Following South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's call to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol, some of the nation's biggest retailers have similarly promised to stop selling items bearing that symbol. Now, one of pop culture's most visible uses of the Confederate flag – the General Lee, an orange Dodge Charger from the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard – is about to get a makeover. According to Vulture, the lone company that was licensed to reproduce the Confederate flag-branded General Lee as a toy will no longer make that item.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) is responsible for licensing the rights to Duke of Hazzard merchandise. "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 WBCP spokesman said. "We have elected to cease the licensing of these product categories."
However, the General Lee – with its Confederate flag plastered atop its cabin – will continue to have a presence on television, as The Dukes of Hazzard is still popular in syndication, especially on cable network CMT.
Warner Bros.' decision to stop the license on Confederate flag-bearing General Lee replicas comes just days after Walmart, Sears, eBay, Google Shopping and Etsy all announced they would stop selling items that featured the Confederate flag; soon after, Amazon stepped up their efforts to remove all items bearing that symbol on their online marketplace. However, the sudden purge of items branded with the Confederate Flag has also resulted in a sales surge as collectors stock up before that merchandise ultimately becomes unavailable, the New York Times reports.
"We have decided to prohibit Confederate flags and many items containing this image because we believe it has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism," eBay said in a statement. In the case of Amazon, that company eventually agreed to remove Confederate merchandise after they were barraged social media by users promoting the hashtag #TakeItDown.