Why are the symbols of Confederacy offensive? Well the people who founded the Confederates States can enlighten you.
From Alexander Stephen, Vice-President of the CSA, March 21st 1861.http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/cornerstone-speech/
"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth."
Declaration of Immediate Cause - South Carolina, December 24th 1860http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp
"We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection."
"On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.
The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.
Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.
We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do."
The Confederate dead deserve to be mourned, it is understandable that many with Confederate ancestors want to remember them, but never forgot that the cause for which they fought and died for was one of the worst. That if they won it would have resulted in the continued enslavement of millions.
More than that the existence of slavery made things worse off for those who were free but poor in wealth. Not because of competition in labor or any of other racial bullshit people of the day like to trot out. But because the whole of the South's legal, financial, and property system catered to the elite planters from Virginia to Texas. There are reasons beyond racism why immigrants avoided settling in the South like it was the plague.
White or black, the cause of Confederacy was a bad one. It is only due to the whitewashing of some historians in the late 19th century in creating the myth of the "Lost Cause". In creating the myth that the Civil War was fought over States' Right. Maybe it was useful at one time. To help reconcile the remaining sectional difference by focusing on honoring those who died in the war. But we know better today. 21st century technology lies bare for all the fact that founders of the Confederacy fought for their wealth. Wealth that was built on the enslavement of African-Americans, and the oppression of poorer free citizens.
The true tragedy is that after so much blood was shed, after so much death, that it still took a century to finally to get to the point where the nation can begin to move on to a future where a person is judged by his or her merits and not the color his or her skin. We are still not there but we made progress and will continue to make progress.
The Confederacy and its symbols lie on the ash heap of history and long may they remain there. They have no part in any official capacity of the United States of America. I have no problem with their display in reenactments, games, history book or civil war memorabilia. I hope that when people buy and use Confederate symbols that they remember what truly mean.
That the promise of that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights is symbolized by the Stars and Stripes, not the Stars and Bars or the Southern Cross.