Friends of mine have pointed out that many people display the Confederate flag out of Southern pride, but not to support racism. Many people also argue that the Civil War was not primarily about slavery. I disagree with this reasoning.
The problem with this symbol is both what it meant back then, and also what it means today. The reason we need to move on by not displaying the flag is because it represents, at best, callousness towards our African-American neighbors, brothers and sisters, and at worse, it represents hatred and bigotry. Southern pride should not be represented by a flag that only applies to some Southerners, in this case, only White Southerners.
I should add that being from the south, at one time I also had a Confederate Battle flag in my room. From my point of view then, it represented Southern pride, especially when I heard people outside the south say derogatory things about us. However, I got rid of it when I realized that if what that flag represents came about, then my friends (and now my family) who are African-Americans would have remained in slavery and slavery-like conditions. Likewise, if the order of old south after the Civil War continued to today, my family and friends who are African-Americans would be treated horribly (and where those attitudes are still dominate, African-Americans are still treated horribly up to the present time).
It was then that I realized I had been deceived, and to this day I resent what the Confederate flag stood for and what it stands for now. I should have known better back then, but at least I know the truth about this horrible flag today.
There is no way around it: the Confederate flag stands for rebellion against the US Constitution, for racism, and for hatred. Those who see it as merely Southern pride are being deceived.
James wrote, "If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors."
- James 2: 8-9 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul wrote: "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived."
- 2nd Timothy 3:12-13 (ESV)
The Confederate flag represents a system that treats people with partiality, and those who fly the flag are at best deceiving others and are being deceived themselves.