This is going to be short but not necessarily sweet, as I only have a few things to add to the fountains of words flooding the digital lake on this topic.
A few thoughts:
There’s a backstory here that some have forgotten or never knew: the Noble South, the land of chivalry and Gone With the Wind, the Lost Cause, and so on. When people carry on about “heritage,” for at least some of them this is what they are referring to.
The problem, of course, is that this fantasized heritage completely leaves out the gruesome reality of slavery and racism underlying it. However you want to slice it, the South fought for slavery at the Constitutional Convention, then declared civil war to keep it. When you cry about “keeping our heritage,” you are turning a blind eye to that heritage — unless, of course, you are a racist and WANT to keep that part of your past.
And for all my white friends who want to keep that flag — do you have any Jewish friends? If so, why don’t you try putting up a Nazi flag in your yard, and then call them “over-sensitive” if they are offended.
You say it doesn’t stand for racism to you, but for your ancestors who fought in the way? Germans could say the same thing … but they don’t. They understand that the Nazi swastika became synonymous with genocide.
And whether you wish to face it or not — the Confederate flag has become synonymous with racism, and hatred, and murder. Whatever “heritage” it might have at one time possessed, has been swept away by the Klan, the Citizens Councils, the racists, and the nice people who refuse to call them out.
South Carolina has done the right thing. The stores that have stopped selling it have done the right thing. The time has come for the flag to go.