Statues and flags are symbols that represent something and many people will say that something is heritage. The same people will say that we shouldn't be taking down the statues in an effort to revise or remove that heritage.
The statues have been in place for many years, so what has changed? For me two things have changed, one is that many people are actually revising the history that those statues represent.
Rather than representing the Civil War as an effort by southern states to secede from the union so that they can continue to own slaves, many people claim these symbols represent the underdog southern states fighting against a repressive federal government.
Put another way, rather than reminding us of something we should no longer do, owning slaves, they are representing a cause, which is to fight against anyone who tells me to accept that which I don't want to accept or act in a way I don't want to act.
Make America Great, fight the politically correct. Except that one might say that people should not be so easily offended by what I say or believe, what politically correct really means is, I don't care who I offend by what I say or believe.
Some will point out that the statues never were a reminder of something we should no longer do, and I believe they are right, but now they are lightning rod for a resistance to change to the population of the United States.
The second change is that the United States is becoming more diverse, removing the power that comes with the higher population of a particular race. Further, the millennials growing up in our more diverse society not only question the validity of white supremacy but also acknowledge the pain their symbols represent. In other words, the main change is that the number of people who consider the symbols to be offensive has increased and the growing minority of the people who not only don't find them offensive but also nearly worship them, absent their ability to get their way via the democratic process, are fighting back.