Many people don’t realize slavery existed under the American flag much longer than it did under the confederate flag. In fact more atrocities were committed under the American flag than the confederate flag. Japanese Americans thrown into internment camps, millions of innocent civilians killed in unconstitutional wars, experiments on portions of the black population by the military...etc
Despite all that, I still honor the flag. Not because I endorse the evil things our government has done in our name, I honor the flag because I believe in the principles that this country was founded on, I believe in what our country is SUPPOSED to be, and represent. The flag doesn't represent the government, it represents us, we the people.
With that said, the confederate flag no longer represents the confederacy, now a days it's simply a symbol of the south. Many southerners embrace it not because they condone the evil that was committed under the flag, they embrace it because it was a symbol of their homeland and they respected the independent spirit of the south. It's not much different than the reason people honor and wave the Texas flag, which was also part of the confederacy and endorsed slavery, but you don’t hear many people fussing over that flag. Today’s south is a NEW south where most people see themselves ( black and white) as brothers and sisters, who all share a love for southern culture and tradition. For many southerners, the flag today simply represents southern pride, nothing more.
Are there racist who wave the confederate flag and use that flag in demonstrating their ignorance and hate?.....yes. Many of those same racists wave the American and Texas flag as well, but that doesn't change what those flags are supposed to represent. Yet, I don’t see very many people objecting to their use of the American flag, even though it's also used in many protests by white supremacist. If you're going to have a panic attack over the Confederate flag, then at least be logically consistent and have the same reaction over the American flag. By protesting the use of the confederate flag, people give these white supremacists the power to dictate what the flags should represent. They shouldn’t have that right. If a Yankee like me, who was born and raised in New York can get this, why can't most of America?