Washington National Cathedral Considers Removing Flag Depicting Stained Glass Windows


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Washington National Cathedral Considers Removing Flag Depicting Stained Glass Windows


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The war on the confederate flag is reaching all parts of the nation as there has now been an internal call for Washington's National Cathedral to remove two Confederate battle flag depicting stained glass windows. The historic church has hosted the funerals of three American presidents along with many notable public servants.

Rev. Gary Hall, the Cathedral's dean said for many African-Americans, the windows at the famous Episcopal church serve as a painful reminder of the USA's legacy of slavery.

A Cathedral spokesman said its board of directors and fine arts committee would start considering Rev Hall's request immediately. A final decision may take many months.

The Confederate flag has become the focal point of soul-searching nationally following last week's shooting murders of nine African-Americans in a Charleston church.

Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white man charged with the murders had posed with a Confederate flag in on-line photos he had posted with a racist manifesto.

The windows in question include images of two prominent Confederate generals from the Civil War of 1860-65, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, along with the confederate flag.

“It is time to take those windows out," Hall said in a statement. "Here, in 2015, we know that celebrating the lives of these two men, and the flag under which they fought, promotes neither healing nor reconciliation, especially for our African-American sisters and brothers."

Hall said he plans to give a sermon about the windows this coming Sunday and that he has asked the church to replace them with images better representative of the history of slavery, race and division in the U.S.

The windows, installed in 1953 and measuring 53 inches by 101 inches (135 cm by 257 cm), were designed by artist Wilbur H. Burnham. They were meant to represent the post Civil War healing of the nation.

The cathedral has been used for the state funerals of three presidents, several presidential prayer services, and services for noted dignitaries and diplomats.

Lawmakers in South Carolina will discuss requests to remove the confederate flag from the grounds of State House. State law prohibits the removal of the flag from the State House grounds unless a bill supported by three quarters of lawmakers is passed.

Retailers including Walmart, eBay and Amazon.com have said they will stop selling confederate flags, The National Park Service is removing it from its gift shops and bookstores, and most of the leading flag manufacturers in the US have stopped making the flags.

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