One of the best blog posts I've read on the subject of the Confederate Flag issue is by NCMountainwoman. http://ncmountainwoman.blogspot.com/2015/06/corrupted-symbols.html
I have not known exactly how I felt about this hot button issue. The flag did not cause the killings at the church. But I see now that the flag I grew up believing was a symbol of bravery and courage of my ancestors who served in the Confederacy has indeed become a symbol of something entirely different and my great great grandfathers, John Monroe and John Cecil, would not be proud to carry the flag as a symbol of what it means today.
In her post, NCMountainwoman's research tells us how other flags that once stood for good have been corrupted into symbols of hatred. Read her post and the comments that follow. Did you know that the Confederacy was first to enlist the Draft? Perhaps my two Johns were drafted into service. I know they had no slaves and would not likely fight for slave owners. They were hard working farmers. John Cecil was captured while fishing for the troops off the coast of Florida. John Monroe was a farrier in the service. His job was to keep shoes on the horses, I suppose. He served for three years right up to the time Robert E. Lee surrendered.
I wish I could ask both of these men about their thoughts on this subject. I can't imagine either of them wanted to go to war and leave their families for three years. While John Cecil Council was in prison at Shipp Island, his wife, Fanny and a black woman, Judy, who was raised by the white family, farmed their land in north Florida and raised her children.
But, just like we honor our military who fought in Vietnam, in a war with egregious tales of suffering on both sides, we appreciate our southern soldiers' sacrifice and courage in the spirit of fighting for their country, and in 1862 the Confederacy was their country.