“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:
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: email@example.com.
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.