Ben Jones, the actor who appeared as “Cooter” for seven seasons on the CBS TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, is fighting back after Warner Bros. announced it would be removing the Confederate flag from General Lee, the show’s iconic 1969 Dodge Charger.
Jones, a Democrat who was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Georgia’s Fourth District following his role on Hazzard, served two terms before struggling to retain his seat in 1992.
He now operates Cooter’s Place, a small retail shop with three locations in Tennessee and Virginia, and wrote on Facebook early Wednesday that he will never stop selling southern memorabilia, even if “hell freezes over.”
“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,” he writes. “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.”
Jones writes the symbol is now being targeted in an unprecedented wave of political correctness.
“Activists and politicians are vilifying 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.”
The actor believes fans of his show “despise racism and bigotry,” and says the people guilty of “cultural cleansing” are “the real bigots in this story.”
He writes, “you can’t know where you are going if you forget where you came from,” and promises to continue to sell 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,” his post concludes.
The Warner Bros. consumer marketing team announced a decision on Wednesday to stop the licensing of General Lee toys and other items featuring the Confederate flag.
“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 said. “We have elected to cease the licensing of these product categories.”
Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and Sears, along with other retailers, all announced bans on the sale of Confederate flag merchandise this week in the wake of the Charleston, SC African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre.