App Store Pulling Games That Include the Confederate Flag - UPDATE

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App Store Pulling Games That Include the Confederate Flag - UPDATE

civilwargame

Developers are reporting the removal of historic games that include the Confederate flag.

Update: Andrew Mulholland of HexWar Games confirmed via email that he was contacted by an Apple representative today. "They put Civil War: 1863 back on the store and we're making a few tweaks to the app icons for the other games," Mulholland said. He was told that Apple did not want the Confederate flag displayed in any app icons or prominently depicted in any screenshots.

Ultimate General: Gettysburg has also been reinstated, Game Labs confirmed via Facebook. "Ultimate General is back. Unchanged. After several late night phone calls with Apple yesterday and today the game has returned to Appstore the way it was... in 1863."

In a second post, Game Labs thanked fans for their support. "We would like to thank everyone who helped us over the last day by liking, sharing and commenting and spreading the news about the importance of keeping history the way it was. We are very humbled and overwhelmed by your support and are happy to be serving you. It is purely your accomplishment and we are grateful you helped us bring our game back."

Original Story: Following the racially motivated shooting in Charleston, SC that left nine churchgoers dead, Apple has made the decision to remove all games featuring the Confederate Flag from their App Store. With this move, Apple has joined the ranks of Walmart, Amazon, Sears, and Ebay, who have all stated that they will no longer sell merchandise that includes the Confederate flag.

According to Andrew Mulholland of HexWar, the majority of their Civil War games, including Civil War: 1862, Civil War: 1863, Civil War: 1864 and Civil War: Gettysburg were pulled with no warning due to the inclusion of the Confederate flag. "It seems disappointing that they would remove it as they weren't being used in an offensive way, being that they were historical war games and hence it was the flag used at the time," Andrew told me in an email this morning. "At the moment we're reworking the games to replace the flags that are deemed offensive. We're going to use the Confederate flag from 1861 and 1862 as the one that's considered offensive wasn't introduced until late 1862."

The message Andrew received from Apple read "We are writing to notify you that your app has been removed from the App Store because it includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways."

Andrew stressed "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."

Another title that was removed was Ultimate General: Gettysburg. The developers released a full statement addressing Apple's decision to remove the game:

"As you may have been already informed (Read Facebook link), Apple has removed our game from AppStore because of usage of the Confederate Flag. Ultimate General: Gettysburg could be accepted back if the flag is removed from the game's content.

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."

It does not appear that context is being taken into account when determining whether or not to pull a game. Requests for comment from Apple have gone unanswered as of the time of this publishing.

We will keep you updated on any and all new developments.

Permalink

Methinks Historical games should be left alone in this case. Lest we start acting like Germany with the Nazi Flag in video games.

Someone bring me up to speed here, whats all this moral outrage about flags now?

And why is it still not directed at the lack of gun control?

AzrealMaximillion:
Methinks Historical games should be left alone in this case. Lest we start acting like Germany with the Nazi Flag in video games.

Thats the Swastika youre thinking about.

AzrealMaximillion:
Methinks Historical games should be left alone in this case. Lest we start acting like Germany with the Nazi Flag in video games.

I have to agree, though that would make it mostly a moot point since that's practically all the games which have confederate flags.

Though why there is a sudden crusade against the confederate flag (which, in reality, isn't actually the confederate flag) given how the things it supposedly represents which are wrong and evil one where the same things which where perpetuated and defended by those fighting under the American flag (had America lost the revolutionary war, most and possibly all the slaves would have been emancipated right there and then due to the British using that a means to try and create a slave revolt).

Okay, now this is starting to get a tad ridiculous.

It would be one thing to not accept new apps that use the Confederate flag, but this is borderline censorship, especially if the examples are used in a historical context.

Racism is bad, but these knee-jerk reactions need to stop.

gigastar:
Someone bring me up to speed here, whats all this moral outrage about flags now?

And why is it still not directed at the lack of gun control?

It's because the guy who was part of the latest mass shooting (which, in terms of innocent loose of African American lives, has been dwarfed by inner city shooting deaths since it occurred) was a white supremacist who flew the Confederate, Union of South Africa and Rhodesian flag (of note: people who support all three flags for their nostalgic or nationalistic symbolism where not amused by the association) so suddenly the flags are evil and stuff, so they need to be removed.

They've always been off the shelves, just as we've always been at war with Eurasia.

As a business, Apple has the right to remove any offensive materials they deem as such from their store. However the games they should consider the contexts of how the Confederate Flag is being used, like for example as someone else here stated, there's nothing offensive about using the Confederate Flag for historical context.

They have the right to do it and I do think that confederate flag lovers are all racists, but the context is of the utmost importance. We shouldn't just suspend critical thinking and act like zombies because something is offensive in certain scenarios.

This is over the line.

I think we need to take the confed's flags down from federal/government building and burn them...BUT!

Having one in a HISTORICALLY BASED GAME is a completely different story.

People should be allowed, as free citizen, to fly whatever flag they want.
Nazi, Rainbow, Confederate, Christian Flag, etc.

It's when they're flown on PUBLIC property that piss me off.

*Sigh*

Books, movies, comics, games, music, art, etc, what-have-you, are Not Evil!

People, and only people are.

My God this is stupid. There have been far more atrocities committed under the American flag and yet no one says anything about it. A flag did not cause that shooting, mental instability is the culprit here, not some piece of cloth.

This is reactionary, I'm sure they'll allow the apps back up once they calm down and can once again see reason. It's a result of corporations being terrified of the P.C. Police who seem to be getting more attention than they deserve.

I have faith that this will blow over.

Zontar:

gigastar:
Someone bring me up to speed here, whats all this moral outrage about flags now?

And why is it still not directed at the lack of gun control?

It's because the guy who was part of the latest mass shooting (which, in terms of innocent loose of African American lives, has been dwarfed by inner city shooting deaths since it occurred) was a white supremacist who flew the Confederate, Union of South Africa and Rhodesian flag (of note: people who support all three flags for their nostalgic or nationalistic symbolism where not amused by the association) so suddenly the flags are evil and stuff, so they need to be removed.

They've always been off the shelves, just as we've always been at war with Eurasia.

...im still missing a connection here.

This isnt the first and most certainly isnt the most serious shooting incident in the US in the last decade. Nor will it be the last.

Why go after something so trivial?

Why are they still not adressing the core problems?

A daily reminder that apple sucks. I understand it's a controversial topic right now but it's a civil war game of course is going to have the Confederate flag.

but At least now this means Apple will have more quality control right

gigastar:

Why go after something so trivial?

Why are they still not adressing the core problems?

Because people want to feel like they've accomplished something without lifting a finger to accomplish anything.

Zontar:

gigastar:

Why go after something so trivial?

Why are they still not adressing the core problems?

Because people want to feel like they've accomplished something without lifting a finger to accomplish anything.

Ah yes, because that always works out in the end.

Does this mean Dukes of Hazard is now contraband?

Because.....pffffffffffffffffffffffft, hah!

OManoghue:
This is reactionary, I'm sure they'll allow the apps back up once they calm down and can once again see reason. It's a result of corporations being terrified of the P.C. Police who seem to be getting more attention than they deserve.

I have faith that this will blow over.

The confederate flag represents people who want to own slaves. If hating anything to do with that flag, makes me the P.C police, then give me a P.C.P.D (Political Correctness Police Department) badge, gun, and squad car.

Elijin:
Does this mean Dukes of Hazard is now contraband?

Because.....pffffffffffffffffffffffft, hah!

Actually, Warner Brothers has announced they will no longer sell Dukes of Hazzard material.

I see, this is now America's version of the Nazi flag. If the context is historical it shouldn't be an issue. I love how everyone freaks out about this stuff. Pathetic really. Yes, it's used as a symbol of hate by groups of morons, so the other groups of morons now need to strike it down and pretend like it never happened. Maybe we can all forget about it, is that it? Maybe it never happened if we just pretend it didn't happen?

Ultimately, it doesn't matter of course. This will blow over next time Kim Kardashian gets married or someone out of CERN says something new and interesting. But it's hot news now... notice how the only time you hear about the shooting is when there is a news story about the flag. Sad in itself, another tragedy cooped by people with an agenda.

Holy shit....
Is the USA trying to become like Germany where the Swastika is banned from fictional media? This stuff is scary, how can you NOT have the confederate flag in a civil war game?! This is what happens when outrage culture runs amoke. So much for video games being treated as an art form like movies or books. You don't see netflix banning the dukes of hazard for gods sake.

Evil Smurf:

OManoghue:
This is reactionary, I'm sure they'll allow the apps back up once they calm down and can once again see reason. It's a result of corporations being terrified of the P.C. Police who seem to be getting more attention than they deserve.

I have faith that this will blow over.

The confederate flag represents people who want to own slaves. If hating anything to do with that flag, makes me the P.C police, then give me a P.C.P.D (Political Correctness Police Department) badge, gun, and squad car.

Alright I am going to jump into this because comments like this baffle me. Where did OManoghue indicate at all that he liked or supports the confederate flag? How in any way does your comment relate to anything he just said? Did you get triggered by the term P.C. Police?

gigastar:

Zontar:

gigastar:
Someone bring me up to speed here, whats all this moral outrage about flags now?

And why is it still not directed at the lack of gun control?

It's because the guy who was part of the latest mass shooting (which, in terms of innocent loose of African American lives, has been dwarfed by inner city shooting deaths since it occurred) was a white supremacist who flew the Confederate, Union of South Africa and Rhodesian flag (of note: people who support all three flags for their nostalgic or nationalistic symbolism where not amused by the association) so suddenly the flags are evil and stuff, so they need to be removed.

They've always been off the shelves, just as we've always been at war with Eurasia.

...im still missing a connection here.

This isnt the first and most certainly isnt the most serious shooting incident in the US in the last decade. Nor will it be the last.

Why go after something so trivial?

Why are they still not adressing the core problems?

Ah the core problems. You mean the issue where a mentally disturbed person decided to take out whatever pent up rage he has on a group of innocent people. Yeah, we do have a real mental health problem in this country, we should at least try to get people help. :p

Blazing Hero:
You don't see netflix banning the dukes of hazard for gods sake.

No, but I wouldn't be remotely surprised if Warner Bros pulls the broadcast rights to that show at some point over the next few days. They've already pulled some of the related merchandise.

Perhaps they'll digitally 'remaster' the show, with the General Lee's roof repainted.

/not kidding, though I wish I was.

Every single person who advocates for the banning of the Confederate flag loses all moral high ground against Germany when it comes to banning nazi symbolism.

I want everyone who jumps to calling for things like burning the flag to carefully consider that. Banning historic symbolism is not something you just do because you feel like it. The swastika in Germany is tied to multiple (attempted) genocides. The sense of scale between the Confederate flag being potentially vaguely connected to racial violence and the SS skull being used in eradicating entire demographics is very very off.

And don't kid yourself, this does include art. The only place you'll be allowed to see the Confederate flag, if your witch hunt succeeds, is in educational material. Governmentally approved educational material. Especially art will not be protected, at least not in the long run. Because art doesn't critically look at it, because art doesn't advocate against it. That's the distinction you have imposed on Germany. It's the same distinction you will have to use if you ban the flag as a racist symbol.

You have a precedent to look at. It's a precedent that is almost universally thought of as "going too far" but you will have to "go too far", too. Because you only get this simple choice: A full ban of the flag in anything that might make someone a racially-motivated killer, or no ban at all.

Do not make the same mistakes again.

Archon:

Elijin:
Does this mean Dukes of Hazard is now contraband?

Because.....pffffffffffffffffffffffft, hah!

Actually, Warner Brothers has announced they will no longer sell Dukes of Hazzard material.

Oh, right in my childhood!

Sixcess:

Blazing Hero:
You don't see netflix banning the dukes of hazard for gods sake.

No, but I wouldn't be remotely surprised if Warner Bros pulls the broadcast rights to that show at some point over the next few days. They've already pulled some of the related merchandise.

Perhaps they'll digitally 'remaster' the show, with the General Lee's roof repainted.

/not kidding, though I wish I was.

...Just damn... It almost physically hurts how pathetic society has become. Time to have a drink.

Wow. This escalated damn quick. After decades and decades of hemming and hawing over the issue of the rebel flag, we not only

AzrealMaximillion:
The message Andrew received from Apple read "We are writing to notify you that your app has been removed from the App Store because it includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways."

This part, to me, is where it goes from "oh, Apple" *rolls eyes* to straight-up infuriating. It's one thing to enact a blanket ban on something instead of analyzing it on a case-by-case basis. It's another to do so while still pretending that, no, we are paying attention to intent, really, which this statement would suggest. But when you get into the realm of accusing people, to their face, of something they clearly haven't done... fuck you, Apple. There are so-called "SJW"s on Tumblr who aren't this quick to pass judgment on people.

gigastar:
...im still missing a connection here.

This isnt the first and most certainly isnt the most serious shooting incident in the US in the last decade. Nor will it be the last.

Why go after something so trivial?

Why are they still not adressing the core problems?

Well the shooting happened in South Carolina which proudly had the battle standard flying at some state buildings, a decision which was made recently. Considering the shooter actively wanted to start a race war and was using the standard as a symbol for it the notion that the state permitting and encouraging it's use in modern times was seen as advocating the attack and encouraging divisive attitudes.

As for me, it's their right to do so but if a game is up there under historical context (aka themed or set around the American civil war) then removing it is a knee jerk action and poorly executed. I say in historical context because I can imagine at least some titles up there having the standard just because.

Blazing Hero:

Evil Smurf:

OManoghue:
This is reactionary, I'm sure they'll allow the apps back up once they calm down and can once again see reason. It's a result of corporations being terrified of the P.C. Police who seem to be getting more attention than they deserve.

I have faith that this will blow over.

The confederate flag represents people who want to own slaves. If hating anything to do with that flag, makes me the P.C police, then give me a P.C.P.D (Political Correctness Police Department) badge, gun, and squad car.

Alright I am going to jump into this because comments like this baffle me. Where did OManoghue indicate at all that he liked or supports the confederate flag? How in any way does your comment relate to anything he just said? Did you get triggered by the term P.C. Police?

He didn't indicate that at all. But set up a soapbox and someone will get up on it. "It's PC, but it's Ok in this one situation because I don't like it". It also presents an opportunity for someone to grossly over simplify the second bloodiest conflict in American history.

What bullshit. The fact that this is only happening after the shooting makes them seem shamefully insincere, how can they not see that?

Aaand Apple takes a good thing too far. Always gotta be someone.

FEichinger:
Every single person who advocates for the banning of the Confederate flag loses all moral high ground against Germany when it comes to banning nazi symbolism.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold your horses, here. Private companies deciding what symbols they, themselves want to sell is in no way comparable to government mandated censorship. Nor is government entities deciding what symbols they want to display on government property comparable to government mandated censorship of private citizens.

Nobody is making it illegal to make and display your very own confederate flag.

FEichinger:
...the Confederate flag being potentially vaguely connected to racial violence...

There's nothing "potential" or "vague" about it. It was created in an effort to "make the world safe for slavery" and later popularized by the KKK in a terrorist campaign, associated today with real acts of violence still occurring.

Oh boy. This is just a statement really. It wont be forever. No doubt the controversy and comments will gladly believe otherwise for drama.
I do wonder if there will be a game in the far future that makes fun of killing racist americans in america in a fantasy twist, but use the confederate flag for satirical icing...Which america will edit out through shame. Oh i do wonder...

People are talking this and the Confederate flag controversy going around but no it isn't really about that. apple just saw the Confederate flag was starting a controversy again but not understanding or didn't Bother to find out the context just removed it from stores to not start controversy on there stores.

Apple has said in the past that game should not be political and if you want to be political write a book. this May spiral into something worse but most likely it won't, it's just Apple being Apple.

Blazing Hero:
Holy shit....
Is the USA trying to become like Germany where the Swastika is banned from fictional media?

Better yet, is USA convinced that Confederate flag is anywhere near Swastika and its historical baggage? Banning former rather than the latter seems to suggest at least that. Is this another time when American idea of "history", with some seriously skewed hierarchy, warrants "lol, Murica" comment?

Hell, Germans are nowhere near united around "ban Swastika everywhere" and now THIS? If "it's okay, those symbols are associated with racists" is suddenly considered an argument, Apple should also ban various US flags starting with 13 colonies from historical games - as they are representing a system that was inherently racist in its times, perefectly comparable with what was later considered South. Reproductions of Declaration of Independence should probably be banned for related hypocrisy as a bonus.

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