I'm white. My people came to America as slaves. I don't bitch about it.
The "stars and bars" confederate flag wasn't actually even an official symbol of the CSA. It was a battle flag, used for a limited period of time among several other designs. It just happened to be the most memorable and eye-catching.
Yes, it is seen among stupid rednecks as cool, which is probably the most likely reason anyone would fly one today. I can't think of any other real reason, other than maybe possessor of such a flag is a Lynyrd Skynyrd Band fan, which is pretty much the same as a stupid redneck trying to be cool. The flag really bears next to no historical or political significance other than that attributed to it long after the civil war by racist draggers-out of stupid shit.
As far a the reason behind the civil war, racism was one of many other at least equally important reasons. Racism became the most socially heated and therefore most talked about in the early 20th century, and is now popularly recognized as the only or at least main reason, which in truth is total spin. The main reason from the point of view of the south was defense of their 10th amendment rights, following the advice of our founding fathers to incite revolution in the event of dissatisfaction with the government, something which has yet to be tried on a large scale since. A north-centered government making federal laws which apply to a region having a vastly different economy just didn't fly. The south was simply a very different region with a different climate and environment, and industries that worked in the north would not work in the south with mid-19th century technology, ignorant politicians didn't care and continued with legislation that would have (and post-war did) destroy the southern economy. Of course slavery was one asset crucial to the southern economy, and was only recently being seen as unacceptable by certain members of society at the time, as has been discussed already in this thread. Post-industrial revolution, the slavery question would have been moot point, so had the civil war happened a few decades later, the battle flag of the confederacy would not carry the social weight it carries as we know it. But even then, before this post-industrial economy, the south would have struggled against US policy, and I think the war would have eventually happened anyway, or at least a succession.
Racism as we know it is a double-headed beast of both ignorance and logic. On one hand, certain white morons have just been taught to hate black people. On the other hand, there does exist a certain logical disagreement with current policy regarding americans of african descent whose families came to this country as slaves. The truth is a large number of this population is living in a state of relative lawlessness using this historical baggage as an excuse. This is an opinion even held by africans whose families were never in slavery living in america. It is not a question of color or race, but origin.
Above point stated, I am in no way racist, but have been related this opinion first hand by numerous african individuals living in this country.
Bottom line, people are people, some people take whatever excuse they can to act uncivilized, which results in hate from other people, and the whole deal is a bunch of stupid shit and in an ideal world we would all get over it, realize that first world nations have no use for that, and get on with progress.