The crazy demand for Dukes of Hazzard diecast with the Confederate flag: What are your thoughts?

If you live in the US, there is little chance you are not familiar with the discussion, or controversy, surrounding the Confederate Flag.

Following the horrific, racist shooting at a South Carolina church last week, national dialogue has revolved around whether or not it is appropriate for the Confederate Flag to not only fly at the South Carolina Capitol Building and elsewhere, but whether it is appropriate to be displayed in other forms, like on clothes or toys.  Many companies have removed any likeness of the flag, including stores like Walmart and Target, which will no longer sell products with that image.

Now we have no desire to go political.  We are not bringing this up to start a debate on the flag.  Instead, we want to address something else entirely, that most surely relates to our hobby.

Since the debate started, demand has skyrocketed for diecast replicas of the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee, the ’69 Dodge Charger used in the popular 80’s TV show.  The car famously had the Confederate flag painted on the roof, and all diecast replicas that I know of have the same.  It is the same for the Hot Wheels Dixie Challenger, which was loosely based on the General Lee and sported the flag as well.

I guess this can be expected, but is it right?  As far as I know, no replicas of the General Lee have been produced since Johnny Lightnings series from a few years ago.  That means no diecast company has all of a sudden halted production, and no store has had to remove any product.

So why the run?  They won’t be any rare than they already are.  Is there really a demand?  It is opportunistic buyers who hope to capitalize on the controversy at a later date, in the same way many did with Fast & Furious Skylines following Paul Walker’s death?  Is it folks so passionate about the flag that they want a replica to show to their kids later?  I have no idea.

It just seems odd.  I was a fan of the show back in the day, but have never felt the need to collect any Dukes of Hazzard cars, and most certainly don’t now.

So what are your thoughts?  Is it appropriate?  No one ever said the collector world was logical, but this seems a little further out than normal.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  If you do share, I ask that you respect others in your comments, and try and keep it on the hobby-related topic as opposed to the overall flag issue itself.  We are just curious to see what people think.

31 Replies to “The crazy demand for Dukes of Hazzard diecast with the Confederate flag: What are your thoughts?”

  1. Are we sure Ertl hadn't done some small scale Dukes of Hazard replicas recently? I think they were the only company to currently hold the license for diecast.

    As for the Dixie Challenger, it's a joke, because now everyone thinks it'll be worth gold, just about any release of the casting. To me it's funny because the casting is basically an engine-less Rodger Dodger. There is no reason ANY of that casting except for the original release with the flag on the roof (where later releases changed the roof design) could go up in value due to this.

    It's almost as bad as after Paul Walker died, suddenly anything with his name on it became more “valuable.”

    And really I look at it like this:
    Tell people they can't have something, they'll want it more; tell people something is controversial, they'll want it more.

    I could get into a whole other discussion that I won't now, but it's really a pseudo rarity and desire to own something with that flag on it (for most).

  2. In my opinion the flag is given more power then it deserves in racism. Yes it was apart of civil rights fights. However this is not even close to the first confederate flag. For that matter this is not 2nd or 3rd rendition of the flag. This flag is actually the flg that lead Robert E. Lee's army. Racism is a choice by individuals. Yes the flag represents some bad stuff but so dose the american flag. I don't agree with pulling anything for the sole purpose of it was tied to hate. It only gives the hate more power. To some Southerners this represents pride not hate. My point is don't give an object more power than it deserves. Hold people accountable for their actions. If we start pulling flags down and products off of shelves hate wins.

    For the most part Americans are very understanding of the past. They know right from wrong. We as a nation can not continue paying for the actions of stupid ancestors. We as Americans need to continue to strive for equal rights to all no matter our personal opinions.

    Well that got a little streched out. Sorry!

  3. From outside the USA, this looks just stupid, to remove items for sale because of a flag/deco is bordering on the insane, the flag had nothing to do with the incident that happened, and why therefore should it be removed – would you want the Ford logo removed from the US, just because some mental case smack head decided to run over a load of kids at a bus stop….. NO, so stop being silly and get some reality back.

  4. It isn't political at all. This is one of the iconic movie and TV cars of the '80s, like Magnum PI's Ferrari, KITT, the Smokey and the Bandit Firebird (which has a Confederate Flag front plate, by the way), etc.

    Does anyone have a contact email where we can contact Warner protesting this move? I'm sure that if enough people complain, they'll reverse the decision.

  5. Since eBay announced they would prohibit sales on their site of anything displaying the Confederate flag, I wonder if they've pulled all sales of the 1st version of the Dixie Challenger?

  6. I don't think it's appropriate. It's almost like how Dale Earnhardt NASCAR models jumped in price when he died. It's a sick reaction to a horrible situation. IMO. That being said, it was expected. I always loved the show and I only ever had one or two hot wheels sized ones growing up and I wanted a larger model for a while since I've “grown up” So I finally last year was able to find a 1:18 scale model of it for sale at Cooter's Garage in Gatlinburg TN. I had gone there a few times and declined getting it because at the time I thought $40 for it was a little much. But the last time I went, it was the only one, so I went for it. Mine's not going anywhere because it reminds me of my childhood and I'm not one of those opportunistic people that just want to profit off of a bad situation. And boy am I glad I got it when I did.

  7. Eric, people hate in the name of all manner of different flags. I don't want to start a debate so I'm going to stop that there.

    Jon, the reason for the controversy is that in the wake of what happened in Charleston, when the US and South Carolina state flags on the state capitol building were lowered to half mast to honor those that perished, the confederate battle flag was for some reason still at full mast. Whether it was intentional or not, people took immediate and vehement offense to it. As for removing merchandise, to some people it's not entirely unlike Germany banning Hitler's swastika flag. I agree, it's stupid to give the flag that kind of meaning that it didn't stand for and that much power over us. And IMO, it's ridiculous that this kind of thing would be allowed to spill over into something like die cast collecting.

  8. There's a little bit of a difference between the flag on the Lee and the flag on the Ban-One though. On the Lee, it stood for rebelliousness and the Dukes standing up for themselves. On the Ban-One, it's only there as part of the Georgia state flag at the time that was on the license plate.

  9. These are toys essentially, so the flag decal would be close to meaningless for the kids – especially those outside of the US. A sensible judgement call on the realms of taste in toys would be a decision supposedly made under the manufacturers watch. Would you also ban toy guns in light of recent events? You can use the same argument why swastika's on post-war toys are virtually non existent, but the emblem is often seen on model kits for older children for the sake of accuracy.

  10. Eric I agree there are hate mongers that are ignorant to the real meaning of this flag that are using it for their own hateful reasons. The American flag and a football teams logo holds the same feeling to native americans so lets not be hypocritical here. They would not ban the American flag. The German flag was all hate and it should had been banished. This is not the same.

    As far as the Confederate flag goes gangs used this flag in the 70s to promote rebellion. The confederacy was rebelling which what all Americans should do in the face of wrong doing by dictating governments.

  11. Oh, I agree competent John. But some people view the confederacy as nothing but hate and so view the battle flag in the same light as the nazi flag. That's why I said to some is not unlike it.

  12. It is a historical piece. Like removing sawtiska symbols on German military vehicles or the Marlboro name on race cars. You are not embracing what the symbol stands for but the accuracy of the piece it is on.

  13. I have no intention of even considering living in America, all we ever hear is murder, death and destruction, guns, drugs and hate – and then we hear about other countries and there issues, i am glad we are in the UK – We might have a few issues here, but at least we can walk down to teh shops and generally, go to school without the need of body armour, teh fear of getting shot, mugged or worse…… As for comparing the Nazi Flag and the Confederate one – sorry but NO, you can not compare the two at all, ever, never, the confederate flag is allowed to be flown, and used for whatever, like Diecast, i am sure that if Mattel tried to make a Mercedes SL with a Swastika on the roof, the world would go into meltdown – and Mattel would go bust not long after…. so you can not compare the two…..

  14. This flag imo was waved for some very important reasons and some very unconstitutional. The people that fought under this flag fought for a right to be heard by a government that was trying to change constitutional right but against slavery. Unfortunately that meaning has help more water with it's detractors. However rebellion is very important to the US. It is up to WE THE PEOPLE to keep the government honest and working for us. If this ever changes this country is very big trouble. Hate in the US is about 70-30% against hate. We have many problems are far more troubling that the divisions on race and I believe all races here realize this. As far as the US being a bad country. I respectfully disagree, with all our problems we still are world powerhouse. There are countries that are doing way better than in the past. Our country has opened trade barriers that made coutries that were once in shambles economic powerhouses. When other countries WE step in in some cases against our best interests. Yea we have problems here but we step in where other countries turn their backs or need to be talked into helping. This contry and our government will help any country in this world sometimes not the best idea and when things go bad we take the fall. US not perfect but still the most free country and best country in this world!

  15. Don't touch the iconic General Lee from Dukes of Hazard !!! Stupid (re)action. the negationism of a draw don't serve history, and is not a solution for the troubles in the futur . The Dixie Flag is a Rebel Symbol only.

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