Washington, D.C.’s historic National Cathedral voted Tuesday to take down two stained-glass windows of Confederate generals.
The church confirmed windows honoring Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson would be removed.
“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,” Bishop Mariann Budde, the leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, said. “We’d be made of stone ourselves if we weren’t paying attention to that.”
The removal could take a few days and workers were seen putting up scaffolding around the windows to start the process, the Washington Post reported.
The church, which is a cathedral of the Episcopal Church, has members that include past presidents George Washington, James Madison and George H.W. Bush, according to the Washington Post. The cathedral also is the site for presidential funerals and official interfaith ceremonies that occur when a president is sworn in.
The church installed the windows in 1953 after fundraising efforts. The National Cathedral said they were deciding what to do with the windows but would like to exhibit them in a historical setting.
Discussions to remove the windows began in 2015 after Dylann Roof opened fire at parishioners outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Roof posted videos on a website of him posing with the Confederate flag which were found following the massacre.
Last month in Charlottesville, Va., Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and dozens were injured after a car rammed into a group of counter-protesters during the “Unite the Right” rally. A group that included white supremacists had gathered in the city to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. Following the incident, a number of cities have voted to remove Confederate statues. On Wednesday, the city of Dallas voted 13-1 to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee.