National Cathedral Considering Removal of Stain Glass over Confederate Figures

The Washington National Cathedral is debating whether to remove two stained glass windows that depict Confederate generals amid debate around the country about the removal of Confederate monuments, The Hill reports.

NBC 4 reported that the cathedral is considering removing the pair of 8-by-4-foot stained glass windows, which were installed in the 1950s to memorialize Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

The pieces were sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the church previously planned to decide on them next summer, but will reportedly make an announcement soon.

A church spokesman told NBC that the violence caused by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month added a “sense of urgency” to the debate over the art pieces.

“The events in Charlottesville have certainly added a sense of urgency that wasn’t there before,” Kevin Eckstrom told NBC.

“We have two choices: one is to remove the windows, or the other is to somehow contextualize them. We’re looking at both to see which one makes the most sense for this cathedral. But one thing’s for sure: those windows won’t remain in their current place in their current context. Something is going to change,” he added.

The church previously removed a Confederate flag from the stained glass windows after the 2015 Charleston, South Carolina church massacre.

“The cathedral leadership voted unanimously that the Confederate battle flag was an image of hatred and oppression and had no place in the cathedral,” Eckstrom told NBC. The church contains a separate Civil War memorial that depicts two hands grasping an olive branch.

Confederate monuments around the country have been vandalized or removed by city governments in the wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville. Last week, the city of Baltimore removed four statues in the middle of the night, while protesters in Durham, North Carolina, toppled a statue while police watched.

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