The whole flag issue has been hijacked by extremists form both sides.
Black extremists want the flag to be treated like the Germany treat the Nazi Swastika. They want it to become a symbol of hatred, and they want people it purely as a symbol of injustice and discrimination. They want to erase all non hate related references to the flag from history. Which is just plain wrong as they have no right to take ownership of somebody else's symbol or to dictate how other people see it. They also have no right to try to whitewash (apologies for the use of this word, but it's the right one in this situation) its history and to turn it into something that it isn't by covering up what it is.
On the other side, white extremists want to use the flag as a rallying point, a symbol of defiance. Something that's theirs and nobody else's. Which is also wrong as they too are trying to take ownership of somebody else's symbol and to make it what they want it to be.
In truth, the flag is much older than white supremacy and black extremism, and it wasn't created by either movement.They just marched in and took it over.
The fact of the matter is that the flag is a genuine piece of American history that has been abused by both groups, but which belongs to neither. It should be left alone to be what it is, a symbol of southern independence from the north, and the southern spirit. Yes, some of this included slavery, but not all of it. There were many other differences between north and south other than slavery. The fact that the southern forces supported a confederacy is probably the most important. Many people in the south still do not like the fact that a single rule is being directly imposed on all of America, even though things are very different in the south from the north, and from one coast to the other.
Bush, Obama, and every president before them from Lincoln onwards is a reminder of this, and the flag is just about the only thing that they have left, and there are all of these people (both black and white) trying to take it over or trying to take it away from them. And they should all butt out and leave well alone.
The flag argument is like telling all Italian Americans that they must give up their Italian heritage because Italy sides with the Germans durign WWII.