Daily Kos asks how Southerners get away with displaying the Confederate flag. Well, you know, it is a symbol of Southern pride. Recognizing that is just as important as recognizing that US arrogance pisses off the rest of the world, sometimes.
The issue here is that the Confederate flag has two meanings, and the second darker meaning is not inherently associated with the first. It’s not safe to assume that those who care about the first meaning also care about the second. It is possible to be proud of one’s heritage without being proud of slavery. It’s futile to tell an entire region that their entire heritage is crap because of one prominent blemish.
It is equally important for those flying the flag to recognize that it’s deeply painful to another group of people. Maybe I don’t associate the flag with slavery; that doesn’t mean it’s wrong for you to make that association.
Beating people over the head isn’t going to solve the problem. Gotta step back, say “I understand that you are flying the flag for reasons other than racism” or “I understand that the flag has very bad connotations for you,” and work from there.