UPDATE: In the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina shootings, Warner Bros. issued a statement 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.” In addition, Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, and Sears have all agreed to cease the sale of merchandise bearing the Confederate Flag, which also may extend to Dukes of Hazzard merchandise.

The General Lee - Bo and Luke Duke's vehicle of choice from The Dukes of Hazzard - is a classic and instantly recognizable Hollywood car. But it's about to get a little less recognizable as Warner Bros., the studio that owns the theatrical, DVD and licensing rights to The Dukes of Hazzard, has decided to remove the confederate flag from all future versions of the car.

The news has reportedly been floating around the hobby community over the past few days as Dukes of Hazzard collectors became aware of a new regulation. A collector on HobbyTalk.com was told by a representative at Dukes of Hazzard toy company Tomy:

Starting January 1, 2013 all Dukes of Hazzard General Lee vehicles will not be allowed to be produced with the Confederate Flag on the top of the vehicle.

According to the toy rep, the word came directly from Warner Bros. who no longer wants to endorse an item that has the Confederate flag printed on it.

As of now, this directive only expressly includes merchandising but Warner Bros. is developing a new Dukes of Hazzard movie with Jody Hill directing and if they're being this strict about licensing issues, they could very well enforce the same policy with the upcoming film. But what is a Dukes of Hazzard property without the General Lee with the flag painted on top?

What do you think? Is it a smart move for a company like Warner Bros. to distance themselves from the symbolic nature of the Confederate flag?

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