Unless you have been holed up in a garage fixing a car somewhere for the last week, then you know that the Confederate Flag has come under attack following the horrific shooting that left nine dead in Charleston, South Carolina. Those who want the flag erased completely say it is a symbol of hate and that having it all proves you are a racist. There has also been a successful push to get many national chains to stop selling any and all items that have the Confederate Flag on them.
Dukes of Hazzard actor Ben Jones, who played “Honorary Duke” Cooter, and owns several stores in Tennessee called Cooter’s Place, is having none of that. In a post on his Cooter’s Place Facebook page, he had the following to say (edited to change from all caps):
To all of our friends and fans from Ben Jones aka “Cooter”
I think all of Hazzard Nation understands that the Confederate Battle Flag is the symbol that represents the indomitable spirit of independence which keeps us “makin’ our way the only way we know how.”
That flag on top of the General Lee made a statement that the values of the rural south were the values of courage and family and good times.
Our beloved symbol is now being attacked in a wave of political correctness that is unprecedented in our nation of free speech and free expression. Activists and politicians are vilifying southern culture and our heritage as being bigoted and racist. We know that this is not the case. And we know that in Hazzard County there was never any racism.
Though the flag has ben removed from such places as Walmart, Target and Amazon, it will never be removed from any of our Cooter’s Stores and Museums. We are all the same good people today that we were last week and last year and we are not going to be shamed into turning our backs on our heritage and our convictions.
We are not racists. We despise racism and bigotry. And we think the people who are creating this “cultural cleansing” are the real bigots in this story.
When we say our flag stands for “heritage, not hate” and “pride, not prejudice”, we mean it. And we believe that old saying, “you can’t know where you are going if you forget where you came from.”
Cooter’s is going to continue to sell our southern symbols as long as there is a Cooter’s. I will fight these people until hell freezes over, and then I will fight them on the ice.