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Warner Brothers nixes ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ General Lee with Confederate Flag

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Catherine Bach (Daisy), Tom Wopat (Luke) and John Schneider (Bo) spent a lot of time with the General Lee, which had the Stars and Bars on the roof. CREDIT: CBS

Catherine Bach (Daisy), Tom Wopat (Luke) and John Schneider (Bo) spent a lot of time with the General Lee, which had the Stars and Bars on the roof. CREDIT: CBS

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dylann Roof allegedly wanted to start a race war when he killed nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston last week. Instead, it appears he has simply hastened the demise of the Confederate Flag in polite company. Almost overnight, retailers such as Wal-Mart, Sears, eBay and Amazon will stop selling Confederate Flag merchandise. And it will likely be off the government property in Columbia, S.C. soon as well.

Now Warner Brothers will stop merchandising replicas of the iconic 1969 Dodge Charger General Lee from the popular old CBS show “Dukes of Hazzard,” which was set in the fictional Hazzard County, GA. and ran from 1979 to 1985. Vulture exclusively got the story. (Good thinkin’ to ask!)

This means no more sanctioned T-shirts, model cars, lunch boxes or kids’ underwear. So if you own any of these items, you might be happy about it because the value of those items will likely go up.

The car was named after General Robert E. Lee, with the Confederate Flag on its roof and the song “Dixie” as its horn. (The Wikipedia page for the car is comically detailed.)

Former “Dukes of Hazzard’ actor Ben “Cooter” Jones, who owns a retail and online outlet selling “Dukes of Hazzard” merchandise, is not pleased with Warner Brothers and all the others dropping the flag. He won’t be. Here’s his Facebook message today:

TO ALL OF OUR FRIENDS AND FANS FROM BEN JONES AKA “COOTER”

I THINK ALL OF HAZZARD NATION UNDERSTANDS THAT THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG IS THE SYMBOL THAT REPRESENTS THE INDOMITABLE SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE WHICH KEEPS US “MAKIN’ OUR WAY THE ONLY WAY WE KNOW HOW.”

THAT FLAG ON TOP OF THE GENERAL LEE MADE A STATEMENT THAT THE VALUES OF THE RURAL SOUTH WERE THE VALUES OF COURAGE AND FAMILY AND GOOD TIMES.

OUR BELOVED SYMBOL IS NOW BEING ATTACKED IN A WAVE OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS THAT IS UNPRECEDENTED IN OUR NATION OF FREE SPEECH AND FREE EXPRESSION. ACTIVISTS AND POLITICIANS ARE VILLIFYING SOUTHERN CULTURE AND OUR HERITAGE AS BEING BIGOTED AND RACIST. WE KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT THE CASE. AND WE KNOW THAT IN HAZZARD COUNTY THERE WAS NEVER ANY RACISM.

THOUGH THE FLAG HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM SUCH PLACES AS WALMART, TARGET AND AMAZON, IT WILL NEVER BE REMOVED FROM ANY OF OUR COOTER’S STORES AND MUSEUMS. WE ARE ALL THE SAME GOOD PEOPLE TODAY THAT WE WERE LAST WEEK AND LAST YEAR AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE SHAMED INTO TURNING OUR BACKS ON OUR HERITAGE AND OUR CONVICTIONS.

WE ARE NOT RACISTS. WE DESPISE RACISM AND BIGOTRY. AND WE THINK THE PEOPLE WHO ARE CREATING THIS “CULTURAL CLEANSING” ARE THE REAL BIGOTS IN THIS STORY.

WHEN WE SAY OUR FLAG STANDS FOR “HERITAGE, NOT HATE” AND “PRIDE, NOT PREJUDICE”, WE MEAN IT. AND WE BELIEVE THAT OLD SAYING, “YOU CAN’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING IF YOU FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM.”

COOTER’S IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO SELL OUR SOUTHERN SYMBOLS AS LONG AS THERE IS A COOTER’S. I WILL FIGHT THESE PEOPLE UNTIL HELL FREEZES OVER, AND THEN I WILL FIGHT THEM ON THE ICE.

You can still see the battle flag on the General Lee on repeats of “Dukes of Hazzard” available on Amazon for purchase or on TV Land.

 

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