The sentimentality towards the South of past years is decreasing with each and every day. With the new racial awareness that is sweeping the United States, many of the symbols that identified the South are being removed and erased and people are starting to view the South in a different light, especially the leading figures that dominate its history. That being said, I think one reason some people have a soft spot for the South in their hearts is its culture of politeness, chivalry and the honor of tradition among many of its native residents. Southerners have always appreciated the land they live on and have strong ties to their families, have their own language and ways of speaking that are colorful and imaginative and have a culinary history that produces some of the best food in the United States. Their courage and determination during the Civil War against long odds also won them lots of respect too. Having lived in the South all my life, it's hard for me to say I'm an American before I'm a Southerner just because it's the land of my family and ancestors after they reached America and I have a strong affinity for the region that helped me become the person I am.
This is going to sound like "Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the theater?", but aside from slavery, most of the rest of Southern culture exemplified the positives that many of us have cited. Unfortunately one big stain can overwrite a lot of good.