Does this look like a confederate flag to you? Spotted in the NYC subway. MTA to remake these tiles pic.twitter.com/cu4DHPR1y9— Diana Blass (@dianablass) August 18, 2017
Following the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, local officials have begun to push for the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials across New York City. On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo called for a pair of streets on Fort Hamilton Army Base that are named after Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson to be renamed. Later that day, Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed Cuomo's call for the streets to be renamed and announced that his office will conduct a 90-day review of "all symbols of hate on city property."
But it won't take three months for officials to remove at least one piece of controversial artwork in the city. The Post reports that the MTA will rework a series of tiles at the 40th Street entrance to the Times Square subway station that resemble the Confederate flag. An MTA spokesperson said that the tiles were not originally intended to represent the flag but rather the area's moniker as the Crossroads of the World, and that they will be modified regardless to "avoid absolutely any confusion."
The mosaics were first installed at the station way back in 1917 to honor the Times' publisher Adolph S. Ochs, who was from Tennessee. The Post has repeatedly asserted that Ochs' “strong ties to the Confederacy” indicated that the tiles had racist undertones, but that claim has largely been debunked.
In any case, the tiles are on their way out. Now we just need to get rid of those dirtbags in the East Village who won't stop hanging Confederate flags in their windows.