The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., will remove portions of its stained glass windows bearing the Confederate battle flag, the Washington Post reported. The windows themselves commemorating Confederate Gens. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee will remain in the cathedral for now, but the church will use their presence to organize a series of events examining “race and racial justice,” Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, the Cathedral’s canon theologian, said.
The effort to remove the Confederate flags comes a year after the cathedral’s then-dean Rev. Gary Hall questioned their placement in the church, shortly after the massacre of nine African Americans in a South Carolina black church by a white supremacist spurred a national debate over the flag’s role in society.
The National Cathedral window panes in question were installed in 1953 in order “foster reconciliation between parts of the nation that had been divided by the Civil War,” Hall said last year, according to the Post. The statement announcing the removal of the Confederate flag portion of the window said the task force called to examine the flag’s presence in the church will revisit the question of the windows themselves in two years.
In the meantime, the discussion series about race relations will kick off July 17, with a forum titled “What the White Church Must Do,” the Post reported.