As lawmakers squabble and major retailers pull the Confederate flag from store shelves and websites, Warner Bros. has essentially announced the death of a cultural icon.
“General Lee,” the 1969 Dodge Charger driven in the CBS TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, has taken its last ride with the old south, as Warner Bros. consumer marketing team has announced a decision to stop the licensing of General Lee toys and other items featuring the flag.
According to Vulture, the car will still be seen on T-shirts, minus any signs of its trademark banner.
“Warner Bros. Consumer Products 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,” a spokesman for WB told Vulture. “We have elected to cease the licensing of these product categories.”
As the site reports, in 2012, some Hazzard fans were upset at mere rumors WB might remove the flag from the General Lee.
Ben Jones, a former Democratic congressman who played the character of Cooter on the show, then described any such move as “narrow-minded” and “elitist” in a letter.
His 2012 letter read:
“More than 33 years since the show premiered on CBS-TV on Friday nights, Warner Bros. has issued a new and terribly insulting attack on the South, a region and a culture which Hollywood has trashed for decades…
Some unnamed genius at the company feels that the flag is ‘offensive to some’ and therefore it has no business on a classic TV comedy about a bunch of good ol’ boys and girls in the Southern mountains. This is a new level of “P.C.” idiocy. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of being insulted by morons.”
Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and Sears all announced bans on the sale of Confederate flag merchandise this week in the wake of Dylann Roof’s Charleston, SC shooting rampage at the historically black AME church.
Tuesday, sales rankings in the in Patio, Lawn, & Garden merchandise section of Amazon showed 3×5 Confederate flags selling for $3.95 were up 2,305 percent.
Wednesday, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley ordered the removal of four Confederate flags from a memorial at the State Capitol.