I notice that this is a very hard thing for most (though not all) outside our country to understand. The rest of the world sees this as a policy argument that has inexplicably aroused such angry passion and gone off the rails.
As usual with Digby, it's a long post with lengthy quotes from some other very interesting essays, but it's worth reading.
So fellow Southerners, read this and see what you think. Since I am from Texas and the descendent of Union sympathizers, and I emigrated to New York (like a lot of other Southerners) my point of view is hardly representative.
William Bauly, The Fate of the Rebel Flag, a widely popular lithograph during the Civil War.