National Cathedral: Confederate Windows Have Got to Go

Rev. Hall never noticed them before this week
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2015 2:27 AM CDT
A detail from one of the windows.   (National Cathedral via USA Today)

(Newser) – The nationwide movement to get rid of Confederate flags has turned up a few in surprising places—including Washington's National Cathedral, where the dean says he only recently discovered it appears in two stained-glass windows, and he wants them gone. The Rev. Gary Hall says the windows, which feature Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, were installed in 1953 to "foster reconciliation between parts of the nation that had been divided by the Civil War," but times have changed and there is "no place for the Confederate battle flag in the iconography of the nation's most visible faith community," reports the Washington Post. "It is time to take those windows out."

We can no longer "honor the systematic oppression of African-Americans for which these two men fought," Hall says of Jackson and Lee. He says he never noticed the windows before this week, but history professor and Old South expert Jason Silverman tells USA Today that he spotted them years ago and found them "really odd." He notes that they were installed just before a landmark decision on school desegregation in 1954. "It comes sort of right on the cusp in the 1950s before everything changes," he says. "I can't believe that would have even been proposed in, say, '57, '58, '59, or '60." (Game developers say Apple has gone too far in its crackdown on the Confederate flag.)

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