The Latest: Flags on National Cathedral windows targeted

AP News
|
Posted: Jun 25, 2015 10:45 PM
The Latest: Flags on National Cathedral windows targeted

10 p.m.

The dean of Washington National Cathedral is calling for the removal of stained-glass windows that depict the Confederate battle flag.

The Very Rev. Gary Hall issued a statement Thursday saying windows in the church honoring Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson and Gen. Robert E. Lee should be removed. Both windows depict the Confederate flag.

The cathedral installed the windows in 1953. Hall says the cathedral's leadership at the time thought recognition for the Confederate leaders would foster reconciliation.

But Hall says celebrating the lives of the Confederate generals and flag now does not promote healing or reconciliation, especially for African-Americans. Hall says the Confederate flag has become the primary symbol of white supremacy.

Hall says the cathedral should consider new windows representing the nation's history of race and slavery.

__

9 p.m.

Apple is removing games from its online app store that feature the Confederate flag in "offensive or mean-spirited ways."

The announcement Thursday comes days after Apple CEO Tim Cook called on people in a tweet to honor the victims of the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting by eradicating racism and the symbols that feed it.

Apple said in a statement that apps are being removed "that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines." Other apps that depict the flag in educational or historical contexts are not being removed.

The Cupertino, California-based company is the latest business to distance itself from the divisive symbol after the shooting suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, appeared in photos holding the flag.

This week, a host of retailers including Wal-Mart, Amazon, Sears, eBay and Etsy said they would remove Confederate flag merchandise from their shelves and websites, while Google blocked digital ads featuring the flag.

__

7:45 p.m.

A viewing in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina is giving the community a chance to pay respects to the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

A somber procession of mourners filed past his open casket during the viewing Thursday night at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The state senator also had public viewings Thursday at a church in Ridgeland and a day earlier in the state Capitol.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver the eulogy at his funeral on Friday.

__

6 p.m.

Numerous local, state and U.S. dignitaries are eulogizing Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, one of the nine victims of a mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.

One of them, the Rev. Al Sharpton, remarked that on the day of the shootings, he was in Washington to see Loretta Lynch sworn in as the nation's first black female attorney general.

"That morning, I saw how far we have come," Sharpton said. "That night, I saw how far yet we have to go."

Many commended Singleton for her desire to help others.

Before the service, more than 100 members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, of which Singleton was a member, formed a ring around the main part of the large sanctuary. The action is known as an Ivy Beyond the Wall ceremony, which memorializes sorority members who have died. One by one, the women, clad all in white, filed past the open casket, placing green ivy leaves on a nearby table before clasping hands and singing an anthem for the sorority.

Others who spoke included the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

__

3:50 p.m.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says he will not call Mississippi lawmakers back to the Capitol to consider removing a Confederate battle emblem from the state flag.

Bryant said Thursday that he calls special sessions only for legislators to respond to a natural disaster or to handle a large economic development project.

The head of the Legislative Black Caucus, Democratic Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones, had called on Bryant earlier Thursday to set a special session to bring "true dialogue and full resolution" on redesigning a flag that many see as racially divisive.

Mississippi has had the Confederate symbol on its banner since 1894, and voters chose to keep it in 2001.

Debate about Old South symbols have been revived across the South after last week's massacre of nine people at a black church in South Carolina.

___

3:30 p.m.

After a monument to Confederacy President Jefferson Davis was vandalized in Richmond, Virginia, people on both sides of the Confederate flag issue have gathered at the site.

On Thursday afternoon, a small group from the Southern heritage advocacy group Virginia Flaggers waved Confederate flags next to the monument, which had been spray-painted with the words "Black Lives Matter."

The group wants the city to clean the statue quickly. City workers had tried a pressure washer and say they might need a contractor to work on it.

Some people in cars honked in support of the flag group or yelled obscenities.

Twenty-year-old Caleb Pollard ran around the statue, shirtless with American flag-themed leggings and underwear. He wore an American flag as a cape and pointed to it, asking: "Why don't you raise this flag?"

The vandalism comes after nine deaths at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The massacre reignited a national debate over Confederate symbols.

___

2:20 p.m.

The South Carolina division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans vows to fight lawmakers who want to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds.

But commander Leland Summers said Thursday they don't want to talk about their plans yet out of respect for the families of the people killed in last week's church shooting. Summers was joined by about 30 other members of the group in the shadow of the rebel banner.

Summers emphasized his group had nothing to do with Dylann Roof, the suspected gunman. He called him a "wicked nutcase" and said Roof may be "getting the race war he desired" with the sudden push to get rid of Confederate flags and monuments across the country. "We played right into his malicious hands," Summers said.

He also read the name of all nine victims of the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and said his group is hurting with them.

___

2:10 p.m.

The family of suspected church gunman Dylann Roof has released a statement saying they know people are asking questions about Roof, but they do not want to say anything because victims' families are still grieving.

The first funerals began Thursday for some of the nine people killed in what police say was a racially motivated attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston last week.

Roof's family's statement says they will do their best in the coming days to answer questions but they feel it would be inappropriate to say anything at this time.

___

1:15 p.m.

Hundreds of mourners are filing past the casket of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, the second Charleston church shooting victim to be laid to rest.

Those attending at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church were screened by officers who searched each bag at the door. Police officers were posted on the road and at various entry points around the large church complex along one of the major thoroughfares in North Charleston.

Coleman-Singleton, 45, was a track coach at Goose Creek High School and a minister at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church. She and eight others were shot to death June 17 while attending a Bible study at the church.

___

11:40 a.m.

College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell, a former South Carolina senator and Civil War buff, says he supports removing the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds.

But he doesn't want people to go after Confederate monuments, cemeteries, historic street and building names.

McConnell, as the state Senate's former leader, was instrumental in forging the 2000 compromise that took the flag off the Statehouse dome and put a square version at the Confederate Soldiers Monument out front.

McConnell hoped to avoid commenting until after the funerals of his former colleague, Sen. Clementa Pinckney, and the "eight other Christian martyrs killed by a hateful terrorist," but decided to break his silence following numerous requests.

"The time has come to revisit the issue of the Confederate soldier's flag, which a number of our citizens regard as offensive," said McConnell, a senator for more than three decades and a long-time Civil War re-enactor.

___

11:20 a.m.

Soloists and a full choir are singing and Scripture passages are being read at the first funeral held for a victim of the massacre at a historic black church in South Carolina.

Ethel Lance's funeral began Thursday at a North Charleston church. Her body, dressed in white, lies in a casket with a spray of white roses on the casket, flanked by other floral displays.

Members of "Mother Emanuel," the Charleston church where Lance and the eight others were killed, were asked to stand.

They said: "Sister Lance, we are here! Mother Emanuel, we are here!"

That church's choir sang the opening hymn, "When I've Gone the Last Mile"

Among those are the funeral are Gov. Nikki Haley, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley., US Rep. Mark Sanford, Greenville native the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Later Thursday, services for Sharonda Coleman-Singleton were scheduled, also in North Charleston. Funerals for the other seven victims of last week's shooting are set for other days over the next week.

___

10:15 a.m.

The casket has been brought in and placed in front of the pulpit as people trickle in for the first funeral held for a victim of the massacre at a historic black church in South Carolina.

The casket is open Thursday ahead of Ethel Lance's funeral at a church in North Charleston.

A woman could be heard softly sobbing as family and friends passed the casket, then took their seats.

Another woman on her way to a balcony seat commented: "Ms. Ethel looks so pretty."

The Rev. Norvel Goff, interim leader of Emanuel, is expected to deliver the eulogy.

Outside, law enforcement officers checked each person's bag as a line of people formed.

The funeral is to begin at 11 a.m. Later Thursday, services for Sharonda Coleman-Singleton were scheduled, also in North Charleston. Funerals for the other seven victims of last week's shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston were set for other days over the next week.

___

9:40 a.m.

A monument to former Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia, has been vandalized.

A spray-painted message of "Black Lives Matter" was visible on the statue Thursday and is one of several monuments across the country that have been vandalized since nine black church members were slain in Charleston.

A small crowd gathered to look at the vandalism. Mitch Brown said he supports limiting the use of Confederate flags in public spaces but not the destruction of property.

Davis is buried in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery, which is home to 22 former Confederate generals and thousands of Confederate soldiers.

___

9:30 a.m.

Five uniformed law enforcement officers, several wearing vests, stood in front of the church where the first funeral for a victim of the massacre at a historic black church in South Carolina is to be held soon.

About an hour and a half before the service for Ethel Lance was scheduled to begin Thursday in North Charleston, two other officers with a police canine exited the church.

Then, a florist truck delivered flowers.

Lance's funeral was to start at 11 a.m.

Later Thursday, services for Sharonda Coleman-Singleton were scheduled. Funerals for the other seven victims of last week's shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church were set for other days over the next week.

___

8:20 a.m.

The chief magistrate who solicited sympathy for relatives of a man accused of fatally shooting nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church has been replaced.

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed a replacement for Charleston County Chief Magistrate James Gosnell

The order doesn't say why Chief Justice Jean Toal replaced Gosnell, who remains a magistrate judge. His term as chief was to expire at the end of June.

Gosnell's attorney didn't immediately return a message seeking comment. Local media outlets report that Lionel Lofton said his client told Toal on Tuesday he didn't want to be reconsidered for the chief position.

During a bond hearing for suspect Dylann Roof, Gosnell expressed sympathy for Roof's family, as well as the victims' families.

Gosnell said: "There are victims on this young man's side of the family. We must find it in our heart, at some point in time, to not only help those who are victims but to also help his family as well."