NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Country Music Television finally gave in to public pressure and agreed to omit the Confederate flag from future airings of the “Dukes of Hazzard,” replacing it with the Punisher skull, according to sources within the network.
“Gee, sorry, I guess our heritage is like, ‘problematic’ or whatever,” said CMT Chief Content Officer Dylan Abernathy, while forming exaggerated air quotes. “We found ourselves in a pickle where we needed to keep running the Duke boys, but our parent company wouldn’t allow us to fly the stars and bars anymore. We needed to replace it with a symbol that would allow for a smooth transition and wouldn’t upset our key demo. I mean, if the fans start saying Dukes is ‘woke,’ well, we’re finished. I just couldn’t crack it—but all of a sudden, inspiration struck while I was browsing Truth Social. The Punisher skull with a blue line. Because nothing says ‘blue lives matter’ like two rebel moonshiners running from the police.”
Dukes mega-fan Earl F. Gacy was initially angered by the change but soon came around.
“You’re damned right I was pissed off. I’ve based my entire heritage on those three and a half years the Confederacy existed. But then, I watched an episode with the Punisher skull on the General Lee, and it gave me a newfound sense of purpose. It made me want to go back to 2020 so I could fight the guy at Costco that made me wear a mask,” said Gacy while field-dressing a wild squirrel. “Besides, maybe it’s time we move forward and embrace some new iconography that really captures the spirit of true patriots. The Punisher skull really is basically just a modern Confederate flag, only with the implicit threat of extrajudicial violence.”
Southern Poverty Law Center spokesperson Hester Fleisch wasn’t pleased to learn of the change.
“Why didn’t they just digitally paint out the flag with orange, or replace it with the actual American flag? Swapping one hate symbol for another is simply a cynical, disingenuous lateral move. It’s not progress,” said an exasperated Fleisch. “There was a similar case recently when the Cleveland Indians proposed replacing their offensive Chief Wahoo mascot with Pepe the Frog. Of course, they walked it back after public outcry, but the fact that they went as far as they did speaks to the apathy and ignorance of corporate America.”
At press time, Marvel announced that due to growing negative associations with the skull logo, the Punisher will be wearing a nice argyle sweater in future comics.