Historic Virginia Church to Remove Confederate Flag Imagery

St. Pauls Episcopal Church
St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Richmond, Virginia. |

A historic church in the former capital of the Confederate States of America has announced that it will be removing the rebellion's battle flag from its building.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Richmond, Virginia, decided to remove the numerous Confederate battle flag images from its building after holding a congregation-wide discernment.

Rich Wolkiewicz, director of Administration and Finance at St. Paul's Episcopal, sent The Christian Post a copy of the statement from the church's leadership, or Vestry.

"…the Vestry determined that the symbol of the Confederate battle flag should no longer remain in a church in which all people are welcome," read the statement in part.

Confederate Plaque
A plaque at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia honoring the soldiers who served in the army of the Confederate States of America. |

"While the Vestry does not believe that St. Paul's should attempt to remove all symbols reflecting St. Paul's past during the Civil War, the Vestry is united in agreement that it is not appropriate to display the Confederate battle flag in the church."

The statement went on to note that the Vestry "has directed that all images of the Confederate battle flag be removed from the nave and narthex of the church as soon as possible."

"The Vestry does not propose to alter the stained glass windows of the church or to remove or modify the memorials that make reference to the Confederacy but do not contain the battle flag," continued the statement.

"As with all its history, St. Paul's intends to present and interpret those memorials in a way that makes clear our commitment to racial reconciliation."

For several years, displays of Confederate flags, monuments, and other imagery has evoked much controversy in the United States. During the summer The Episcopal Church passed a resolution calling for removing Confederate imagery from their churches.

"[The] 78th General Convention recognize that icons and symbols are and have always been important to the liturgical life and practice of The Episcopal Church in leading us to Jesus Christ and in inspiring us to share the Good News that is at the heart of our ministry," read the Resolution.

"That as our Baptismal Covenant calls Episcopalians to 'respect the dignity of every human being' and as the fourth Mark of Mission calls Episcopalians to 'transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation,' we consider the continued display of the Confederate Battle Flag to be at odds with a faithful witness to the reconciling love of Jesus Christ …"

In addition to removing Confederate battle flag images, St. Paul's Episcopal is also planning to create a memorial in honor of Richmond's Antebellum slave population.

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