Having lived in Alabama all my life, I both understand and subscribe to my region's deep respect and pride in people like Lee, Cleburne, Longstreet, et al. It is not them, or their bravery in the Civil War, that reflects badly on the Confederate battle flag. They and the soldiers that served gallantly under them 150 years ago gave that banner all the glory it still has.
Instead, it is the dumba**, hate-spewing peckerwoods largely from areas outside the South, but also in it, who have stolen that banner to try to make it a symbol of hate. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the media and a large section of the public, they have succeeded in that. It is them I blame, not the symbol brave Southerners fought under or those brave men themselves.