Friday, February 17, 2012

NASCAR Shows The General Lee and Bubba Waston The Door - The Reason The Confederate Flag

In one of those pure bone headed moves that big corporations tend to make when they have too much time on their hands, NASCAR has banned the Confederate Battle Flag from it's Avondale Arizona Speedway and canceled a scheduled appearance by PGA Tour Professional Golfer Bubba Watson along with his newly acquired Dukes of Hazard car, affectionately known as the "General Lee".

Watson says he will still be in attendance for the March race but his car and the Confederate Flag image is officially off the program.

"NASCAR, International Speedway Corp. and Phoenix International Raceway officials, discussed this and decided it was not in the best interest of our sport," NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Friday.

"The image of the Confederate flag is not something that should play an official role in our sport as we continue to reach out to new fans and make NASCAR more inclusive."

Phoenix International Raceway officials planned to release a formal statement about the decision later today.

On Tuesday Phoenix new media staff tweeted:

"@PhoenixRaceway @bubbawatson Hey Bubba! We look forward to having you and the General Lee at PIR in a few weeks! #SUBWAY500"

But by Thursday, Watson posted the following message on his Twitter account:
"Sorry to say @nascar won't let me drive The General Lee at the @PhoenixRaceway !!! #dreamcrushed"

Professional Golfer Bubba Watson and His Car "The General Lee"

News releases about Watson's appearance at the track had already been removed from the track's Web site by Friday morning it remains to be seen if Watson's role as a honary NASCAR race official will continue.

Of course NASCAR's roots are covered with Confederate Flags and 1000's of fans show up at every track wearing, waving and displaying the flags every year.

Cedar's Take:

While NASCAR needs a more diverse fan base to grow, burning bridges, or in this case flags is not going to help the bottom line in the near term. NASCAR would do well to brace for a sizable push back from fans and Southerners in general.

NASCAR's official position has been for some time not to endorse, promote or display the image of the flag that some see as supporting the Jim Crow era and racial intolerance.

But NASCAR objects to the paint scheme, while they permit the same flags to fly in the infield.

But this move goes beyond where NASCAR has stood on the matter of the Confederate Flag in the past. Most people see the General Lee for what it is, a car from a crazy TV show and a bad movie of the same name and nothing more.

Expect this story to go global and NASCAR to re-think its PR gaff in short order.

Cedar Bonus:

For the record the flag is more correctly referred to as the flag of the Army of Northern Virgina.

NASCAR might just have their hands full trying to ban the Orange 1969 Dodge Charger as there are at least 24 General Lee car known to be rolling around the country.

The television series used more than 300 of the 1969 Dodge Chargers, most ended up in the scrap heap after preforming some of the hundred or more jumps for the show.

Below the 1968 Southern 500 final laps, as Cale Yarborough wins at Darlington. In the final three minutes of the video The Wood Brothers Mercury rolls into the winner's circle with as you would expect the flag, but it was nothing more than the statement that this race is the Southern 500.


Anonymous said...

Still a racist huh Cedar?

Anonymous said...

Nothing at all racist about the General Lee. It is just a car. The idiots at NASCAR have been killing the goose that laid their golden egg for years with high as all ticket prices, big teams fielding four or more drivers. They have taken so much out of real racing that it is like watching the WWF.

They told Bubba Watson he and the car were in and then two days later they say never mind. Screw you NASCAR

Anonymous said...

Looks like your Navy Seals that you say want to remain anonymous don't have a problem revealing all in "Act of Valor"......the Big Blockbuster movie coming out.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to figure out how in the world a FLAG that represents the South is offensive to anyone!

I display my Rebel flag PROUDLY!

Anonymous said...

Really, idiot.

Maybe that is exactly why it is offensive to most intelligent people, because it DOES represent the south at a time when ignorance and bigotry prevailed.

Not that it has changed much.

Anonymous said...

The flag I find most offensive is the Buffalo Bills flag my neighbor has flapping in the breeze all year long!

Anonymous said...

Most folks dont realize that since the civil war especially in the 40's 50's and 60's when people of color saw a rebel flag an ass kicking usually came with it.

For most minorities the confederate flag is racist.

You want to blame someone for that blame the Klan and the white separatist.

Anonymous said...

what I find to be truly racist is miss black nc, miss black america, and miss black usa, etc.

I am not particularly crazy about the flag, but it is a part of history.

Cedar Posts said...

Anonymous 9:22

The image of Klansmen riding into town wearing white sheets waving a confederate battle flags and lynching a poor innocent black man is what you would like everyone to equate to our flag of the South.

You may really believe this as fact and that it happened ten thousand times in the years after the civil war.

Without Sanctuary is a collection more than 100 images of Lynching in America, the collection of photos is pretty gritty and is troubling and very disturbing. But no where in the photos is there a confederate flag, a rebel hat, or even a grey uniform.

I encourage you to have a look for yourself.

I'll keep looking, I'm sure I'll find a lynching victim wrapped in a confederate battle flag or strapped to the hood of a car like General Lee, or maybe even a photo of Klan members carrying the Flag.

In this case a flag with 48 stars and thirteen stripes.

Anonymous said...

Gotta go with the overreach on this one. The Dukes of Hazzard and the General Lee had absolutely nothing to do with the negative connotations of the Cross of St. Andrews flag.

The car that Watson has is known as the General Lee 1, which is the very car seen making the jump in the opening credits to the TV show.

If NASCAR wants to worry about negative images, they should focus on ticket prices, jacked up hotel rates, and horrible traffic on race weekends. That causes more negativity than what that car could ever do.

That car is a piece of tv history. Anybody who gets offended by it needs to get a damn life.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious that NASCAR fears the National Association of Always Complaining People.

Who ever saw the General Lee without a Confederate Battle Flag?

NASCAR would prefer to disavow it's Southern Roots and the good ole' boys who gave it its start in favor of gentrified Yankees who don't know the difference between a lug nut and a wing nut.

Keep it flying boys. Deo Vindicavit!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit the image of some guy in a rebal uniform holding out the "Confederate" flag atop the Wood Brothers car seems pretty silly today.

But as you can see there was nothing racist or supportive of the KKK in this video.