply taking the windows down and going on with business as usual, the cathedral recognizes that, for now, they provide an opportunity for us to begin to write a new narrative on race and racial justice at the Cathedral and perhaps for our nation," she continued.

Last year, National Public Radio stated that the dean of the cathedral, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, called for the window images to be removed and wanted to commission replacements, citing the shooting the Charleston, South Carolina, as the motivation.

Dylann Roof is accused of gunning down nine African-American worshipers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last year, according to CNN. Social media images of Roof holding the Confederate flag helped intensify a debate in South Carolina that led to the flag being taken down on statehouse grounds in Columbia the following month.

"I believe that the Charleston shootings have really been a kind of defining for America and for American institutions, and it seemed to me that we couldn't with credibility address the race agenda if we were going to keep the windows in there," Hall told NPR last year.

According to the news site, United Daughters of the Confederacy lobbied to have the windows added to the cathedral and they were installed in 1953. Inscriptions on the windows called Lee and Jackson "exemplary Christian people."

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The Washington National Cathedral will remove Confederate flag images from its stained glass windows that honored Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, it announced in a statement Wednesday.
washington national cathedral, confederate, flags
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2016-50-09
Thursday, 09 Jun 2016 01:50 PM
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