Washington National Cathedral to remove stained glass windows honoring Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson

Source: The Washington Post

 September 6

Craftsmen at Washington National Cathedral work Wednesday to replace symbols of the Confederacy from a stained-glass window. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

Leaders at Washington National Cathedral, the closest thing in the country’s capital to an official church, have decided after two years of study and debate to remove two stained-glass windows honoring Confederate figures Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Saying the stories told in the two 4-by-6-foot windows were painful, distracting and one-sided, a majority of the Cathedral’s governing body voted to remove the windows Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, stone masons were at work putting up scaffolding to begin taking out the art that was installed 64 years ago.

“This isn’t simply a conversation about the history of the windows, but a very real conversation in the wider culture about how the Confederate flag and the Old South narrative have been lively symbols today for white supremacists. We’d be made of stone ourselves if we weren’t paying attention to that,” said Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, which includes the cathedral.

The cathedral is the official seat of the Episcopal Church, a small Protestant denomination that historically has counted many of America’s elite as members, including presidents from George Washington and James Madison to George H.W. Bush. It is the second largest church building in the country and is typically host to official events like presidential funerals and official interfaith ceremonies on presidential swearing-in days, including that of President Trump.

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