here's my living room right now:
The reason I've got the Rebel flag (let's call it a rebel flag for now, as you're right, that one was never officially adopted as the CSA flag) up is that I'm dismayed at the fascism of anyone trying to stop anyone else flying a certain flag. The civil war was not fought over slavery, it was a colonial war to secure the south's resources. Slavery wasn't banned outright in the USA until eight months after the south surrendered, and Abraham Lincoln actually stated in his inaugural address that he wasn't going to do anything about slavery, but rather he was going to pursue protectionism, and that's why South Carolina and the rest seceded.
The rebel flag itself has nothing to do with slavery. It's true that some racists have flown it but that doesn't mean everyone who flies one is racist. The USA flag has been used just as often by racist groups, and the USA supported slavery for far longer than the CSA existed.
It does suit the establishment, however, to maintain the false idea that the southern states are full of racists, and anyone who flies a flag associated with the CSA is a racist. If you start banning flags because they represent something to some people who associate the flag with certain groups or actions, then there a lot of countries who're going to need new flags.
On Syria, the main issue is that ISIS want
us to bomb them. They consider every western non-Muslin a 'crusader', harking back to the Vatican-backed invasions of the middle east by European powers in the middle ages. All the west and Russia are doing is providing ISIS fighters with the martyrdom they crave, and the leadership with the propaganda that need for their recruitment campaigns. The best course of action is just to provide support to the Saudi-led coalition in order to let the Middle-East sort its own problems and not exacerbate them.
I reckon new members are likely put off by the lack of activity. why should anyone join a dead forum?