First of all, let's clarify that the flag flying beside the State House in Columbia, SC is NOT the flag of the CSA. It is a battle flag, usually flown by regiments in the Army of Northern Virginia and other Confederate armies as a guidon for troops to follow in battle.
The flag has been appropriated by the scurrilous purveyors of racial hatred, much to the chagrin of honest people concerned with the brave heritage of the men who fought for the South. There were no slaves transported from Africa under the battle flag. The flag of St. Andrew's Cross was a flag flown in battle, pure and simple.
Because the racist haters fly the flag, it has been besmirched and a stain put upon the honor of the good men who fought under it. Most of them owned no slaves, nor even cared about the issue. They fought because their country - their state - had been invaded. Before the war, one referred to their own state as their country. The U.S. was a union of sovereign states, not a nation divided into provinces. The world was a very different place and to impugn those people one hundred and fifty years later is as pernicious as it is presumptuous.
We need better education in this country about the Civil War and its causes, the men who fought it, and the brutal and bitter aftermath. I deal with that subject in my new novel, Season of the Crow. The sanitized and politically correct history taught these days does a serious disservice to the young and the old. It is high time to focus on the hard cold facts, and less on political or social agendas.