Apple Removes App Store Games Featuring Confederate Flags, Even Historical Ones (Updated)
Apple representatives realized that some games removed from the App Store which featured the Confederate flag in a historical, non-offensive context were wrongly removed from the market and seek to rectify the situation. Speaking with TechCrunch, Apple reps admitted they may have been a bit hasty in removing games that featured the flag and that some innocent titles may have been removed.
“We are not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses,” an Apple rep said.
Unfortunately, that's exactly what they did, as they appear to have blanket-removed any games featuring the flag.
Games such as Strategy & Tactics: World War II utilize the Swastika and Iron Cross flags to symbolize Nazi Germany during that era, which is still on the App Store (let's not even get into Wolfenstein). Meanwhile, Ultimate General: Gettysburg, a very similar war-strategy game, was removed simply because it uses the Confederate flag to symbolize the South, recreating one of the most significant battles of American history. The North is of course symbolized by an American flag in this game, and both were used in a historical context. Again, search for Civil War-era strategy/history games on the App Store and you'll be surprised to see how many are left (please note: I am not pro-Confederate flag, but I also think we should not act like this part of American history never happened).
Here's what Ultimate General's team had to say about their war strategy game being removed:
We accept Apple's decision and understand that this is a sensitive issue for the American Nation. We wanted our game to be the most accurate, historical, playable reference of the Battle of Gettysburg. All historical commanders, unit composition and weaponry, key geographical locations to the smallest streams or farms are recreated in our game's battlefield.
We receive a lot of letters of gratitude from American teachers who use our game in history curriculum to let kids experience one of the most important battles in American history from the Commander's perspective.
Spielberg’s "Schindler's List" did not try to amend his movie to look more comfortable. The historical "Gettysburg" movie (1993) is still on iTunes. We believe that all historical art forms: books, movies, or games such as ours, help to learn and understand history, depicting events as they were. True stories are more important to us than money.
Therefore we are not going to amend the game's content and Ultimate General: Gettysburg will no longer be available on AppStore. We really hope that Apple’s decision will achieve the desired results.
We can’t change history, but we can change the future.
Apple has started to crack down on any games featuring the Confederate flag, but a lot of historical games are disappearing in the process.
As the United States is reevaluating its stance on the Confederate flag after the horrific shooting/hate crime in Charleston, South Carolina last week, TouchArcade reports that Apple has arbitrarily started removing any games from the App Store that feature the flag. Amazon and Walmart have stopped selling any products featuring the Confederate flag, but Apple is removing all games from the App Store featuring a Confederate flag, regardless of context. Apple's explanation for one of these history-oriented war games? "It includes images of the Confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways."
The problem here is that Apple's removal of all games featuring the Confederate flag includes a lot of historical games where the flag was simply used as a way of depicting the South during the Civil War in a non-offensive context. Mind you, plenty of games still feature the Nazi flag in order to portray their regime in a historical manner. HexWar Games, known for their iOS and history-based strategy games, had this to say: "We're in no way sympathetic to the use of the flag in an offensive way, we used it purely because historically that was the flag that was used at the time."
As of the publication of this article, there are no Civil War-era games to be found on the App Store.