In the shameful aftermath of the Civil War, the sell-out of Reconstruction back to the former confederates, the political poverty of the times led even the victorious Republic to accept the defeated contras' "War Between the States" version of the history of our Second Revolution.
The many brave men of the Southern pro-Union underground, the one-in-four Southern soldiers who wore BLUE, the class aspects of the war, the Northern supporters of the the slaver dictators who had dominated the country since the First Revolution -- all forgotten.
Why the flag? Because all that is left for American Southerners under popular culture is a misplaced regionalist pride, often expressed with empty phrases about states rights to hide racist contempt for some other poor bastard on the bottom just like him.
Want to honor old Southern heroes? To hell with that bloody rag of a flag, honoring gray-coat defenders of slavery. How about honoring the 1st Alabama Cavalry, United States Volunteers? White and black Southerners together, in blue uniforms, fighting the slavers' goons, sometimes behind confederate lines!
In some ways they were the bravest Union soldiers of all. They not only faced secesh bullets and bayonets in some of the most heroic encounters of the Civil War, but they also lived with the daily knowledge that their families at home were at the mercy of the confederate "Home Guard."
Now THOSE were Southern heroes!
How about we honor THEM?