Apple Pulls Civil War Games From App Store For Images Of Confederate Battle Flag Used In “Offensive” Ways

Joining retailers like Walmart and Amazon who pulled merchandise with images of the Confederate battle flag earlier this week and the country’s largest flagmaker, which has stopped selling the flag, Apple has reportedly yanked several Civil War games that include the rebel banner from its iTunes App Store.

CNN reports (warning: link contains video that autoplays) that the games started disappearing from the App Store early Thursday morning, with affected game developers getting a notice that their products were getting the boot.

The move comes after a 21-year-old man was accused last week of killing nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. He was seen in online posts brandishing the battle flag, which, while revered by some in the South, to many others is seen as a symbol of hatred.

It is not in dispute that the Confederate battle flag — which was never the official flag of the Confederacy, but a flag flown in battle by General Robert E. Lee — was involved in the Civil War.

But Apple wrote in an email to game creators that their stuff had been pulled for containing “images of the Confederate Flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways,” according to one of those affected, Andrew Mulholland of HexWar Games.

Apple wrote: “At this time, your app has been removed from the App Store. We encourage you to review your app concept and incorporate different content and features that are in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.”

The email cited Apple’s Store review guidelines in the email: “Apps containing references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm or violence will be rejected.”

Mulholland told site Pocketgamer that four of his company’s Civil War Games were taken from the App Store, with one other remaining up — Civil War: Bull Run 1861.

“It seems disappointing that they would remove it as they weren’t being used in an offensive way,” he told the site. “They were historical war games and hence it was the flag used at the time…. 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.”

He says HexWar will revise its games to replace those flags identified as offensive, and will use the official flag of the Confederacy used between 1861 and 1862, “as the one that’s considered offensive wasn’t introduced until late 1862.”

It could take a week to implement those changes, and possibly another two weeks before Apple reviews the revised games.

“Until Apple approves them, and hopefully they will, we are missing a significant part of our revenue from people who just want to play a historical strategy game,” he said.

Apple declined to comment to CNN.

Apple pulls Confederate flag-bearing Civil War games from App Store [CNN]
Apple pulls American Civil War games for displaying the Confederate flag in ‘offensive’ ways [Pocketgamer]