The much-beloved though also often criticized 1980s TV show, The Dukes of Hazzard, has been yanked by TV Land due to Confederate flag concerns, as representing to many people a symbol of racism and slavery. The Confederate flag is a fixture of the series, a popular in seen in reruns on TV Land, as the flag is prominently displayed on the roof of the “General Lee,” the 1969 Dodge Charger, that the Duke Boys drive as they evade the law.
Though the Confederate flag, to some people who support is continued display, is considered to be a a proud symbol of rebellion and a way to remember a time of conflict and struggles that split the united States in two, it is symbolic of an era when slavery in the south was the norm among wealthy landowners and racism was prevalent in both the North and the South. The Confederate flag represents a time when families could legally be split up and sold, which makes the very sight of the flag abhorrent to a large number of American citizens.
As a result, a growing movement is underway by retailers like Walmart and Amazon to not sell any products that have the Confederate flag on them, and some states have agreed to no longer fly the Confederate flag in front of government buildings. Following the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., on June 17, a call has gone out from President Obama and the governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, to have the Confederate flag to no longer be flown from flagpoles on the South Carolina statehouse’s grounds.
Warner Brothers, producers of the series which aired on CBS from 1979 to 1985, has agreed to no longer sell General Lee cars with Confederate flags on their roofs. Execs at TV Land, which had been running reruns of the show two times a day, have decided that they will yank The Dukes of Hazzard, altogether, though no reason has yet been given for this action, according to PEOPLE.
For those people who support the Confederate flag, like actor Ben Jones, who played Cooter in The Dukes of Hazzard, the flag is not a symbol of oppression, misery and slavery in the context of the show but is a “beloved symbol,” which has come under attack “in a wave of political correctness that is unprecedented in our nation of free speech and free expression.” Jones owns and runs museums and stores devoted to The Dukes of Hazzard and selling merchandise from both the TV series and the movie starring Johnny Knoxville and Jessica Simpson based on the series. Jones is determined that this “wave” will not deter him from selling merchandise with the Confederate flag on it.
The two main characters of The Dukes of Hazzard were John Schneider and Tom Wopat playing the Duke boys, Bo and Luke Duke. They resided in the fictional Hazzard County, Georgia, and they always seemed to have run-ins with the local bumbling police, like Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, along with Boss Hogg, the greedy, unethical commissioner of the county.
Fans of The Dukes of Hazzard will have to find another way to get their daily six of the show, since TV Land execs have decided to yank reruns of the series in the wake of concerns over the Confederate flag. It is not the first time that TV Land has yanked a series that went from being a beloved show to a controversial one. This past November, the network also stopped airing reruns of The Cosby Show because of the allegations that several women made about having been sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby.
Written and Edited By Douglas Cobb
Time: TV Land Pulls Dukes of Hazzard Amid Confederate Flag Controversy
People: TV Land Pulls Dukes of Hazzard Reruns amid Confederate Flag Controversy
Los Angeles Times: TV Land drops ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ reruns
Photo Courtesy of Chad Horwedel’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons 2.0