'Dukes of Hazzard' film doesn't make General Lee (the car) politically correct





From the Atlanta Journal Constitution (8-3-05):

Good ol' boys Bo and Luke Duke never had these problems back in the good ol' days on TV.

In the new "The Dukes of Hazzard" feature film that opens Friday, the cousins find themselves temporarily outside of rural Hazzard County and stuck in Atlanta traffic. And before you can shout "Yee haw," the movie suddenly turns into a referendum on one of the Dukes' symbols --- the huge Confederate battle flag painted on the roof of their famous car, the General Lee.

"Join us in the 21st century!" shouts a woman in an SUV.

"Hurry up, you're late for your Klan meeting!" jeers a carload of African-Americans.

"Yee haw! Southern by the grace of God!" yells a supportive trucker.

The rest of the "Dukes" movie is what you'd expect --- moonshine runs through the woods, Jessica Simpson in Daisy Dukes, Boss Hogg being bossy and hoggish, and about as much on its mind as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane taking a nap.

"It's an interesting take on the politics of the flag, given all the political debates over it recently," said Western Kentucky University professor Tony Harkins, author of "Hillbilly: A Cultural History of an American Icon" (Oxford University Press, $39.95).
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