And I say these things to merely point out that in this particular case I just cannot get behind what appears to be the "conservative" side of this argument. I'm not trying to add to the cacophony of PC warrior battle cries by any means, but just like a broken clock is right twice a day, occasionally they can be right. And this is one of those times unless someone, after reading below, can explain it to me.
To many, the Confederate flag is synonymous to the Civil War era south as it was the banner they raised to symbolize the coalition of states that seceded from the Union. And while there are some that like to believe that the Civil War wasn't about slavery, it ultimately was. They may say things about state rights or how such a "heavy handed" move would have crippled the south economically, the bottom line is that the south seceded from the Union so they could keep their slave labor force intact. I could go on more about it, but ultimately the war was over slavery. The South, represented by the Confederate stars and bars, fought to keep their autonomy that would allow them to keep their slaves. It symbolizes an act of rebellious defiance to a government that was trying to do the right thing and fix a grievous wrong.
Don't get me wrong though, rebellious defiance can be a strong quality - if you're standing up in defiance for the right reason. Standing in defiance to a government that tries to strip away Constitutional rights like today (and no - secession was NEVER a right for any state save Texas) can be seen as virtuous. Yet, standing in rebellion to maintain a "right" that treats other human beings more like property than human beings has such an evil connotation to it that it's just indefensible.
The conservative side seems to be making the argument that the flag symbolizes Southern Pride and not racism. Which ok, I can see this point. Those that wave the flag may not be trying to promote racism as much as they are proud Southerners. But this is where I start to dissent. Southern Pride, as I understood it, was born out of the residual bitter defiance and resentment the South harbors for their defeat at the hands of the Union. A spirit of malice and hatred that clings to never repenting their wrongdoing in wanting to keep their slaves directed at the Union that forcibly kept them from doing as such.
I'm not saying this is what Southern Pride means today. What I'm saying is it has its roots in the resentment of being forced into not having slaves. Southern Pride could easily mean just being proud to be from a Southern state, which is perfectly fine. There's nothing with Southern Pride in that context.
However, when trying to claim that the Confederate flag, a symbol that was born out of the Civil War, is a symbol of Southern Pride, it erases any benign meaning of Southern Pride and links it directly with its roots because you are using a symbol born out of a war over slavery from the side that wanted to keep slaves.
Yes, it's been a symbol of the South forever even after the war. But again, it was expressly created to symbolize the group of states that wanted to retain the right to keep slaves. If one wants to celebrate Southern Pride, that's fine, go for it. But use a symbol that isn't so directly linked with the heinous act of fighting for the "right" to keep slaves.
If any conservatives can put it in a different perspective, please do so. I just think this is one fight where many are being contrary to the PC police because it's the PC police and nothing more. I personally oppose liberal policies and political correctness because it attacks Christianity and has a certain Orwellian deceit that reeks of the Enemy's hand. And while yes, this issue may indeed be a springboard for other issues such as the ridiculous notion of doing the same thing with the American Flag (which isn't the same issue at all), it doesn't mean the issue doesn't have any merit.
This doesn't mean I believe all the other racial huckster talk about how we've still racist because some areas still wave this flag. While in many people's eyes the Confederate flag no longer is a banner promoting slavery (and racism), it still is, and always will be, a symbol for the side of a conflict that wanted to keep slavery. It's not something that should be honored or hallowed.
If southerns are so keen on celebrating Southern Pride, then pick a new symbol for it. Something that can represent the movement away from racism and slavery to a unity that represents all things good about the South.