Thanks, I appreciate you saying that as I know we might largely disagree on the issue itself. Regarding the flag I have to elaborate a bit. Personally I like the first two flags of the Confederacy, which are similar to the current flag of Georgia and were used until 1863, way more than the "battle flag". By saying this I talk solely from an artistic perspective. The stainless banner resembles a flag of truce.
Years ago I bought both a US flag and a Confederate battle flag, because as I said the Civil War got me into all the US stuff. Therefore this also very personal to me although I have no other known connection to the Civil War. I personally did not view the flag as racist. I do appreciate reading about the Civil War era on hand but I am not a racist myself. So I believe it is possible to differentiate these things. I think many people who served in the CS Army might not have been bad people. They defended their home states and most people might have been not educated about the broader issues. Many generals are also viewed positively in the South, because they fought in the Mexican-American War bravely.
Saying that slavery existed under the Confederate flag is true, but if one argues this, we would also have to acknowledge that slavery existed under the first US flags for nearly 100 years. The Union Jack is also not out of favor, although it was used in the Empire, which ruled large parts of Africa and Asia in a colonial manner too. Belgium and France ruled in a colonial style under their modern day flags or at least very similar versions of it. Attacking the Confederate flag does not make much sense to me, regarding the fact that other nations did also commit awful things under their flags. It seems hypocritical to me, but I would not endorse changing any other flag as well, because as said I do believe one can differentiate between the colonial era and the flag itself.
Furthermore, in this great article you shared - this kind of information at one site is tremendous - they say the following "They also rejected any school textbook that said slavery was the central cause of the Civil War". I do not know why this is supposed to be wrong or even a racist assumption. Years ago people used to make fun of those people who said the Civil War was solely fought on the slave issue - an episode of the Simpsons even covers this aspect briefly. I was told Lincoln went to war because he wanted to preserve the Union, not free the slaves (at least until the third year of the war). Additionally, his Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in the rebellious states. I'd argue slavery was not THE, but one central cause of the Civil War. That's not racist, it's just not true otherwise.
I do as well to be honest and I fear we'll reach a time you won't be able to say this without being labeled a racist. People need to learn to differentiate things. I also like the Confederate uniforms more, but that does not mean I'd defend slavery as righteous.
While I don't think lynching jokes are funny, I had had no objection to wear the Confederate flag on a shirt when I read about the Civil War first. I believed it shows my interest for history and many people here would have not known the flag anyway - I also read many believe it's just a sign to gain the image of a rebel. I would not wear one today, because it's not worth doing so anymore. I have no interest in being called a racist just because I love history. On a certain level this is sad, but it can't be helped.