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'Dukes of Hazzard' model cars shut down due to Confederate flag

By Alex Ritman     Jun 26, 2015 in Politics
As the debate over the Charlestown shooter spirals into a tangent on displaying the Confederate flag, private companies are beginning to stop selling it.
A few days ago, Walmart and other retailers announced they would stop selling Confederate flags. U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes asked whether American military bases named after Confederate generals should be renamed.
Now, a more innocuous target with the Confederate flag is under fire. On Wednesday, Warner Brothers announced in a press release that it would stop selling models or replicas of the iconic “General Lee” car from “The Dukes of Hazzard” television show.
Warner Bros. noted that it “has one licensee producing die-cast replicas and vehicle model kits featuring the General Lee with the confederate flag on its roof—as it was seen in the TV series.”
The television show, which ran from 1979 to 1985, was a highly popular action-comedy show. Its two protagonists, Lucas and Bo Duke, were Southern rednecks who ran (and drove) circles around the corrupt Sheriff Coltrane.
The “General Lee” was their orange Dodge Charger which the Duke boys used for their getaways. The show was well known for its flashy car stunts, chases, and good old Southern charm.
In 2005, Warner Brothers released a “Duke of Hazzard” film which was a commercial success, as well as a direct-to-DVD sequel in 2007. In 2014, AutoTrader released a commercial starring the Duke brothers and the General Lee. The General Lee did not have a Confederate flag on top in the commercial.
The car remains an iconic vehicle in American pop culture and was a very popular model car. But Warner Brothers has indicated that there are no plans to remodel the “General Lee” without the Confederate flag. This means that it will not be possible to buy new models.
Not everyone is pleased by this decision. Former “Duke of Hazzard” actor Ben Jones, who played Hazzard county mechanic Cooter Davenport, owns a website which sells merchandise from the TV show. In a Facebook post, Jones railed against political correctness and declared that the flag will never be removed from any of his stores or museums.
This is not the first time that there have been concerns about Warner Brothers removing the flag. In 2012, Internet rumors surfaced that they planned to remove it. Warner had to announce “that they had never planned to make any changes to the General Lee merchandise.”
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