I can't seem to make people understand that their argument for the confederate battle flag (which they don't even seem to understand is NOT the flag of the Confederate States, which they don't seem to understand isn't the flag that was called the "Stars and Bars", which they don't seem to understand wasn't considered a matter of "Southern heritage" until the civil rights movement started trying to give people equal rights and the "proud Southerners" raised the flag in defiance... but I digress) being a matter anything other than racism is bogus. They truly believe, however ignorant, that they themselves aren't racist and that they are flying the flag to honor the fallen soldiers and their bravery in battle.
Fine. I'll give you that.
But those soldiers fought, however bravely, for the right to keep slaves. However brave they might've been to fight for a belief and lay their lives on the line for that belief, the fact remains that the belief was seriously fucked up.
Flying that flag to honor those men is to acknowledge that you will STILL celebrate what they did, even though it was heinous and ugly and reduced human lives to a mere price tag. To fly that flag in "honor" of those men is to honor their actions, the reasons for their actions, and in so doing, offer your acceptance - no - your CELEBRATION of those reasons. Maybe you don't think that's what you're doing, but you ARE doing exactly that.
Suppose you had a member of your family in the past who was a Nazi. Do you fly the swastika to "honor" that person, who bravely fought for his beliefs? No? Why not? Because you're ashamed that such a person with such beliefs is part of your lineage, that's why. You don't "honor" nor "celebrate" that person, hell, you likely try to just put that part of your family's history out of your mind and move on. As well you should. Why, then, do you not only fly the flag of your hateful, bigoted, racist family members, but you scream your disapproval at the removal of that flag from a government building? Why do you think that others will look at you with any less disgust than they would at someone who "honors" their great-great-great grandfather who was seen in a photo grinning at the feet of a lynched man hanging in a tree above him? Is that guy worth honoring? No? Why does he suddenly deserve "honor" just because he put on a uniform and fought against HIS OWN FUCKING COUNTRYMEN because he felt that he and others had a "right" to completely remove the rights of others because they looked different than him? How is that any better than the guy with the noose and the evil grin?
So yeah, ok. You may call it "Southern pride" or "heritage" or whatever the hell you want to call it. That doesn't mean that you aren't racist. In fact, you're worse. You're a racist in denial.
This is the UNITED States. If you want to fly a flag to demonstrate your pride and your heritage, fly this one.