Apple backpedals on Confederate flag censorship

“A couple of days ago I commented on Apple’s ham-handed attempt at censoring the Confederate flag from the app store. The company had blithely removed all apps and games that had the Confederate flag from the app store,” Jim Lynch writes for CIO. “But now Apple is backpedaling furiously and has reinstated some games: as long as the Confederate flag doesn’t appear in the app icon or screenshots.”

“I can’t say that I’m surprised that Apple has decided to backpedal furiously on the issue of the Confederate flag. I’ve been reading comments in various places on the Internet and the overwhelming majority of people seemed disgusted with Apple’s heavy-handed censorship of the Confederate flag, particularly in games about the Civil War,” Lynch writes. “I have no doubt that Apple was probably inundated with angry feedback from their customers who felt that the company’s behavior was simply a bridge too far. And that has probably forced the company to step back and reconsider its decision to remove so many apps and games.”

“But where does this latest move leave us? Apparently Apple will allow the Confederate flag in historical games as long as it does not appear in the app icon or in screenshots. Am I the only one that thinks this is silly and insulting to Apple’s customers? What exactly is gained by trying to hide a part of history from an app icon or a screenshot?” Lynch writes. “This is a rather embarrassing situation for Apple. It started out wielding a massive ban-hammer and now it has been forced by public opinion to try to use a scalpel instead. But the end result just leaves the company with egg on its face and makes it look petty…”

Much more, including an example of a game’s changed icon, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple seems to feel the need to call for some changes, however silly and arbitrary they may be, in some rather laughable attempt to save face over their abrupt about-face. Stop digging, Apple. Just admit your reactionary, sanctimonious mistake, learn from it, and move on.

Why is Apple so embarrassed by Civil War games? – June 27, 2015
Apple purges Confederate flag, but Nazi swastika remains in App Store – June 26, 2015
Tim Cook has let his personal politics affect Apple; Board may have to rein him in – June 25, 2015
Apple removes all American Civil War games from the App Store because of the Confederate flag? – June 25, 2015


  1. Apple CEO Tim Cook is a Dem/Lib/Prog.

    Dem/Lib/Progs convince themselves that everything they’re doing is for the greater good, which supersedes the rights of any individual.

    “We’re doing this for the overall good of humanity, so it’s okay to ban things, to force people to buy things in order to pay for others’ health insurance, to later rename it a tax or ignore the actual language of the law in order to impose it, to ram it through congress with questionable measures, or to force good people to go against their religious beliefs to help celebrate things in which they do not believe, trample the U.S. Constitution by legislating from the bench, suppress dissent, target opposition political groups via the IRS, etc., etc., etc.”

    Apple CEO Tim Cook is all about getting everybody else on board and herding them into his imagined, rainbow flag-waving 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 gay marriage obsession or his newfound hatred of certain flags that he never said a peep about and even featured in his own company store for many years.

    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.Robert Tracinski

    How about focusing on Apple products and services, Tim? Make some watches for a change, get iCloud Photo Library working, stop torturing your loyal customers for a year with shitty Wi-Fi software, etc. In other words: Do your actual job. The one for which, in the words of Dem/Lib/Progs everywhere, you are obscenely overpaid.

    1. And that explains it perfectly. Now I can’t wait to hear all the personal attacks from the “tollerant” prog/lib/dems.
      It’s very entertaining. I almost feel sorry for them.
      Liberalism truly is a mental disorder but, I’m not sure it’s covered under Obamacare.

      1. Not sure what you mean. Liberalism is liberty, freedom. It is universal virtue supported even by conservatives.

        Why all of sudden this word is somehow ascribed to those who are left-wing?

        1. Seriously or Sarcasm? You are mistaking what passes for liberalism today for classical liberalism. What is called liberalism today is anything but.

          Classical liberalism most closely resembles libertarianism and some would say Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. Freedom, individualism, liberty are all important factors here. Small government. Personal responsibility. Equal opportunity.

          Meanwhile modern liberalism is modern collectivism. Socialism. The individual is swept aside for the collective. Freedom and liberty take a back see to equality, not equal opportunity but pure equality. The government is the solution to all problems.

          Classical liberalism decries centralized authority while modern liberalism creates it. Modern liberalism is typically the precursor to the police state, granting government more and more power until it is too late.

          1. Statism is sometimes used as a synonym for modern liberalism. Statism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


            In political science, statism is the belief that the state should control either economic or social policy, or both, to some degree. Statism is effectively the opposite of anarchism, and an individual who supports the existence of the state is a statist. Statism can take many forms from minarchism to totalitarianism.

            1. A better term for modern liberalism is Progressivism. It’s the Progressives who seek to force individuals to behave in ways that they perceive will benefit the herd, regardless of the rights of, or the cost to those individuals. I am Classical Liberal. I am socially tolerant and anti-big government, which naturally includes being against massive government regulation and spending. I would have said I was a Libertarian 20 years ago, but that label has been perverted as well.

            2. Zeke: thank you. Progressive, as used today is anything but truly progressive. It’s a term the left uses with such sanctimonious pride…mostly because they see themselves as advocating change. That’s questionable in itself, because the left doesn’t seem to want to change their hunger for harnessing the people with ever increasing statist pleasures (SS, income tax, medicare, ACA +)…except if one calls increasing the hunger a type of change. Rather, they seem unwilling, unable, un-something to acknowledge that there are changes that are good and some are not. Is there more hope in the change if it’s defined as “statist,” or increasing the govt’s largess? Where in the world has this question ever, and I mean ever, been answered with “yes”?

          2. When I was young there were Communist and Socialist parties involved in every election. They are mostly gone now. Where did those people go? Those people learned they couldn’t get the job done as splinter groups, so they quietly joined the Democrat Party, co-opting the term Liberalism. Like many I was liberal Democrat until they went off the rails. Now I am a liberal Republican. I was an early supporter of the Tea Party, but that party has been undermined by forces within and without. True classical Liberals, in my opinion, have a better chance of influencing our country by working from within the Republican Party than they do as Democrats.

            1. Call left-wing socialists — it fits their philosophy, it is accurate.

              It is really weird to use word such as “liberalism” to describe left-wing/socialists: it is just nonsensical, one has nothing to do with another. In a sense, they are opposing concept semantically.

            2. Modern liberalism is not collectivism.

              What happened in the Soviet Union and Red China had little to do with Marxian though other than the centralization of things. They were thinly disguised dictatorships.

              Likewise, todays’s US is barely a representative democracy. It is a corrupt oligarchy served by a class of professional weasels and hangers on who serve the oligarchs. It is also indirectly served by a nation of docile, uninformed wage slaves.

          3. TM, you do realize you are casting pearls before swine?

            The terminally homeskeweled follow beliefs- not facts. They bite on anything- factual or otherwise that reinforces their views and reject anything that challenges them. They also tend to be overly driven by fear of the other, the different and the new.

        2. Liberalism in today’s usage is basically government control & redistribution of wealth to more and more and more, even if it treads on the first amendment, etc, etc.

        1. Darwin, please, please, join the conversation, but try to add some substance next time. It’s hard to know who you call idiots and, outside of assumption, why. I’m going to guess, you are the community organizer type, where emotion is the power platform and it’s difficult to rationalize beliefs?

    2. The problem I have is that I’ll have to wait another few years for fanboys and others to see that Tim Cook is wrong for Apple.

      This is why a leader of a tech company needs to shut up and focus on his job, not politics. What we’re witnessing is an expression of self-importance by Cook. Did he speak lut about this stuff before he was CEO?

      Right. He thinks he’s more important than he is. It’s reactionary short-sighted bullshit and any customer or investor of Apple should be seriously questioning this guy’s leadership and fast.

    3. I fully agree. It seems like whether in the political or private sector whenever anything disturbing happens those in authority think that something must be done NOW, right freakin’ now. And the ignorant public appears to be happy as long as there is a reaction, no matter what the outcome.No one seems to be able to have the patience and wisdom to analyze events and act rationally.

      1. It seems…

        Totally agree. These are complex issues that don’t get solved overnight. It takes time, patience and a whole lot of people and institutions to for change to happen.

    4. GOD BLESS Fist 2014 for knowing what’s best for the country and Apple! I’ll never understand why Tim and the prog/lib/dems can’t tolerate our intolerance? Just because it’s the will of the majority of the people, doesn’t mean we are wrong!
      Keep fighting that good fight, Fist, and GOD BLESSS YOU!

    5. Native Americans consider the stars and stripes symbolic of U.S. government attempts of genocide, forced relocation, and segregation. Will Tim Cook ban the stars and stripes, too? It seems only fair, logical, and right. Do it, Tim!

    6. Yo Sparky,
      I will post this again as you either cannot read or mentally bock anything that contradicts your worldview.

      All Democrats are not progressive or liberal.
      All Liberals are not Democrats or progressive.
      All Progressives are not Democrats or liberal. Theodore Roosevelt- a Republican President- was a progressive, for instance.

      Next, we who are Progressive and Liberal can speak for ourselves and are more than damn tired of Republicans trying to define us by their terms and their warped and inaccurate worldview.

      We do not put words in the mouths of the Insane Clown Posse- DBA the Republican Party.

      You want to advocate for your ideas- fine. Do not try to put words in our mouths or false accusations about our purpose and intent.

      Hope you enjoy your moment join the sun via gerrymandering, vote theft, vote suppression and voting machine rigging. Demographics and the truth are not on your side.

      As to Marriage Equality:
      Gay and Lesbian couples that seek to marry as consenting adults have every much a right to marriage and deserve protection from those who might choose to discriminate against them because of it as do heterosexuals. Any civll libertarian of whatever party would agree to that concept and right. It is also the responsibility of the central government to be the guarantor of those rights before the law- especially in the face of those who would seek to discriminate based upon their faith in some random sky god.

      As to Apple and Marriage Equality:
      Apple has a definite interest in their ability to attract and retain quality people- including GLBT persons. Backward laws designed to repress individuals due to private faiths and philosophies would and do hinder Apple’s needs regarding the hiring, assignment and retention of staff.

      Further, inclusion and tolerance has ben a hallmark of Apple long before public opinion shifted. Ron Wayne- there at the creation- is a gay man. Maybe that upsets your view, but the facts are the facts.

      Get over it and speak for yourself. Progressives, Liberals and Democrats can speak for themselves.

  2. I don’t think this is back-peddling. I think this is how it was planned all along. After all, it’s the developers responsibility to ensure that they are offering value to the App Store, and Apple’s responsibility to manage that. A mass culling, and then case-by-case reinstatement is a great way to handle it, because it puts the onus on the developers to take the appropriate steps for reinstatement.

    I think this mass culling policy should apply to all apps that aren’t updated on a regular basis, such as at least once a year. Keep the app selection clean and current. No riff-raff just there to make a quick buck, as so many low-quality apps are.

    1. Agreed. This seems to be the way Apple usually works. They act quickly on something when they need to, then when they have time they make a more nuanced response. I like that Apple takes this reasoned approach to volatile issues like this.

      1. Apple beats a hasty retreat after making its sanctimonious corporate anouncement. This begs the question how these racially abhorrent softwares passed Apple’s PC selection criteria. All of this seems to be Tim Cook’s vapid attempt to hop on the band wagon of leftist hysteria and race baiting, followed by an embarrassed effort to appear rational and objective.

  3. MDN’s take : “learn from it”

    My thoughts even before I read it. For all the “haters” out there, where do we stop. There are those Americans that hate the US Flag for one reason or another. There are those of us that will hate any replacement.

    There is no end to censorship in when it begins with knee jerk reaction except to cause division, division, division. And who loves division the most?

  4. This is a REAL situation, not a largely fabricated one like the Taylor Swift Apple Music conflict turned love-fest, where Apple can simply say “we made a mistake.” Apologize and correct the mistake (completely). Sincerely explain why the mistake was made and why it was corrected, in a brief statement.

    Apple will gain respect from ALL sides of this issue. 🙂

    1. BS. It’s a knee-jerk placebo reaction and won’t change racism.

      Apple already has a long history of simply kowtowing to the latest political “outrage” however ill-based. It started with banning “I Am Rich” just because it embarrassed them, continued with the removal of 3rd party bikini calendars while duplicitously allowing Sports Illustrated to do the same, the removal of “Wobble” because a few kids used it to make breasts wobble (oh the horror). All were removed under the blithe assertion of “limited functionality”. All these things are paraded gratuitously in AppStore video games (Thrones etc). Clearly, all’s fair … until it isn’t … then they brown-nose publicly for all they’re worth.

      One reason I respected Jobs is he stood his ground. Cook is a first class suck-up who is riddling a once great company with posers, yes-men, and a whole lot of “limited functionality”. Hard for anyone to respect that.

  5. It’s interesting how the guy that started the “controversy” is now generating more hits with “backpedaling”. I think Apple has done exactly what Apple always intended to do. I’d still like to hear about any apps that were actually permanently removed.

    1. Again…go read the article.

      Until the uproar/backlash/spanking from an American populace that largely carries the 1st Amendment freedoms in their hearts, as good personal beliefs, multitudes of Apps were banned.

      Never, not once, did any notices from Apple carry a “this is a temp deal” “repeal and replace” or “your bad, fix it”.

      Forget trying to re-alter mid-American History, you are trying to rewrite history that happened this week.

    2. Yes.

      re “backpedal furiously”, “multitudes of Apps were banned”…

      No. What we have is a minor media flurry, VERY much like antennagate and umpteen other pseudo-controversies about Apple pseudo-disasters. A storm in a teacup. Trivial.

      This one is just generating a more intense reaction from some people because the hate that the confederate flag is being exposed for what it is – the symbol of racist, violent, anti-equality bigots.

    1. I don’t think erring on the side of caution, inspecting the potentially objectionable apps and then reinstating those deemed okay back into the store is not only NOT an egg-on-their-face situation but reasonable & responsible.

      It would be nice though if Apple would preface such a move and announce it as a temporary culling & reexamination to avoid the usual knee-jerk peanut-brain gallery from spewing off their foul vitriol.

    1. Which math would that be?

      Yes I’d like to see some hard numbers as well concerning specifically how many Apps were removed.

      And after the backpeddle, how many were allowed back in.

      I’d also like to see a breakdown of the Why’s of both.

      I’d also like to know how much money this cost the poor developers. And how many multiples of that number that Apple will pay them back.

      Also just for the fun of it, I’d like to know how much gold could be mined from the sun with appropriate heat shielding.

  6. Apple is doing exactly as their official statement says…
    Clean up any offensive use of the flag..
    Its a process and it will take some time and some juggeling .

    This author seems to not have anything better to do but to create an issue and then regurgitate it over and over .

  7. This is what happens when you react emotionally like a hungry four year old throwing a temper tantrum.

    Mommy or Daddy(in this case freedom loving Americans who carry the spirit of the 1st Amendment as a personal modus operandi) gives you a swat on the bottom, leaving you a momentary reprieve from the overwhelming influx of heart–>brain signals to reconsider you current approach to the given situation.

    All that’s left is to choose wisely your next step.

  8. Nothing sadder than desperate stabs at maintaining that aura of righteously indignant political correctedness. All the shrill “Me, too!” voices chiming in. Witness the corporate interplay of warring self indulgent folly…too many hands grabbing for the tiller.

  9. “I’ve been reading comments in various places on the Internet and the overwhelming majority of people seemed disgusted with Apple’s heavy-handed censorship of the Confederate flag”

    As it should be! It’s not the Confederate flag. That’s just cloth of various colors. It IS about EVIL PEOPLE and their actions that should be called out! What if Apple’s logo were misused by some nut going into and shooting up a Microsoft store. Would we knee jerk with our reaction and demand Apple logo be banned?

  10. The South should be flying is the Star Spangled Banner.
    Or the White Flag of the defeated.
    Don’t like America?
    Leave, and take your racist attitudes with you.

      1. If so, Apple should say so.

        Nope. Apple doesn’t throw people under the bus publicly. Even if they fired someone over this, they’d never be so crass.


  11. Apple could never win, no matter what it does, in the minds of internet bloggers searching desperately for hits. After they announce support for removing Apps that glorify the flag as a racist symbol, they first will be criticized if any are left as they begin removing them one by one in what could be a slow process of sifting through multiple thousands of apps. Or they remove them all, indiscriminately, and let the numbers of complaints point out those most in need of review to be restored and which rules need to be fine tuned. Apple are going to be vilified either way, but the second one will be noisier but faster. The same thing happened when they removed Adult content from the store. Apps featuring nudity for scientific and artistic purposes were at first removed along with the porn, but were gradually restored with review. Apple’s method of doing this accomplished the goal of removing the offensive material the fastest way possible and restoring sanity according to demand. The other method would leave the issue on the table for much longer.

    Apple is always railed against anyway, so a short violent storm is preferred over months of rain.

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