The aerodynamics of it explains the “why”. Most, though not all, of the faster aircraft have a somewhat cleaner wing (along with more power) than many of the slower airplanes – and yet they are expected to fly in the same patterns with the slower airplanes. The “first notch” of flaps is, in fact, mostly LIFT, which is accomplished by slightly changing the airfoil shape toward the slow speed/high lift configuration as the flaps move out. Airliners do it all the time, with both leading and trailing edge devices. It is certainly not beneath our dignity to do the same with our flaps.