In 1863, Lincoln was losing an unpopular war and needed a "Cause" to rally his citizens, and convince Congress to continue funding his invasion of the Southern States. He found one in the issue of slavery.
The same man who, just two years earlier, supported an amendment that would have made slavery permanently legal if the Southern States would simply agree to stay in the Union, suddenly changed course and issued a proclamation that effectively freed slaves in territories over which he had no control, and left them enslaved in the locations where he actually had authority to free them.
A propaganda machine was set in motion, the effects of which were magnified with Yankee victory and subsequent subjugation, and continue to this day.
Even so, and in spite of their best efforts, there a still a great number of folks who know the truth and are not afraid to speak out. Losing its effectiveness over time, the "it's all about slavery" mantra needed updating.
It didn't take long for the enemy to find that new smokescreen... "racism". The fear of having that label applied was enough to make even some in our own heritage organizations cower, capitulate, and compromise to the point that the Confederate battle flag quickly became an endangered species, even at our own events.
These attacks have been deliberate and largely successful as a means to an end...one which has absolutely nothing to do with the American institution of slavery or "racism".
The Confederate Battle Flag is hated today for the same reason it was hated in 1861...because it is a universal symbol of resistance to tyranny and defiance of an overreaching and oppressive federal government.
Only when we find the courage and fortitude of our ancestors, and refuse to let these false accusations and fabricated labels deter us from our duty, will we effectively take back our heritage.
My Great- Great Grandfathers believed it was a Cause worth dying for. The least I can do to honor their memory and defend their good name, is stand up to name calling and derision.
"We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners..." Psalm 20:5
Virginia FlaggersP.O. Box 547