it's also a compelling symbol of independence and anti-Federalism to many in the south
The Confederate flag has never been a symbol of states' rights. The state powers it has represented during and since the Civil War--slavery, segregation, lynching, racism--are all states' wrongs. Many whites, particularly young whites in the South, say that they should not be blamed for what their ancestors did. Fair enough. But if they want to be emancipated from that legacy, they must reject it. The first symbolic step for the younger generation in separating itself from the wrongs of its forebears is not to apologize for slavery, but to stop venerating a heritage that was centered on slavery and a flag that came into existence in defense of slavery.
To them, it simply represents the south
I've met Southern transplants who own a flag as a matter of pride in their state of origin.
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