Harley-Davidson Confederate Edition

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Harley-Davidson Confederate Edition
HD Confederate promo.jpg
Manufacturer Harley-Davidson
Production 1977
Predecessor 1976 Bicentennial Liberty Edition
Class Cross model range of 631 units:
* FLH Electra Glide
* Super Glide
* XLH Sportster
* XLCH Sportster
* XLT Sportster[1]

The Harley-Davidson Confederate Edition was a cross-range limited edition motorcycle made by Harley-Davidson in 1977. It was released following the successful manufacture of the Liberty Edition to commemorate the United States Bicentennial in 1976.[2] The Confederate Edition consisted of a special commemorative paint scheme of metallic gray paint and 'rebel' flag decals on the fuel tank and an army general's sleeve braid decal on the front fender and which was applied to the Harley-Davidson Super Glide, FLH Electra Glide, Harley-Davidson Sportster XLH, XLCH and XLT models.[1]

The Confederate Editions sold in small numbers, thought[by whom?] to be due to a combination of lack of significant promotion (it was overshadowed by the FXS Low Rider and XLCR Café Racer released the same year) and the controversy over the use of the Confederate flag.[3][4]

The Confederate Edition is not on display in the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, but is stored in the company's corporate archives in a connected building on the museum's grounds; official statements from Harley-Davidson representatives Annie Tynion (Vice President of Marketing) and Kenneth G. Schmidt (Director, Communications) were later released regarding the company's decision to cease use of the Confederate flag on its bikes.[5] Harley-Davidson later changed this decision and announced that local dealerships could decide for themselves whether to use the emblems.[6]

Gene Perryman, a Harley-Davidson archivist, described the original model unit numbers that numbered the Confederate Editions (and which had been recently published in Old Bike Journal, Feb '95). The issue also described the rare promotional material for the Harley-Davidson Sportster Confederate Edition featuring a model in a cowboy hat with a Confederate flag.[5]

Harley-Davidson Confederate Edition Sportster model
(1977 promotional image showing
flag/braid tank/fender decals)

Because of the low production numbers it is considered[by whom?] one of the rarest Harley-Davidson models.[7]

Confederate Edition unit production[edit]

Production of the Confederate Edition was as follows:[1]

  • FLH Electra Glide = 44
  • Super Glide = 228
  • XLH Sportster = 299
  • XLCH Sportster = 45
  • XLT Sportster = 15
  • FLHS =15

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c MacMahan, Chris (January–February 2009). "1977 Harley-Davidson Confederate Edition" (aspx). Motorcycle Classics. Topeka, Kansas: Ogden Publications. Retrieved 2012-12-11. The Confederate Editions were built across the model range in irregular numbers including 44 FLH Electra Glides, 228 Super Glides (all FXEs with the 3.5-gallon “bread loaf” tank borrowed from H-D’s Italian Aermacchi cousins), 299 XLH Sportsters, 45 XLCH Sportsters and 15 XLT Sportsters. 
  2. ^ Harley-Davidson Liberty Edition
  3. ^ MacMahan, Chris (January–February 2009). "1977 Harley-Davidson Confederate Edition" (aspx). Motorcycle Classics. Topeka, Kansas: Ogden Publications. Retrieved 2012-12-11. Then there’s the politically incorrect elephant in the room. The real reason this model is so unknown — never appearing in a single official Harley history, and, we suspect, why Harley-Davidson refused to even acknowledge its existence until just recently (see letter, left) — is the rebel flag adorning the tank. 
  4. ^ "1977 Harley-Davidson Confederate Edition". Motorcycle Classics (Image gallery). Topeka, Kansas US: Ogden Publications. p. 2. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  5. ^ a b "Rebel Soul: 1977 Confederate Edition FXE Super Glide". Iron Horse: 24–29. June 1995. 
  6. ^ Coski, John M. (2005). "Chapter 8: The Perverted Banner". The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem. Harvard University Press. pp. 175–176. ISBN 0-674-01722-6. Retrieved 2012-12-11. Within months, Harley-Davidson reversed its decision, and declared that local motorcycle dealers could decide for themselves whether or not to incorporate the Confederate flag in their logos. 
  7. ^ "Hidden Harley – 1977 Harley Confederate Edition Motorcycle". Classic American Iron. TAM Communications. 2009-01-04. Archived from the original on 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2012-12-12.