"The iconography of the Confederate states in the U.S. Civil War is a contested part of American historical memory. Confederate flags, statues, plaques, and similar memorials have been valued historical symbols for some Americans, but for others have symbolized oppression and discrimination. Further, Confederate symbols have sometimes been associated with violent confrontations and hate crimes in the United States, including in recent years. Recent prominent incidents in which Confederate symbols were invoked--in particular, the June 2015 shooting deaths of nine people in a historically black church in Charleston, SC, and violence at an August 2017 rally in Charlottesville, VA--have led to renewed consideration of the presence of Confederate symbols in public spaces. Some local and state governments have elected to remove Confederate statues, flags, and other symbols from places of public prominence."
CRS Report for Congress, R44959
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html