Apple removes all American Civil War games from the App Store because of the Confederate flag?

“If you’ve been watching the news recently, you’ll know of the huge debate in the U.S over the role of the Confederate flag in contemporary America,” Tasos Lazarides reports for TouchArcade. “Many see it as a reminder of the many pre-Civil War injustices while others see it simply as a way to honor the soldiers who died for the Confederacy.”

“Many large US companies, like Walmart and Amazon, have already banned the sale of any Confederate flag merchandise as a reaction to the recent events,” Lazarides reports. “Now, it appears that Apple has decided to join them by pulling many Civil War wargames from the App Store.”

“Apple’s Tim Cook has recently spoke against displaying the Confederate flag, so I suppose this development was to be expected. However, censoring historical games (if that is indeed the reason why the game’s have been pulled) is always very tricky because those games don’t glorify or promote a cause but, rather, represent historical events using the symbols and insignia of the period,” Lazarides reports. “It’s looking like Apple has pulled everything from the App Store that features a Confederate flag, regardless of context. The reasoning Apple is sending developers is ‘…because it includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If true, this is reactionary stupidity; political correctness run amuck. If anything can kill Apple, it’d be this sort of unthinking knee-jerk censorship.

However, we do question whether Apple is removing all confederate flags since a quick check of the App Store shows “Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery”, a game by the Smithsonian Institution whose icon even features the Confederate Flag is still available as we write this.

Also, in what might highlight Apple’s hypocritical stance if these games are actually being pulled over depiction of a flag, every single season of The Dukes of Hazzard TV show, plus the 2005 feature film, The Dukes of Hazzard which collectively feature thousands of shots of “The General Lee,” a 1969 orange Dodge Charger with a 6-foot x 6-foot confederate flag painted on its roof remain available in iTunes Store:

The Dukes of Hazzard's "General Lee" Dodge Charger's roof
The Dukes of Hazzard’s “General Lee” Dodge Charger’s roof

We agree wholeheartedly with the statement give to TouchArcade by Maxim Zasov of Game Labs, the developers of Ultimate General: Gettysburg:

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.

We suggest concerned Apple customers correspond directly with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook:

UPDATE: 3:35pm EDT: Apple’s official statement: We have removed apps from the App Store that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines. We are not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses.


      1. Seriously thinking about it – but will they be any different? The Marxist era has begun and it will be worldwide. And since Islam is a form of Marxism, it will be the only acceptable religion left after the Red Wave is completed.

      2. You’ve got Tim Cook’s backing if you fly the rainbow flag. If Obama wasn’t married the two of them would probably be a real item; two peas in a liberal pod.

    1. Liberals like Tim Cook have a love-hate relationship with the concept of free speech. They love it when it works on their behalf, but they hate it when it applies to people who disagree with them.

      To a liberal, free speech means the freedom to say what they want you to say and nothing else. Agree with a liberal and you will enjoy unimpeded free speech. Disagree with a liberal and you will wonder what ever happened to free speech. Because of the broad-based expectation of free speech by American society, liberals have had to come up with another way to suppress speech that runs counter to their nefarious agenda. That tactic is “political correctness,” a concept that is indeed political but hardly correct.

      Political correctness prescribes from the perspective of liberals what is appropriate to say in public conversation and what is not. In this way liberals are able to control conversation, debate, and discussion in the public square. By applying the one-sided tenets of political correctness, the left essentially controls verbal discourse in America.

      I have always believed that people who are comfortable with their views should welcome discussion and debate. If they truly believe what they profess to believe people of any political persuasion should be able to defend their views. Further, they should welcome opportunities to do so. This is not the case with liberals. Their idea is to foist their views on American society while allowing neither debate nor dissention. State publically a point of view that runs counter to liberal orthodoxy and you will immediately be descended on by the god’s of political correctness.

      — David L. Goetsch, “Politically Correct Liberals Are Intellectual Cowards,” June 4, 2014

      Read more here.

        1. That is really untrue. Conservatives may call Liberals “idiots”, but they rarely attempt to quash the expression of Liberal ideas. It is almost impossible to speak on a college campus to express conservative positions in 2015. It’s disgraceful.

          1. Bull. In addition to attempting to squash/suppress, conservatives regularly engage in twisting and misrepresenting “liberal” ideas. sccaldwell is right. Both sides are guilty.

            Right now, money seems to be the least encumbered form of “free speech.”

            1. I don’t say it never happens. But prevarication is leftist political plank. Not all Liberals or Democrats are Leftists, but all Leftists are Democrats. I have lots of liberal acquaintances , and some friends, and it never ceases to amaze what they believe without lifting a finger to research an issue or a claim. There is a perverse joy in believing easily refuted claims as long as makes a Conservative or Republican look bad– or even better, evil.

            1. Why is the Angry Left so angry?

              “Progressives” convince themselves that everything they’re doing is for the greater good, which supersedes the rights of any individual. It’s a case of “the humanitarian with the guillotine“: we’re doing this for the overall good of humanity, so it’s OK to start killing people. Or to be really, really mean to them in the comments field.

              There’s the fact that advocacy of big government is by its very nature a quest for power and control, for the ability to use force against others—a cause that naturally attracts the bitter and intolerant.

              There’s the fact that those of us on the right are accustomed to encountering a lot of ideological opposition. For most of our lives, the left has controlled the high ground of the culture, such as it is: the mainstream media, Hollywood, the universities, the arts. So we’re not used to crawling into a “safe space” and hiding from ideas we disagree with, which makes it easier for us to regard ideological opposition with a degree of equanimity.

              But beneath all of these factors, there is something deeper, something more elemental. Something metaphysical… It’s all about immanentizing the eschaton.

              For the secular leftist, the end state is social and necessarily political. It is all about getting everybody else on board and herding them into his imagined utopia. There are so many “problematic” aspects of life that need to be reengineered, so many vast social systems that need to be overthrown and replaced. But the rest of us are all screwing it up, all the time, through our greed, our denial, our apathy, our refusal to listen to him banging on about his tired socialist ideology.

              For the Christian, the ideal end state is safely in the next world and therefore is never in doubt. For the individualist, it’s in his own life, and it’s mostly under his direct control. For the leftist, however, it is all outside his control. It requires other people, a lot of other people, and those SOBs usually refuse to cooperate. Talk about rage-inducing.

              If the whole focus of your life is on getting everybody else to agree with you on every detail of your politics and adopt your plans for a perfect society, then you’re setting yourself up to be at war with most of the human race most of the time.

              Which means an awful lot for the Angry Left to get angry about. — Robert Tracinski

              Read more: Why is the Angry Left so angry?

        2. Liberals apply the “haters” word to conservatives, but it is in fact that liberals overall are haters of conservatives, and as expressed above, everything possible to squash the free discussion of ideas is used.

          I am very conservative. I do lots of volunteer work with generational poverty, providing food and clothing, with NO donations from the government. My volunteer co-workers are all conservative except one who is semi-liberal. Almost all donations are from conservatives, very little from the liberal side. Yet the liberal side, including a relative (nephew) lambasts me and my work as “haters”.

          Go figure!

      1. Would that be like the ‘Free Speech Zones’ where protesters were caged at the Republican Convention back when Dubya was in charge?

        The Confederacy was an illegal insurrection in defense of the ownership, abuse and immoral incarceration of human beings. What part of that do you not understand?

        There is nothing of the Confederacy to be honored or remembered. A Confederate soldier was a terrorist- no different than any other attacking the legitimate government of the United States.

        1. You sir, don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about. You don’t take into account the factories and coal mine owners in the north that let workers be “free” while putting them in conditions and under such fear control that did not allow them to move. Debt from the company stores kept them from moving and working else where. Similar to the child working atrocities of some sections of England in the 1800’s. Hypocrisy here. The northern Yankees political structure were the ones that brought about much Indian slaughter, sending them to reservations and swindling some from their land.

          Fact be told, cultures change, people change. YOU sir, are not a part of the Yankee Political structure that did that to Indians, but if you insist of criticizing one culture, be an adult and take responsibility for the other political regime.

          People change, culture changes. I was not there in the 1800’s, neither were you. This is a part of the “growing and maturing” process and it applies to every generation to deal with it. You don’t get there by condemning whole generations or cultures and offending them in mass. Maturity doesn’t do that.

        2. I agree, DavGreg, except the detail of “a Confederate soldier was a terrorist”. Probably many were. But many were probably just poor saps, hauled off their farms and jobs to fight under pain of severe social consequences. I’d guess many weren’t brave; they didn’t want to be shot for desertion. Others were brave, but they were being brave for a vile cause.

          Certainly, the leaders of the Confederacy were thoroughly un-American, traitors fighting to preserve an economy absolutely dependent on the torture, kidnapping, raping, killing and selling of human beings.

          The North should have crushed them far more thoroughly. The vile bigotry was able to regain far too much power… the consequences of which were ongoing mass terrorism and far too often horrible killings that ISIS could learn a lot from.

          No – there is no proud tradition to remember in the Confederate flag. It’s no better than the swastika. The individual bravery of some of the soldiers who fought under it does not change the vileness of what they were fighting for.

        3. It’s really cute that you think the US Civil war was fought over only slavery.
          A product of the dumbed down educational system.
          Try doing some research about the economic conditions and constraints placed on the South at the time.

          1. The economics of the south was based upon slavery. The argument you posit is a ruse to deflect the awful truth.

            I have lived in Texas, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia and Florida for school, military service or work. There is a plantation house in Union County South Carolina where my family lived and owned slaves. My Great Grandfather fought for the Confederacy and was a slaveholder.

            I think I have a pretty good handle on the truth of the matter.

      2. @ First [whatever]: There’s plenty of partisan reading for everyone. Why don’t you try something from bi-partisan authors for a change:
        From “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks” (Thomas Mann (Brookings Institution) & Norm Ornstein (American Enterprise Institute) (2012)):
        While both parties participate in tribal warfare, both sides are not equally culpable. The political system faces “asymmetric polarization,” with the Republican Party implacably refusing to allow anything that might help the Democrats politically, no matter the cost.
        “Acrimony and hyperpartisanship have seeped into every part of the political process. Congress is deadlocked and its approval ratings are at record lows. America’s two main political parties have given up their traditions of compromise, endangering our very system of constitutional democracy. And one of these parties has taken on the role of insurgent outlier; the Republicans have become ideologically extreme, scornful of compromise, and ardently opposed to the established social and economic policy regime.”

  1. This seems like one of those decisions made by a middle manager who didn’t think through the publicity ramifications of their decision, and didn’t run it up the pole far enough first. Now, it’s a debacle because you can’t just reinstate the games to stop the conversation- it’s now part of the narrative.

    1. I agree, ricochet. I anticipate a rapid modification of this action by Apple.

      I believe that there has been an overreaction. Editing history and historically-based products is not a good move. Censorship is a tool that must be handled with great care.

  2. I have a feeling that this is one of those temporary moves that is meant to placate those whose sensitivities have been triggered by recent events. I have no reason to believe that this is permanent. I won’t be surprised if they put the apps back in a few weeks; after all, the attention span of a modern consumer is rarely longer than few days.

    If that is the case, Apple probably did a prudent thing, avoiding to be called out for some insensitivity.

    1. I’m sorry, but this is inexcusable. A thoughtful national debate is what’s called for, not rug-sweeping. Firehosing the game room is little different from trashing a museum. A chickenbleep move.

  3. I can’t imagine Apple pulling historical games for a flag. There are plenty of examples of WWII games with Nazi flags. So I think either this is either bad reporting and said games, if in deed removed, were for other reasons, or there’s some misunderstanding. Someone from either side needs to make a quick phone call/email to rectify the situation.

    1. I think the difference there is that Nazi flags were, officially or otherwise, banned for decades, and lost most of its symbolic power by the time video games came around. I believe video games sold in Germany have to be in a version that omits or replaces Nazi symbols and flags.

      1. So Germany is/has been in the same position as we are now facing/avoiding for 150 years. However our government is not outlawing Confederate symbolism, it’s the citizens and corporations expressing self censorship. Isn’t that the way it supposed to be? How can we complain about that? I know it’s frustrating, but it could be so much worse. I for one, admired the Dukes of Hazard – General Lee, Charger. I had one as a toy. I liked the “boys” and enjoyed every chase and race, jump and crash, hating the gluttonous Mayor and idiot Rosco P Coltrane.

        Anyway, the Confederate flag had no meaning to me, other than it looked good. It’s use to symbolize hate, has ruined it for me. I am more upset about that than being taken down.

        1. A very small minority are impacting your so-called ‘self-censorship’ – your statement is not even close to reality.

          There’s something you like/love that they will come for some day, but because you don’t truly care about freedom of expression when they do come for it there will be no one to listen to your frustrations, either.

          1. Why is it “My” self censor ship? I don’t care about freedom of expression? They come for it? The act of self censorship is freedom of expression. The fact, the U.S. Government is not involved, is a good thing, like wise, counting 150 years and going, is testament to this. No one or specifically “They” are going after anything. No one is coming into people’s homes removing personal belongings and burning them in the streets. I think my reality is pretty spot on. This will blow over. It’s and “over reaction” and will soon sort itself out.

  4. I am a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and to many Native Americans the sight of the American flag has unpleasant genocidal “Trail Of Tears” and U.S. government agreements betrayal connotations as well, so can we please remove that flag while we’re at it?

    Maybe the Union Jack should go too as many nations of the world take umbrage and suffer pain at the memory of British Empire mischief.

    Where this goes is unmanageable.

    1. I’d like the Union Jack to go anyway. The cross of St. George was imposed onto England by a conquering nobility, the same people who foisted a “Royal Standard” on us that combined the lions of their native Normandy with a rather pretentious inclusion of the French Fleurs-de-Lys (they styled themselves Kings of France too).

      England should be represented by a White Dragon on red background. Intertwined that on the flag with the Red Dragon of Wales and the Lion Rampant of Scotland. There’s your Great Britain, not your “cross of this and cross of that”.

    1. Political correctness IS a disease. It’s an illness fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end!

      NB. Not my definition. I wouldn’t have been so PC.

  5. Changing the habits in the outside won’t change what’s inside of heads… Alas: that would just be too simple and easy (and peace on earth would already be everywhere).
    A flag is just a peace of tissue, the problem is that damn identification problem. Some people really don’t have any clue of what “relativity of point of view” means…

    1. almux, you just spawned a wonderful moneymaker idea! rolls of confederate battle flag charmin!!!! will sell like hotcakes to both sides of the argument. it is hard not to make fun of people being reactionary. the comments on this thread show most of the readers hear are better grounded than those who see political correctness as a cause rather than an affliction.

      we live in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA dammit! the greatest country on earth. the reason it is the greatest is we are the nation that bathes in freedom. part of the cost of freedom is it is OK to not having everyone agree on everything. political correctness is fine as a definition of behavior, but when it becomes a restriction on freedom, we have lost much of what it means to be the USA. to be truly free it means you are not afraid to lawfully express your freedom. if you are afraid, then you are not free.

      the colonials were not afraid. they bet their lives on it. almost 1/2 million southern soldiers lost their lives, not for slavery, but for their community’s right to be free within the union. race freaks, just like gun control freaks, twist the demonic behavior of a small number of deranged individuals as license to control the masses. some people have a addiction of highjacking a tragedy for ideological purposes. one famous person who did that was named adolph, i think in the 1930’s.

      which is worse a racist or a hypocrite?

  6. This is censorship as described by MDN. This won’t do one blessed thing to stop racism and shows Apple to be little more than grandstanding the way our inept state and federal houses of representation do every day.

    I appreciate murder and oppression in any place is reprehensible, but Apple hasn’t taken any stance on ISIS and Muslim Jihad that is the source of the Boston Bombings and the Oppression of millions of Muslim and Christian people in Syria and Iraq.

    All the children killed in Sandy Hook, didn’t get any sniper games pulled nor did Apple take any stance on gun reform.

    Sorry Apple, picking and choosing “targets” isn’t an option.

  7. what next?

    no more stephen foster songs allowed pretty soon?

    lets not forget that upon the announcement of the surrender of general lee and the celebrations that followed abraham lincoln bid the band play “dixie” in the spirit of reconciliation.

    folks need to chill out. this political correctness foolishness is getting out of hand.

  8. Agree. Union Jack is part of Hawaiian State Flag. Should be removed. After all many of the slaves were transported on British ships. Brits brought Western diseases to the Hawaiian Islands back in the day.

  9. All this flap over the Confederate Flag is disturbing, and only serves to show how ignorant the people of this nation have become regarding its history. Not to be outdone, we now Apple, eBay, WalMart and others acting as if they’re the stewards of society. What a joke!

  10. Hopefully, if the games were pulled, it’s to give game makers the opportunity to remove the flag from its cover art. They game makers need that battle flag inside the game.

    Poor Billy Idol, no more Rebel Yell.

    The USA is going too far here.

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