Why is Apple so embarrassed by Civil War games?

“Gaming revenue on Apple’s app store in the fourth quarter of 2014 was twice that of the entire market of dedicated handheld consoles (which is dominated by Nintendo’s 3DS console). Two-thirds of the top hundred grossing apps on the app store, and nine of the top 10, are games. Apple has opened up gaming to a whole new audience, and is in charge of the biggest video-game platform the world has ever seen,” Alex Hern writes for The Guardian. “So why is it so embarrassed by games?”

“The company’s sneering attitude to the field it dominates was expressed again on Thursday, when it removed a group of war games from the App Store for what it described as ‘offensive or mean-spirited’ use of the Confederate flag,” Hern writes. “The games, which are largely dry military re-enactments, use the Confederate flag to represent the southern armies, and the Stars and Stripes to represent the northern.”

“Regardless of whether Apple, which did not respond to a request for comment for this article, was oversensitive or not, what stands out is how games, uniquely, were censored,” Hern writes. “The company still sells all seven seasons of Dukes of Hazzard, with its confederate flag-decked General Lee. It also sells the albums Give Out But Don’t Give Up by Primal Scream and Legend by Lynyrd Skynyrd, both of which prominently display the flag as part of their cover art. If the flag should go, it should surely go everywhere.”

Many more points are made in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s reaction here makes the company look weak and highly susceptible to the whims and vagaries of whatever the outrage of the week happens to be.

Apple might want to consider the impossibility of consistently policing whatever they think they’re supposed to be policing this week (see the games featuring Nazi swastikas available in the App Store as we type this) as well as their willingness to be manipulated by “issues” that simply weren’t issues for years. If these games with Confederate flags were so offensive and did not conform to Apple’s guidelines, why did Apple approve them in the first place and sell them in the App Store for years?

Again, it’s Apple’s perrogative to do what they want with their store, but we’d like to see some consistency, fewer knee-jerk reactions, and more backbone. Backbone like this:

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…

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. — Maxim Zasov of Game Labs, the developers of Ultimate General: Gettysburg

Ultimate General: Gettysburg has since been returned to the Apple App Store in a correction to Apple’s initial inconsistent overreaction.

SEE ALSO:
Apple backpedals on Conderate flag censorship – 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

73 Comments

  1. I think the half hazard removal of games and the statements of Tim Cook calling for the removal of racist symbols and words is disturbing.

    We shouldn’t support racism and hate. That does not mean the answer to these problems is a nazi style book burning.

      1. Oh please, get off of Tim Cook’s sanctimonious high horse already. This was a classic case of shooting first and asking questions later.

        The ONLY reason that the games have returned is due to a massive public backlash and he’s simply trying to desperately cover his ass here.

        It certainly wasn’t done in any kind of a noble effort to fairly examine and then return them. Because if it actually were, they would have been reexamined first and then removed afterwards if they didn’t meet the criteria, not the other way around.

    1. Cook is a moron. Acting like a fskking baby. Waaaaah, waaaaah, the Confederate flag offends me. Listen you spineless two-faced moron, why the caustic rap lyrics and Nazi flags. You make us sick.

    2. Typical overreaction with comparison to Nazis. Naturally, Fwhatever agrees since it syncs with his radical rightist agenda and labeling approach.

      Apple screwed up. Plain and simple. It was an embarrassing move, IMO, and Cook should take some steps to bring some consistency and rationality to the management of the App Store. But Apple’s mistake does not have anything to do with Nazis in any way, shape, or form.

      Many people have died as a result of racism and hate. On the other hand, a few days without being able to purchase Civil War games for iOS is not going to seriously injure anyone.

  2. It’s just political correctness run amuck is all. Their knee-jerk overreaction is being backpedaled a bit now thankfully, but it’s just more evidence of Tim Cook’s new overly (left wing) politicized Apple at work.

    Anything glorifying that flag (or the Nazi swastika) should never have been there in the first place, but pulling games where it was used only in historical context was a ridiculously embarrassing overreach.

    Tim Cook himself complained about the business in Indiana which refused to cater a gay wedding, but what he’s doing is no different by broadly censoring things that he personally finds offensive regardless of the context.

  3. It would be informative to know which games actually were never removed and which were removed and returned after review and which were not returned. The direct information on Apples actions seems to be spotty and anecdotal.

    I think there is a lot more smoke that fire here.

  4. There were three versions of the flag of the Confederacy, and the so-called rebel flag wasn’t one of them. It was actually the battle flag of the army and navy that was carried by the men who fought and died for their short lived nation.

    This stupid and ill-considered act was directed at people considered to be rednecks by the liberals, led by rainbow necks like Tim Cook. Here is a so-called man who has never known the sacrifice made by those who have served their country, but is benefiting mightily monetarily.

    Let him revel in his wealth, iniquity, and the adulation of those who crawl alongside him.

    1. The Rebel flag is the symbol of racism and that’s how it’s used – whether redneck or not. Sorry to disappoint you. Good riddance.

      Who the heck would want to fly a flag of the traitorous losers? Oh yea, racism.

      1. The Supreme Court has determined that burning the U.S. flag is an freedom of expression. Perhaps, flying the Confederate Battle Flag will have to go through the courts as well; however, the results are already predetermined by precedent. It is a separate story whether it should be flown at government facilities; it does seem to be a state sovereignty matter though. If the populace of a state doesn’t want it flown by the government, conveniently they vote for their state representatives. It is not up to Washington or Cupertino to decide that issue.

        1. Certain “state sovereignty” issues were clarified under the Fourteenth Amendment. State governments don’t get to allow a lot of things they might otherwise think is a good idea.

          1. Doofus – please explain why Apple allowed these games till a week ago. And what images are sold or displayed is not in any way a federal issue. Are you truly this stupid?

            1. I thinks Apples recent attention is tied to recent events. People tried to fly the flag under the cover of “Southern Pride” or “Southern Heritage”. Then the decoder ring went off too loud for anyone to ignore, and allegedly, Apple took a second look. I say allegedly, because we don’t seem to actually have anyone stepping forward saying “They took my app, named … off the store”. I suspect this will mainly be clarified like the Clinton-Gore Confederate Campaign Pin, a dumb idea, cooked up in someones basement.

              Display by a state government of a racially charged symbol represents a form of government discrimination, like separate but equal schools. It’s not allowed.

              Private display is a First Amendment issue and no one really objects. It’s actually quite convenient for assholes to just put a label on themselves, then no one has to wonder.

            2. Maybe you didn’t actually read the article.

              Yes there were many games removed, this article specifically mentions one.

              So till you get the basics of “reading comprehension” down I will forgo putting and credence behind your ill informed blather.

            3. Thank you, BlackWolf. I hereby abandon my position of game removal denier.

              After reading the two relevant Guardian articles by Alex Hern and the excellent source piece for one of them, from Tasos Lazarides in TouchArcade, including four updates, and the pieces in CIO by Jim Lynch and Forbes by Gregory Ferenstein it’s pretty clear lots of axes are being ground using the Confederate flag to turn the crank.

              The good source data is: http://toucharcade.com/2015/06/25/apple-removes-confederate-flag/

              With four updates, the facts are there. It looks like Apple is acting pretty legit in this situation.

              MDN linked to it on Thursday, but curiously didn’t mention the updates as the story went on.

              Then MDN linked to Lynchs “Tim Cook has let his personal politics…” Later they linked to his “Apple backpedals on Confederate flag censorship”. Not sure what Lynchs axe is, but it’s not news or facts.

              In the midst of that Forbes pops up with a lament about the swastika being OK with Apple, but the Confederate flag was being attacked, or something like that. Not sure what Ferensteins objective was with that screed.

              What has me really baffled was MDNs quote of Herns headline in the Guardian today. The Guardian headline was “Why is Apple embarrassed by games?” The MDN version was “Why is Apple so embarrassed by Civil War games?” Hern did use the flag issue as an example for one of his many thoughtful points, but the article wasn’t about the Confederate flag in any way. What axe was MDN grinding?

              One good article by Carter Dotson on TouchArcade that hasn’t been mentioned:
              http://toucharcade.com/2015/06/26/apple-clarifies-confederate-flag-policy/

              Clears up a lot of blather.

            4. I tip my hat to you sir. Or I would if I wore one.

              If you want to understand the breadth and reason behind this particular Apple induced hoopla I would point you towards the ongoing GamerGate controversy.

              It appears Americas current most ambitious advocate for freedom of speech or expression thereof a.k.a. anti-censorship group is the Gamers.

              As I’ve said before, yes the 1st Amendment strictly forbids Gov from conducting anti-religious and speech activities. But every American should be proud to carry that same spirit within themselves.

              Here is a great starter article dealing specifically with Apples actions, the counter actions by the GamerGate community, and Apples . . . counter, counter actions.

              It’s not about racism, perceived racism, or even the flag per se.

              http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/26/im-a-liberal-and-i-almost-put-a-confederate-flag-on-my-twitter-profile/

      2. Odd then that is was under Democrat control that most Southern states not only fought the Republican led Union but also regained control of the statehouses after reconstruction, formed the KKK, instilled segregation and sunset cities (although the South was not alone in these).

        Also not discussed among the left is the fact that Democrats have reaffirmed use of the Stars and Bars (which is not a TMZ story…) even through the 90s (hello, Bill and Hillary).

        No, the misconception (and lies) is that Republicans took over the South after ’64 as the rednecks, Klan and others fled the Democrats because of racism. They didn’t. Never happened. The South has been pretty solid for most Republican Presidents since Nixon but a majority of states were still run from Congressmen, Governors and locals elections by Democrats. Hell, Arkansas didn’t turn Republican until 2014. Look it up. The area of Texas I am from (Upper East Side) had solid Democrat locals from Sheriff, judges and mayor all the way up to the likes of Sam Hall, Lloyd Bentsen, and Dolph Briscoe in my high school years of the 80s.

        So, when you hear the Left bemoan the Right’s racism, remember it is they who brought all this on our nation. Remember is was Republicans who ended slavery and Woodrow Wilson who reinstated segregation on the Federal level in DC while celebrating ‘Birth of a Nation’. Remember it was Dwight Eisenhower who sent troops to Little Rock and sent the FIRST civil rights bill to Congress in 1957 (which was gutted by the Democrats). Remember that Democrats had control of both Houses of Congress but could NOT have passed the ’64 bills without help from Republicans who voted in a higher percent for it than Democrats. Remember that segregation was part of the Democrat platform, just as abortion is today (which was pushed to control Black birthrates).

        Remember it is Republicans who have two Indian-Americans as Governors, have a Black Senator, elect minorities from districts that are a majority White and offer Blacks their best hope through jobs rather than government hand-outs that keep them barely living in locally depressed areas where they subsidize that lifestyle with drug sales (same goes for white trash).

        The only problem with asking most on the Left to remember this is that they can’t, because they don’t know it, don’t want to and won’t acknowledge it as long as they can point to a straw man on the Right.

        Voter registration and license verification, do you hear Asians complain about this? Native Americans? Latinos? No, just liberals who claim Blacks are too stupid, poor and lazy to do what others take for granted. Same for healthcare, jobs, and any other topic they can use to denigrate their soul in order for a vote.

        Yeah, Democrats, jump up and claim history is now wrong to teach and respect.

        It was your war. It was your lifestyle, your culture. Live with it.

        1. Lot of words to profoundly demonstrate your tenuous grasp of reality. The only way Republicans have held power since ’74 is to routinely give bible thumpers and bigots a reach around, by promising they would get to tell everyone else how to live, while they screw them economically. That the defection of the bigots from the Democratic Party still wasn’t enough to win Republican majorities in southern states until recently is not pertinent to much of anything.

          To even fantasize that Republicans today would fight any battle to free people from slavery is ludicrous. And to pretend that Democrats today think like the Democrats of 150 years ago it also ludicrous. The tenets of the 1850s only live in the hearts of the remnants of the bigotry the Republican party so desperately needs to stay alive.

          1. Keep telling yourself that, quiv.

            “To even fantasize that Republicans today would fight any battle to free people from slavery is ludicrous”
            Well, we tried in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the über-left represented by the likes of you ensured it would not be a success, just like in Vietnam.

            You really didn’t offer much in your rebutt(head)al except to show how right I am concerning the Left creating a straw man.
            Thanks for your help!!!

            1. Slavery is where one person owns another and can sell them or buy more. Those other angles used to justify wars of empire aren’t the same. Afghanistan always wins. They beat the British Empire, the beat the Russians and we couldn’t impress our values on them either. We’d have done better if we hadn’t gotten enamored of Iraqs oil, but we took our eyes off the ball.

            2. “Well, we tried in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the über-left represented by the likes of you ensured it would not be a success, just like in Vietnam.”

              Your words, TowerTone, not mine. But I will agree that the puppet regime we installed in Afghanistan squandered our efforts.

            3. I’ve no need to, but you do.

              “Chattel slavery
              Chattel slavery, also called traditional slavery, is so named because people are treated as the chattel (personal property) of an owner and are bought and sold as if they were commodities. It is the least prevalent form of slavery in the world today.[13]

              Bonded labor
              Main article: Bonded labor
              Debt bondage or bonded labor occurs when a person pledges himself or herself against a loan.[3] The services required to repay the debt, and their duration, may be undefined.[3] Debt bondage can be passed on from generation to generation, with children required to pay off their parents’ debt.[3] It is the most widespread form of slavery today.[14] Debt bondage is most prevalent in South Asia.[15]

              Forced labor
              Main article: Forced labor
              See also: Child labor and Prostitution
              Forced labor occurs when an individual is forced to work against his or her will, under threat of violence or other punishment, with restrictions on their freedom.[14] Human trafficking is primarily for prostituting women and children[16] and is the fastest growing form of forced labor,[14] with Thailand, Cambodia, India, Brazil and Mexico having been identified as leading hotspots of commercial sexual exploitation of children.[17]

              The term ‘forced labor’ is also used to describe all types of slavery and may also include institutions not commonly classified as slavery, such as serfdom, conscription and penal labor.”

              Forced labor slaves have been around since the Pyramids were built and has always been the most prevalent form of slavery as practiced currently by countries such as North Korea, China and Russia.

              You never fail to disappoint, quiv.

            1. Bible thumpers are not people of faith. They are people who believe everyone else should follow their way also, despite having their own beliefs. There are Koran thumpers also.

            2. Do you just make this shit up as you go along, or have you always lived in an alternate universe?

              I mean, Jesus Christ, Obama is the ULTIMATE thumper!!!

            3. This is a fairly succinct summary of the term, at least for me.

              “Bible-thumper – One who uses the Bible to attack/defame others’ characters instead of as a guide to proper living. These people tend to be depressingly ignorant of anything else except the Bible and behavior as expected by the religious.”

              I don’t think I have ever seen Obama or any of the people on the podium with him engaging in that sort of behavior. I can hold both the idea of a religious person, motivated by their beliefs and living them out and the idea of someone engaging in the behavior listed above and not confuse the two. And I’ve been able to do it for a while, so not making it up as we go along.

              And, just to piss you off, I really like Pope Francis.

            4. I give you (back) the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton, neither of whom have a church of their own.

              You are really, really bad at this.
              And to turn that piss around, try reading the entire Encyclical.
              You won’t agree with 90% of it, but cherry pickers like you (obviously no pun intended….) will only read the part that thrills you. Here’s a taste-

              “My predecessor Benedict XVI likewise proposed “eliminating the structural causes of the dysfunctions of the world economy and correcting models of growth which have proved incapable of ensuring respect for the environment”.[10] He observed that the world cannot be analyzed by isolating only one of its aspects, since “the book of nature is one and indivisible”, and includes the environment, life, sexuality, the family, social relations, and so forth. It follows that “the deterioration of nature is closely connected to the culture which shapes human coexistence”.[11] Pope Benedict asked us to recognize that the natural environment has been gravely damaged by our irresponsible behaviour. The social environment has also suffered damage. Both are ultimately due to the same evil: the notion that there are no indisputable truths to guide our lives, and hence human freedom is limitless. We have forgotten that “man is not only a freedom which he creates for himself. Man does not create himself. He is spirit and will, but also nature”.[12] With paternal concern, Benedict urged us to realize that creation is harmed “where we ourselves have the final word, where everything is simply our property and we use it for ourselves alone. The misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any higher instance than ourselves, when we see nothing else but ourselves”

              Much, much more (highly recommended, as MDN says….)
              http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

            5. Is that what I did? Did you read that somewhere?

              And did you decide to get some Jesus in you all of a sudden?
              (the savior Jesus….not the Latino pool-boy)

              Here is a hint-I’m not a religious person.
              As much as I respect Christians and count myself as one, I don’t spend time in church, so Obama faking it for sympathy/support doesn’t affect me in the least.
              Just one more play he is making.
              All (Rev)Wright…?

      3. Agreed. Racist symbol. Apple is not the government. They are not bound by the first amendment. Some people may disagree but they can choose what goes in their store.

        Why do trolls love to pick on Apple? Walmart and many other retailers have also removed the confederate flag. Are trolls flooding walmartdailynews.com like this?

    2. If the flag were the sole province of historical video games and military reenacters, this would NEVER have been an issue. Most of the people who wrap themselves in this flag of treason ARE rednecks or racists.

    3. It was the flag of men who were serving some other country with some different views that decided to go to war with the United States. All of the Confederate States had to ratify allegiance to the US Constitution to be reseated in Congress after the Civil War. It was their choice to come back. They could have retained a status like Puerto Rico or Guam, Territories.

      No hard truth here. Just the truth.

  5. This is one of the worst moments in the history of Apple, because it showed how they will throw anybody under the bus for the sake of ideological “purity.”

    There probably aren’t a dozen employees at Apple who know enough about the Civil War to speak intelligently on it, but they had to yank the game just to prove they were angelic beings.

    I don’t play computer games, which makes it sadder that Apple blew their credibility for this. What’s your opinion about climate change, Apple? Oh, in that case, I’ll vote the opposite.

    Thanks for nothing, Tim Cook. You’re just another CEO, now. But you’ve learned from Benetton how to take a complex issue and simplify it to make your company look better than it is.

    And please fix Apple Photo, and fix the “Other” hard drive hog problem on the Mac.

    1. “… Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology—where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!…”

  6. There have been two quick about face knee jerks reactions recently, one is this Confederate flag removal situation as a result of Dylan Roof suspect mass shooting. Apple isn’t alone in this, government bodies, people businesses, are reacting to this.

    The other about face reaction of course is Apple’s about face on paying music artists during their three month trial apparently as a result of Taylor Swift’s commentary.

    Apple did a flip flop when it came to the American flag, and is staying the course with their payments to musicians.

    It’s good to know that Apple is reactive and quick, even if they make a mistake by being quick and reactive they can readjust quickly. Compare this to the government’s reaction of the Dylan Roof situation and the “calls” to remove the flag. So far no official confederate flag has been removed to my knowledge (feel free to correct me if I am wrong) and I suspect that it could take months, decades years before it happens.

    Someone impressed upon me a great analogy years ago about big behemoth companies that have the benefit of carrying lots of resources but as a result can not maneuver to change direction very well and do so at a snail’s pace. When it came to smaller companies they have less resource but can be quick as rabbits to change and address market needs. At the time the example was the giant Microsloth and the little Apple that could.

    Nice to see that Apple can make quick changes. Certainly the flag one wasn’t that bright and needed adjustments and might require some more reflective thought. It’s a tough issue as any icon or tool can be interpreted in a variety of ways.

    The swastika for example evokes the Nazis but it has it’s origins long before that and is considered to be a sacred and auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. I’ve been on parts of the globe and have the swastika has been displayed for this latter purpose. Context plays a big role in such matters.

    Without that context you get articles like the one written by Alex Hern. The author of the article is all in a uproar about Apple being embarrassed by it’s games and dances with the context, “The problem with Apple’s attitude to games isn’t just that it treats them differently to books and music” and comes to one conclusion “If the flag should go, it should surely go everywhere.” that might be good in theory but what about in practice? Alex Hern, why don’t you head on over to the South Carolina state house, bend over and shout your mantra “”If the flag should go, it should surely go everywhere.” Not only will someone likely show you one of the everywhere spots where that flag can go, you’ll then be able to tell first hand whether it needs to be removed or not.

    Butt weight, there’s one more thing. You actions might inspire someone to make up a game where the players go around identify jouranalists and once they do insert flag poles into their posterior and then flags, leaving the jouranalists with the task of identifying which flag is flying out to where the sun shines. I think such a game would be popular with everyone, well nearly everyone.

  7. Sorry, no one today associates the swastika with “Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism”, it represents the values of facist Nazi Germany, pure and simple.

    The same is true with the so-called Confederate flag (in reality the battle flag of the Northern Virginia army), which was never used by the Confederate states during the Civil War.

    The flag we call the “Confederate” flag today took its form much later, and was strictly used to represent racist Southern, “anti-Yankee” values. The Confederate flag is about as anti-American as you can get, it represents the same fascist values as the Nazi flag.

    How would you feel if you visited Germany today and saw people everywhere wearing swastika regalia? Pretty uncomfortable, I would suspect, and this is because Germany has made great efforts to keep the shady elements of society from glorifying the Nazi past. Apple is contributing, as a major corporation with lots of influence, to the general education of what that Confederate flag has meant historically to this country. It does not “honor” the Civil War Southerners, they never saw this flag, the only people who value it are Jim Crow racists.

  8. One explanation is: guidance from the top is not always equal to action from the people on the keyboard of Apple Store monitoring.

    Problem is fixed better than it was yesterday.

    Irony: people throwing around the word knee-jerk ? The mirror is ready for inspection.

      1. Sure it’s got some problems, but the Affordable Care Act will continue to improve. Like it or not, the US has joined the rest of Western civilization.

        1. The ‘rest of Western Civilization’ would be speaking German were it not for us….(OK, and the Russians).

          Point is, I don’t look to THEM to lead on ANY issues, let alone in a field that they were well behind us in; Medicine!

          Just because other countries offered Socialized Medicine (as we already did, too) doesn’t in any way mean they were more advanced. Pretty much the opposite, they were way behind. And had we actually reformed some practices and streamlined others, we could have done all this much, much cheaper and with better results.

          Keep believing this is the right road. One day you will be standing in line as I was tonight paying for something because you need it now while the bureaucracy slowly grinds like the teeth in my mouth.
          (in my case, a grandson needed a prescription paid for that his father’s military insurance and the Obama network in Florida were at odds over who should pay. Been going on for a week, so I just shelled out the cash to get his antibiotics, which infuriates me to no end that he had to wait).

            1. Well, including abortions, you are probably right.
              And by Obama, er, Gawd, maybe we’ll be #1 in infant mortality before long!!!

              But you know, when I see stats like that, or education levels, or obesity, or anything that says we are a horrible nation, I begin to wonder if maybe something hasn’t been taken out of context (mainly because I think we are better than that. Do you ever get that feeling? No I didn’t figure you did) so anyhow, I like to do a little reading beyond libopedia (the accepted truths in media that all things American are bad because of….freedom?)

              So here-

              http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/10/why-american-babies-die/381008/

              You might also consider how close some countries monitor pregnancies, not to mention who might benefit from skewed numbers.

  9. With all due respect Renaldo I still beg to differ. Less than five years ago I was in an Asian country and I was initially taken aback by seeing the swastika painted on a building, a building that I found out was a Buddhist temple. It represents more than Nazi Germany, pure and simple. I did not feel uncomfortable seeing it there, again because I understood the context of it’s display.

    Now if I were to visit Germany and saw the swastika on display I’d feel that the efforts that Germany has made to keep the shady elements of society from glorifying the Nazi’s past to be pretty ineffective.

    I’d recommend checking out swastika at wikipedia, where you can find many image and uses of the symbol, including some that are still in existence.

    1. Sorry, Road Warrior, your relativizing is pure silliness: if you did a study that included people from virtually all countries in the world, and you flashed an image of the swastika on the wall and asked them to mention the first thing that came to mind, 99.9% would say Hitler.

      You’re talking about a minuscule handful of people who know the ancient history of the swastika symbol going back several thousand years (much older than Buddhism). By relativizing it as you do you are minimizing its modern significance, its power, as a symbol of racist hatred and fascism.

      1. Again Renaldo I have to disagree and you can do all the studies you want but I’m sure the results will be consistent with what wikipedia or any other encyclopedia source has to say: In many Western countries, the swastika has been stigmatized because of its use in Nazism. It continues to be commonly used as a religious symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism.

        Those who study live Hinduism and Buddhism are not a minuscule handful of people.

        You want to prove me wrong, put your money where your mouth is, YOU do the study.

        Maybe by doing that you’ll gain the insight that any symbol or icon can be interpreted by good and evil. You may also learn that in the West the idea that good and evil are separate, pure and simple while in the East the idea that good and evil are opposite poles of the same thing, simple and pure.

        Good luck expanding your horizon and creating a larger global context.

      2. The swastika symbol used by Buddhist are different from Nazis, at least most of the time. Once you realize the difference, you may find Buddhist do not use the swastika used by Nazis, unless you are looking at a flag from backside.

        From http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/symbols/swastika

        “In Hinduism, the right-hand (clockwise) swastika is a symbol of the sun and the god Vishnu, while the left-hand (counterclockwise) swastika represents Kali and magic. The Buddhist swastika is almost always clockwise, while the swastika adopted by the Nazis (many of whom had occult interests) is counterclockwise.”

  10. Interestingly, no ship carrying slaves ever flew the Confederate flag. Most flew the stars and stripes, the flag of the USA, while plying their trade. Another notch in Tim Cook’s hypocrisy belt?

    1. Just have a brain fart and react to it…

      The fact that it was the USA BACK THEN means nothing. Most of the country evolved. A portion of it populated by thoroughly un-American traitors and terrorists fought to retain their primitive and vile practice of slavery.

      Some of their descendants carried on with equally vile racist terrorism such as lynching of blacks and burning black churches. Many fought vehemently against the shocking proposition of EQUAL RIGHTS under America’s swastika (the so-called Confederate flag). This racist terrorism has gone on right up to today.

      1. Yes, almost ALL thanks to the Democratic Party!!!

        The ONLY political party in the Free World that survived institutionalized slavery, causing a civil war and then segregating races!!!!

        Go Team Obama!!!!

        1. Something called the Democratic People back then doesn’t matter. Who the PEOPLE were matters.

          So we might say, “Racist right wingers, who, back then, infested the Democratic Party, and who today infest the Republican Party”….

        2. Fact: the flag in question was made the symbol of racist, anti-rights, pro-segregation movements. In the extreme, it became the symbol of torturers, murderers and terrorists (KKK).

          So what are you suggesting, TowerTone? Because you can play word games with how things way back then, people now aren’t allowed to take corrective measures about this symbol of hate?

          1. “it became the symbol of torturers, murderers and terrorists (KKK)”
            Really? The Klan uses many flags, mostly Old Glory
            http://www.rulen.com/kkk/

            But I understand the association

            now-
            word games? way back then? Corrective measures?

            Not at all. I haven’t had a Confederate flag in my house (to my knowledge) since my Johnny Reb cap back in the early 70s.

            Also, I don’t fault Gov. Haley for wanting it not flown over the state capitol. What I do find offensive is the way Apple and others have jumped on it for a media campaign. Nothing has changed in the last 25 years in relation to that flag. Many people use it for many things. I know of a young lady that just got a General Lee Charger. Most, if not all, guys I knew in High School who had one on the truck’s back window did it as a source of Southern Pride towards ‘yankees’, not Blacks.

            On the other hand, I worked with a young Black man who would not go into a yard that had one flying, and I don’t blame him (although I went to them and made sure they knew who my work partner was).

            A few years ago there was a terrible crime in my hometown against a Black guy with a learning disability (touched, as we say). He was knocked unconscious and left in a ditch by some white kids. Now I knew all of these kids, and what they did was stupid, but they were scared and would have done the same to a white person, yet that didn’t stop the NAACP from showing up, which was to be expected, but what stuck in my craw was seeing a truck with some white kids I had never seen (mid 20s) riding around town with a huge Confederate flag billowing from a stand in the back of their truck. THAT was not a sign of Southern pride, but an instigation…and it worked. They just didn’t expect it to be a 40 something year old white guy that chased them out of town.

            So, yes, I see both sides of this discussion, but I will NOT let the party responsible, the same one that STILL takes advantage of Blacks, off the hook.

    2. Old Glory flew over institutional slavery from the country’s founding up until 1865.

      Several of the Union generals that lead the attack on the South, including Grant, owned slaves during the war.

      Five? Union states were slaveholding states, before and during the war. Plenty of Yankee shame to go around…

      Lincoln’s wife’s family owned slaves.

  11. I’ll bet Google did nothing on their app store. Every platform has its own problems. Google gets in everyone’s business and Apple is a control freak, and Microsoft doesn’t know what it wants, and Linux, well, its complicated.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  12. I still question why the sudden interest in the Confederate flag. Supposedly this has something to do with Roof though all reports I have read in no way associates him with that flag. He did wear a Rhodesian flag, but not a Confederate flag. If someone has a link tying him to the Confederate flag, I will gladly read it. Until then, this is another non sequitur like other racist issues where the proper solution for a white policeman shooting a black man is obviously to loot the nearest electronics store.

  13. US still try to take over worlds economy and laughs about Europe’s struggling currency… Yet Europe hasn’t yet gone through a hard civil war by now… Some struggling with their present (and future), while others still have to get over their past…

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