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Apple is Removing Any Game from iOS with Confederate Flag, Regardless of Context [UPDATE]

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[UPDATE 2]

Apple has fully reinstated Ultimate General: Gettysburg onto the App Store. You can read our follow-up story, here.

[UPDATE 1]

We’ve learned (via Touch Arcade) that Apple is reportedly taking down any game on the App Store with the Confederate Flag, regardless of context.

Supposedly, Apply is sending the afflicted developers a message citing the removal of their games “[…] because [the game] includes images of the Confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.”

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.

[ORIGINAL STORY]

Growing up in southern New Jersey, seeing a Confederate Flag wasn’t all that uncommon for me – in fact, some people I went to school with proudly displayed the flag on their trucks (they usually drove trucks … it’s a thing), among other places.

While the flag is a piece of American history, it’s also one rife with controversy, considering the slave-holding secessionists used the flag during their civil war against the union in the 1860s. It’s worth mentioning the issue with the Confederate Flag has come up again following the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

Now, developer Game-Labs have gotten the bad end of the stick in a recent campaign to remove the flag from the media, stores, and more, as their game, Ultimate General: Gettysburg, has been pulled from Apple’s App Store.

The reasoning? Their use of the Confederate Flag, in a historical game about the most bloody and important battle in the entire civil war. Say what you want about the Confederacy of our past and their beliefs, this is a game purely about the historical battle itself.

The developers are understanding of Apple’s decision, which is for them to remove the flag entirely from their game, else it won’t be allowed on the App Store. They made a point in listing other works of media that are readily available (and yet have controversial imagery), like Schindler’s List, or the Gettysburg movie:

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.

However, Game-Labs are standing their ground, and they will not be removing the flag from their historical game, and thus, it will no longer be available on the App Store. “We can’t change history, but we can change the future,” said Game-Labs.

How do you guys feel about the use of controversial imagery in video games, and other media? Should we ban all iterations of said media, to protect the populace from our own history?

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Brandon Orselli

About

Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer, Nicchiban, and Pretentious Media. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer.