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National Cathedral removes confederate symbols from stained glass

National Cathedral removes confederate symbols from stained glass

As we’ve reported in the past (here and here),the National Cathedral has been moving towards removal of Confederate symbols in their stained glass windows.  According to RNS, it appears that the panes showing the Confederate battle flag were quietly removed last month.

The two panes bearing the image of the flag were replaced last month with red and blue panes to match surrounding glass, said Kevin Eckstrom, chief communications officer for the cathedral. Adjoining panes honoring Confederate generals remain in place but “their long-term future is really very much up in the air,” he said.

Eckstrom acknowledged that cathedral officials chose not to make a public announcement after the replacement occurred.

…[The cathedral] has planned an Oct. 26 event on the history and context of the Confederate flag, including discussion of the removal of the panes and the current retention of the overall windows honoring Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The side-by-side windows were dedicated in 1953.


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Fred Loving

This illustrates that some people are offended by something for no other reason than somebody told them they needed to be offended, as if they are not capable of independent thought. People talk about the Battle Flag being offensive, yet the 1st. National seems not to be noticed. If this is the case, they are offended by their own lack of knowledge.

David Allen

I’ve never seen the 1st National flag used in the same way as the battle flag by racists and hate groups in the present day. On the sleeves of every klansman’s white sheets. On the back bumper or window of every redkneck’s truck. Carried in klan parades through minority neighborhoods. Carved into the chests of lynching victims. Emblazoned into the state flags of some of the most oppressive segregationist states in the former Confederacy.

Jimmy Culp

Well, something told me not to comment here. I am not a fool. I am 72 years old, and I spent my entire working career as an organist-choirmaster. I know how much stained glass costs, and I’m almost certain that agreements were made about the content of the glass when the Cathedral accepted the gift of the windows, I believe from the United Daughters of the Confederacy. I just believe that churches should have some regard for the folks who give them things and at least be respectful

Allison deKanel

I’d like to see what is remaining in the windows. When I was a student at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia, formerly the school for the Army Corps of Engineers, I would stop by these windows to see the Corps emblem (a castle) displayed in one of the other flags – I’m not sure in which pane. (I believe both generals were West Point graduates, and trained as engineers.) Perhaps when we look at stained glass windows, we see what we are looking for. I have learned a lot from these conversations about the pain caused by the windows as they used to be, based on the flags I wasn’t looking for.

But I have to wonder, suppose one of the windows in the Cathedral depicted Philemon, the slaveholder to whom Paul wrote in his letter regarding Onesimus – would we want Philemon removed? Or have two thousand years lessened the pain felt by slaves in the Roman system all those years ago? Slavery still exists today, and is still an evil to be fought.

I am sure the Cathedral took action following much prayer about the best way to ease the pain still caused by the US’s history of slavery. I hope, too, that the history will not be forgotten, but preserved somewhere to be examined, so that people like me can look at windows and see all that they depict – the things I am looking for, and the things I miss.

David Allen

I hope, too, that the history will not be forgotten, but preserved somewhere to be examined, so that people like me can look at windows and see all that they depict – the things I am looking for, and the things I miss.

It is all well documented & preserved at the new Smithsonian museum of African-American history.

Fred Loving

OK. So they took out the Battle Flag, but they let the 1st. National stay which is the flag the U.D.C. actually uses? Ooops, maybe nobody noticed that one.

Jay Croft

What’s U.D.C.?

David Allen


United Daughters of the Confederacy

Paul Woodrum

We a consumer society. Even a gift has its price.

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