‘DUKES OF HAZZARD’ CAR WITH CONFEDERATE FLAG TO STAY, MUSEUM SAYS
Statues of Confederate generals and soldiers are being taken down across the country, while NASCAR has banned the flag, and Mississippi changed theirs
A northern Illinois auto museum said it will continue displaying the iconic car from the “Dukes of Hazzard” television show with a Confederate flag painted on top of it, according to multiple reports.
The decision to keep the flag comes amid the toppling of Confederate statues following the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis.
Many believe that the flag is a symbol of racism and glorification of the Civil War, while others areas argue the flag is used to celebrate Southern heritage and the television show’s car is a “piece of history.”
“We feel the car is part of history, and people love it. We’ve got people of all races and nationalities that remember the TV show and aren’t offended by it whatsoever. It’s a piece of history, and it’s in a museum,” Brian Grams, Volo Auto Museum director, told Crystal Lake’s, Northwest Herald.
The Volo Auto Museum holds the last 1969 Dodge Charger used during the first season of the classic television series, which it acquired back in 2005.
“The Dukes of Hazzard” television show, which ran from 1979 until 1985, took place in fictional Hazzard County, Ga., and the main characters nicknamed the vehicle the General Lee — seen as a reference Civil War general Robert E. Lee.
Grams said that since acquiring the car in 2005, the car has garnered no complaints He said: “Several people have reached out with positive comments about us leaving it on display complimenting us for leaving it there and not having a knee-jerk reaction to remove it like a lot of places are.”
This includes Ben Jones, who appeared in the original Dukes of Hazzard as Cooter and served in House of Representatives. He has been an open supporter of the Confederate flag, saying that it is a symbol of Southern culture.
He applauded the news that the museum was keeping the General Lee, posting on Facebook: “The Volo museum is one of the finest automobile museums in the nation. Good for them!!”
Another iteration of the General Lee was acquired by professional golfer Bubba Watson, but after winning it, he removed the Confederate flags from the car.
Grams says the General Lee is a piece of history and the museum would not remove it any more than it would think of removing the Nazi memorabilia displayed in parts of the museum’s military section.
“If we’re going to get complaints about the General Lee being here, we’ve got much worse items over in our military building,” he said.