Confederate-like designs to be removed from NYC subway wall

A look at the tiles at the 40th Street entrance to the Times Square subway stop in New York

A look at the tiles at the 40th Street entrance to the Times Square subway stop in New York

Tiles at a subway stop in Manhattan are being replaced, because their cross-design looks similar to a Confederate flag.

Times Square Station is adorned with red rectangles with blue lines running through the diagonals.

"These are not Confederate flags, it is a design based on geometric forms that represent the "Crossroads of the World" and to avoid absolutely any confusion we will modify them to make that absolutely crystal clear", Ortiz said in an emailed statement.

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Ortiz did not say when the tiles will be changed or how they will be modified.

The New York Post had reported in 2015 that the tiles were designed almost 100 years ago to evoke the flag, in honor of New York Times publisher Adolph S. Ochs, who had ties to the South.

The M.T.A. announcement came less than a week after a violent rally in Charlottesville, Va., that was ostensibly meant to protest a plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy's top general, from the city's Emancipation Park.

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"It looks like it has a resemblance of a Confederate flag", said one man.

The same day, a Brooklyn church removed two plaques that honored Lee from a churchyard tree. The Army has so far resisted, saying the streets were named for the generals "in the spirit of reconciliation" and to recognize them as individuals, not representatives of "any particular cause or ideology".

"Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson will be removed from the CUNY hall of great Americans because NY stands against racism", Cuomo tweeted.

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The architects are said to have installed them to pay homage to the Southern roots of former New York Times newspaper head Adolph S. Ochs.

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