Having been born in Tidewater Virginia, and then living in Tennessee, Texas, and Florida, with summers and several years in Virginia mixed in, I've always been proud to be a Southerner. Southerners are reputed to be the best hosts and hostesses, and as having the best manners, in the United States. I have also carried on my shoulders the shame of the atrocities that were done in the name of slavery and economics in the South. The enslavement and abuse of humans is an unforgivable crime.
The current controversy is over what most people call the flag of the Confederacy - but they are incorrect. The "Stars and Bars" that fly over the state capitol of South Carolina is a replica of the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia that was originally only flown approaching, and in battle, by the men under the command of Robert E. Lee. The original, unofficial flag of the Confederacy was the Bonnie Blue flag - a medium blue background with a single yellow star on it. It eventually evolved into the flag of the Confederacy of the United States, and looked like this: