Actor Ben Jones, who played Cooter Davenport on The Dukes of Hazzard, came out in defense of the Confederate flag on Tuesday, calling it a “symbol that represents the indomitable spirit of independence.”
In a lengthy Facebook post (written entirely in caps), Jones said the flag is a “beloved symbol” 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 heritage as being bigoted and racist. We know that is not the case,” he added, “And we know that in Hazzard County there was never any racism.”
The Dukes of Hazzard got pulled into the renewed debate over the Confederate flag thanks to the Duke brothers’ famed car, General Lee, which features the symbol on its roof. Warner Bros. Consumer Products said they’ll no longer licsense toy cars or models of General Lee, joining a number of other retailers (Amazon and Walmart among them) who have committed to no longer selling Confederate flag merchandise.
Jones doesn’t plan to follow suit. The former Georgia congressman now runs three “Cooter’s Place” stores in Tennessee and Virginia, and said on Facebook that he won’t stop selling Confederate items there.
You can read Jones’ full message here.