In the wake of the Charleston church killings and the wave of companies and state governments moving to ban confederate flag imagery, Apple has begun to yank games and other apps featuring the symbol from its App Store.
According to Touch Arcade, various civil war games such as Ultimate General: Gettysburg and all Hunted Cow's Civil War series have been removed. They report that Apple is pulling apps that simply contain the confederate flag – regardless of context.
One developer said that the rationale put forth by Apple is "because [the apps] include images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways."
Apple has pulled the tablet version of the game from Appstore because of the Confederate Flag. details coming...
— Ultimate_General (@GeneralUltimate) June 25, 2015
The team behind Ultimate General: Gettysburg has taken to its blog to respond to Apple's decision.
"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," says Nick Thomadis.
"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.
Earlier the week, Apple CEO Tim Cook called for "eradicating racism and removing the symbols and words that feed it."
My thoughts are with the victim's families in SC.Let us honor their lives by eradicating racism & removing the symbols & words that feed it.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 21, 2015
As of the writing of this article, an App Store search for Civil War-related apps yields plenty of games and other apps. It appears that either Apple is just getting started with this removal campaign, or that the existing apps are allowed to remain due to lack of confederate flag imagery.
I've reached out to Apple and will update this article accordingly.
Image via Ultimate General