Confederate flag supporters rise up to defend embattled symbol

    Mississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant has refused to call a special legislative session to address the issue, resisting calls to do so from leading state officials. In a 2001 statewide referendum, Mississippians overwhelmingly endorsed keeping the current state flag’s design.

    “A backlash is beginning,” said Ben Jones, a spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which represents 30,000 descendants of Confederate soldiers. “We are putting flags out. Everyone time one is taken down, we put five or six of them up.”

    Jones, a former Democratic congressman from Georgia who starred in the hit 1980s TV comedy series “The Dukes of Hazzard,” said he has been selling out of the replicas for sale at his show-themed stores in Tennessee and Virginia. The show featured a stock car dubbed the General Lee with an image of the Confederate flag on its roof.

    And North Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles recently sold out of a series of specialty license plates featuring the Confederate flag, local media reported. It has ordered more of the plates, which may be discontinued in the future.