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The Confederate battle flag has been a hot topic in the news over the last few weeks. Some government organizations have taken the flag down, and Walmart made the landmark decision to remove all Confederate battle flag items from stores. However, one side effect of removing the flag from culture has led to the removal of popular Dukes of Hazzard products from stores. Now, TV Land even says it will no longer air any episodes of the classic series.
Anyone familiar with The Dukes of Hazzard should know the series follows a couple of good ‘ol boys, Bo and Luke Duke, who live with their short shorts-wearing cousin Daisy and their Uncle Jesse in the American South. The controversy stems less from the southern characters and their behavior and more from the fact that Luke and Bo drive a 1969 Dodge Charger that has been dandied up with the Confederate battle flag painted on the roof (in addition, the car is known as the General Lee, harkening back to the American Civil War). The network confirmed the news to EW this week, but it is only the latest in a slew of decisions that have been made regarding the Confederate battle flag in the wake of the tragic shootings in a Charleston, South Carolina church that occurred in June.
Late last week, The Dukes of Hazzard had other problems when Warner Bros., the company that owns the property, decided to drop the General Lee toys that are sold at outlets throughout the country. Even though the original series hit the schedule way back in 1979, toys from The Dukes of Hazzard are still popular, and have been sold on everything from model cars to lunch boxes in the decades since the show first hit the schedule. Now, the company has “elected to cease the licensing of the product categories.” The news came less than a day after Walmart also elected to stop selling items with the Confederate battle flag on them in stores. So, it seems as if TV Land's decision is simply following suit.
It’s unclear at this point whether or not the studio will retroactively work to remove the flag so that old episodes of Dukes of Hazzard will air down the line. Alternatively, TV Land could also elect to wait until the controversy dies down before the channel opts to air the show once more. For now, the reruns will remain pulled over at TV Land.
If you are looking to catch episodes of the show, other outlets still do have the series available for viewing. You can catch the TV series with Amazon Instant Streaming, along with the 2005 movie of the same name. CMT also has rights to some of the episodes, frequently airing them on Saturdays.