General Lee to stay at Volo Auto Museum

The Volo Auto Museum will continue to display a General Lee car made for "The Dukes of Hazzard" TV show despite the Confederate battle flag painted on its roof.

"Our plan is to leave the car right where it's sitting," museum Director Brian Grams said.

Grams has fielded a lot of calls about the museum's General Lee, a Dodge Charger made by Warner Bros. for the first season of "The Dukes of Hazzard" in the 1970s. The car never actually was used on camera, Grams said.

The car is in a showroom near vehicles from "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Ghostbusters."

It's the fourth General Lee the museum has owned but the first made for use in the show. The museum has had the car since 2005, and the staff has never received a complaint about the Confederate flag painted atop the orange vehicle.

The flag is seen by some as a symbol of slavery, racism and secessionism. Others consider it a part of the Southern heritage.

In recent days, however, the public display of the iconic but controversial flag has been a matter of growing debate. The discussion was prompted by the shooting deaths of nine black people in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, where the flag still flies at the state Capitol.

Warner Bros., which produced "The Dukes of Hazzard" and still licenses merchandise relating to the show and subsequent movies, has since announced it would no longer sanction the production of toys or other products featuring the Confederate flag on the General Lee.

Grams said his staff has discussed whether the car should remain on view at the museum.

"We're very confident that the right thing to do is keep it on display," he said. "It's part of history, and that's what we're here for."

Grams pointed out the museum has displayed World War II-era vehicles adorned with Nazi swastikas, a symbol reviled around the globe. But to preserve historical accuracy, the symbol hasn't been censored.

"You can't erase what happened," Grams said.

  A General Lee made for "The Dukes of Hazzard" television show will stay on display at the Volo Auto Museum. Paul Valade/
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