You know—in general there are a lot of things I really don't like about southern culture. I just can't stand country music. I hate Lynyrd Skynyrd's music. The southern accent is sometimes like an ice pick in my ear. But what is even worse than the grossly extended and repetitive guitar solo at the end of Free Bird is the Yankee consideration that the federal government of the United States has the right and purpose to dictate to us every aspect of our personal and individual rights.
And when that extends to a point where you can't even properly define the Battle Flag without being shouted down as a person who supports rape, beatings, slavery and the oppression of black people, (yes, this happened to me yesterday) at the expense of not even being able to speak freely about it or buy one, which really oppresses us all, well—things seem pretty bad from that perspective. I even had a person, whom I generally respect in spite of disagreements, try to convince me that the average rebel soldier was willing to put his life on the line to support slavery merely to keep themselves off of the bottom rung of the social hierarchy, in spite of the fact that she knew of nobody who would do such a thing and wouldn't think do anything of the sort herself.
There is one thing embodied in the culture of the South where they are truly superlative. That is in their understanding of freedom. Yes. I know that a hundred and fifty years ago some of them (5.13% according to the 1860 census) HAD slaves. But I also know that Jefferson Davis said that whether the CSA won or lost the war slavery was going to come to an end. To people who point the finger of blame at the South and call their cultural icons racist symbols I have to say, "get over it."
The cause of the war was not slavery but in regards to that abominable practice the issue for most of the people of the South, right up to Davis, was never if slavery should be ended or not. It was a matter of how to do it. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it. For example, genocide would have been a way to end slavery. That would be the wrong way. Just kill a bunch of people and destroy personal liberty through the expansion of power of the federal government. Well, 625,000 people died in that war. And the federal government was expanded at the expense of the liberty of the rest of those who weren't slaves. When compared to most other countries who ended slavery without a single shot being fired the way the United States did it was pretty damned wrong.
That is the real reason for the "Rebel Flag" in modern times. It is with the discovery of these very well documented facts that I decided to by one from one of the few available sources left.
Incidentally, I'm a "Yankee" from northwest Ohio.