Watson, who purchased the original “Dukes of Hazzard” TV show vehicle in 2012, tweeted this Thursday evening: "All men ARE created equal, I believe that so I will be painting the American flag over the roof of the General Lee."
Friday he expounded.
“It was a great show, I loved the show, still a fan of the show,” Watson said at The Greenbrier Classic. “There was no racism in the show that I can remember. Me and my dad, me and my family used to watch it. And who doesn’t want a car that jumps?
“But the flag is offensive to some people. You know, (there was) enough buzz and I felt it was the right gesture for me to do. I don’t stand for hatred. I think we’re all created equal, like I said in the tweet.”
Watson said he experienced some backlash after he purchased the iconic car and that he had only taken it out of his garage once in the last couple of years – just to replace the battery.
“I don’t drive it,” Watson said. “Once people start putting hatred on it; I don’t want to be involved with that.”
Watson, a native of Bagdad, Fla., who was born a couple of months before “Dukes of Hazzard” premiered in January, 1979, said he bought the vehicle “like a trophy.”
“I don’t see anything wrong with the TV show. The flag is the controversy, not the TV show,” he said.
“It’s American history – the car itself and the TV show itself. So I thought the best statement would be to put the United States flag on there."
Warner Bros. announced last week that it would no longer sanction or manufacture "Dukes of Hazzard" merchandise bearing the flag, and TV Land on Wednesday confirmed that it will remove re-runs of the show from its lineup.
Watson has repeatedly said in recent years that he doesn’t pay attention to anything in the media and reiterated that Friday. He said he was unaware of the church shooting in Charleston, S.C., on June 17, in which nine black people were killed by a 21-year-old white male.
Watson said his manager informed him last week, while he was in the process of winning the Travelers Championship, that controversy surrounding the Confederate flag was escalating.
“He texted me and said, ‘Uh, we might need to do something,’” Watson said.
“Until he mentioned it to me, I had no clue.”
Watson, who owns a residence at The Greenbrier, is at 5 under par through two rounds and in contention for a second PGA Tour title in as many weeks.