Gulf Coast, near Biloxi. :2wave:
Yeah, I don't dispute that. And I'd add that the Confederate Battle Flag was added to the state flag after the Plessy decision and Jim Crow was just getting cranked up, just as it was added to various other flags (such as Georgia's) during the civil rights battles of the '50s as one means of flipping the bird to the federal government. All I'm saying is, like it or not, it is the official flag of the state, but political correctness has gotten us to the point that official anything is irrelevant.
Down on the coast - heck, that was almost a different country, as far as we were concerned. The closest thing we had to waves was on the lake when a bass boat passed by. And I don't know if you remember Camille, but we had family down there at the time, and I can still picture that boat on top of a house across the street from the beach.
But back to the flag, I remember how none of us flew it because we supported slavery - of course not! We flew it for much the same reason that many Russians today look wistfully back to when they were the Soviet Union, a time when they fought and died in great numbers against a mighty enemy to stand on their own. It matters not that the Soviet Union was also committing crimes against humanity, just as the Confederacy was quite literally fighting to preserve the institution of slavery. Another example is Serbia - they eventually lost their independence in WWI, but even though they were very much the underdog, they fought a hell of a fight against the Austro-Hungarians...and Gavril Princip, the Serbian who shot Archduke Ferdinand and lit the fuse that resulted in 10M deaths, is remembered as a national hero.
That said, I think that most of us who flew the Stars and Bars - while we didn't do it for any racist reason - never grasped just how offensive it was and is to nearly 40M Americans. I really don't think we realized that to them, it really is a symbol of great injustice and shame every bit as much as is the hood of a Klansman...and nothing we can do or say could ever be expected to get them to think otherwise. Bearing this in mind, should the government - federal, state, or local - ever display something that is so incredibly offensive to nearly 40M Americans
? That is the key question.
So what this all means is that yeah, you do have every right to fly the Stars and Bars as a private citizen, and while - as I described above - you almost certainly don't mean anything racist by doing so, there's millions of Americans who take great offense at seeing anyone doing so...because just as there's a lot of us Down South who look back with a measure of pride on "Johnny Reb" and the hundreds of thousands who wore the gray and believed their cause was just and right, there's almost as many who take that aforementioned great offense...and with good reason, since they may not have lived through slavery, but there's millions who are old enough to remember what Jim Crow was like, and how the Stars and Bars was waved in protest against desegregation and Civil Rights.
To summarize, I hope you see that I understand your argument, because I believed the same for many years. But I've since learned their side of the argument to an extent that most of my particular demographic never do...and I really think they have the stronger argument.