If you play Forza Horizon or Forza Motorsport, you have some freedom to customize the cars in the game, even adding your own custom designs. A popular example: players used the feature to recreate the General Lee, the 1969 Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard, in almost all Forza games since at least 2007. But General Lee includes the controversial Confederate flag on his back – and Microsoft has just announced that he will ban players who use this symbol (among others) in the game.
Last Friday, in a statement posted on Twitter, Microsoft updated its application guidelines to have a zero tolerance policy for any player using the Confederate flag or other symbols that represent “notorious iconography,” including the Nazi imagery and the rising sun, which can be a symbol of Japanese imperialism. Microsoft will not automatically ban players who create designs with these controversial images; instead, the original designer should be flagged by submitting a ticket.
Although some players have noticed the ban, this has yet to trigger a major reaction. Also, if you want to transform your 1969 Dodge Charger into general Lee, you don’t need a flag to do it. (Also, here is the “General Bee”.) Even General Lee’s real car no longer carries the Confederate flag; Owner and professional golfer Bubba Watson says he had them removed in 2015.
In recent weeks, debates over the modern display of the Confederate flag have resurfaced amid protests in the United States against systemic racism. Several institutions, which previously authorized the display of the flag, including the US Marine Corps and NASCAR, have banned the flag and its representations in its entirety, while Mississippi lawmakers voted Monday to remove the emblem from its flag d ‘State.