Apple declares war on games featuring the Confederate flag

26 Jun 2015

Apple has weighed in on the debate over the legitimacy of the Confederate flag in the US by taking the decision to pull every game from the App Store that features it, ruling out effectively all American Civil War games.

The issue has become a hot topic in the country of late in reaction to the mass shooting carried out by Dylann Roof in Charleston, South Carolina; Roof was seen in photographs clearly promoting the racist ideas of the Confederate States of America.

Given Tim Cook’s recent discussions about promoting more diversity within the company, it might come as no surprise that the company has decided to react to its use.

To that end, Apple has decided that, for the moment, there will be a blanket ban on all games that feature the Confederate flag anywhere in the game, including military games on the American Civil War such as Ultimate General: Gettysburg.

According to Touch Arcade, the rather no-nonsense approach was explained to developers by Apple as being necessary “…because it includes images of the Confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.”

‘True stories are more important to us than money’

However, the developer of Ultimate General: Gettysburg, Maxim Zasov of Game Labs, which was pulled as part of this crackdown, dismissed the idea that the flag was used to promote racist ideals and is stating that they will now no longer make the game available on iOS.

“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,” the statement said. “True stories are more important to us than money.”

Further news from Apple has suggested that the company are willing to work with game developers to come to some solution of re-introducing their banned games as long as the Confederate flag is removed.

This is not the first time flags have been contentious issues for game developers as, in Germany, it is illegal for any game to feature the flag used during the reign of the Nazis.

This has seen game developers release Germany-specific games with the flags edited, but the swastika remains on almost all other versions.

US and Confederate flags image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic