Why Does Confederate Stuff Seem Controversial?

Dukes of hazzard model car

What are your feelings about Confederate stuff? The infamous rebel flag has its place in history, regardless of the public’s current opinion on it. The T.V. show Dukes of Hazzard surely made Confederate stuff a part of mainstream memorabilia, as items that are viewed as belonging to entertainment are more likely to get a “pass.” Few people would feel compelled to give a political speech if they heard the Dukes of Hazzard horn ring out, however a rebel flag license plate is a different story. Another important point is that opinions change depending on which area of the country one finds themselves.

The Dukes of Hazzard certainly made rebel flag merchandise more popular. The show ran for seven seasons, from 1979 to 1985, with a movie made about a decade ago. Interestingly, although the show takes place in Georgia, not all of the seven seasons were filmed there. Only season one through five was filmed in Covington, Georgia. The last two seasons the film set moved to California. Kinda spoils the authenticity, doesn’t it? Never fear: there is a museum honoring the show in the cafe featured on the show.

The question of authenticity comes into question when the show was moved. Why? Probably monetary concerns, but it is still odd that a show that celebrated Southern antics would transplant it. There is a thin line between the acceptance of “Southern Pride” and frowning at Confederate stuff. The perception is that one is a prideful acknowledgement of where one comes from, while the other is a romanticizing of an archaic way of life. It’s all just lexical semantics, meaning, people make their own word associations and think everyone has the same associations.

Confederate memorabilia is still sold in many places. In fact, several states have protective laws for the old Confederate flag. These states are Florida, Georgia, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Louisiana. To deface Old Dixie in one of these five states brings the same punishment as defacing the Red, White, and Blue.

Is Confederate stuff just, simply…stuff? Should people have such strong opinions on it? The argument for and against lead into each other; it is a circular argument. One side insists a flag that symbolized the near-breaking of a nation should be forgotten. The other side insists that the flag symbolizes everything America stands for: unwavering loyalty to one’s belief that the government exists to enforce the will of the people. Both are right, of course. But, a piece of history that can bring such strong opinions such as Confederate gear should be, perhaps, worn with pride and discretion.

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