Bye Bye General Lee! All due to the high tension hot button topic of the moment, the “controversial” movement to have the removal of the Confederate flag from Government buildings after a horrific tragedy. The first to jump on the dump-wagon was Walmart, and soon to be followed by other major companies like Sears who will no longer sell confederate flag items. Though the latest of these PC-pleasing moves and most troubling to me comes from Warner Bros., who are the license holders for the 70s/80’s classic TV show Dukes of Hazzard.
WB’s announced today that they would NO LONGER be authorizing the sales of merchandise from the classic TV show. The iconic vehicle – bright orange 1969 Dodge Charger -known as the “The General Lee” prominently displays the controversial flag on its roof during its TV run and major motion picture.
Warner Bros.’ spokesperson in a statement to EW saying……
“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. We have elected to cease the licensing of these product categories.”
I do understand that in many eyes the flag has become a very disturbing symbol of slavery and racism, such as it has been for known racist and killers. The flag as well has connection to a history in this nations South be it good or bad. Do I think we need to stop selling the flag? YES! I absolutely do think that removal of the flag from glorifying standpoints is a must. At the same time I do strongly believe if our nation is to REALLY make a difference on this topic, it has to be made in education of the youth and the ignorant. Trying to “erase’ the flag from known pop culture items like a “General Lee” collecrible item is not the way to progress, but rather move backwards. The problems will still be there if the youth is not changed. Most of these cancelled items are mainly only available for adult collectors who grew up with the iconic show and car, not for young kids who have no idea what “General Lee” is.
Coming at you from a long-time toy collectors point of view, I feel these steps are very quick knee-jerk reactions to a hyped up sensitive topic. The real bad news for fans of the show is, you no longer will be able to find “General Lee” merchandise with a “flag” in stores, eBay or even Amazon. That only leaves the secondary market where prices are going to go NUTS for these items for the next few years and will just go up in time if this discontinue move is not reverted back. I also grew up watching the classic TV show, I must admit, I never looked at the main characters of the show as being anything other then all around good ol’ boys who would welcome ANYONE into their fold.