If you play Forza Horizon or Forza Motorsport, you have some freedom to personalize cars in the game, even adding your own custom designs. One popular example: players have used the feature to recreate the General Lee, the 1969 Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard, in almost every single Forza game since at least 2007. But the General Lee famously includes the controversial confederate flag on its back — and Microsoft has just announced it will ban players who use that symbol (among others) in the game.
In a statement posted on Twitter last Friday, Microsoft updated its enforcement guidelines to have a zero-tolerance policy for any player using the confederate flag or other symbols that represent “notorious iconography,” including Nazi imagery and the rising sun, which can be a symbol of Japanese imperialism. Microsoft will not automatically ban players that create designs with these controversial images; instead, the original designer will need to be reported by submitting a ticket.
While some players have noticed the ban, it hasn’t sparked a significant backlash yet. Besides, if you want to turn your 1969 Dodge Charger into a General Lee, you don’t need a flag to do that. (Also, here’s the “General Bee.”) Even the real-life General Lee car no longer wears the confederate flag; owner and pro golfer Bubba Watson says he had them removed in 2015.
In recent weeks, debates surrounding the modern display of the confederate flag have resurfaced amid protests in the US against systemic racism. Several institutions, which previously allowed displays of the flag, including the US Marine Corps and NASCAR, have banned the flag and depictions of it in its entirety, while lawmakers in Mississippi voted on Monday to remove the emblem from its state flag.