Gaming sites are reporting that Apple has pulled all war games featuring the confederate flag from the App Store as “offensive” and “hateful.” That decision of course wipes out historically accurate Civil War games. As a military history nut, I find the actions by Apple to be bizarre and revisionist. This was the symbol of one side in one of the world’s most famous military conflicts. When used in the context of a war game, it is obviously being used to closely mirror the symbols, uniforms, and equipment of the time.
It is astonishing that a debate over the use of this flag on state buildings has morphed into a complete ban of the appearance of this flag, even in games about the Civil War. Apple’s Tim Cook reportedly recently spoke against displaying the Confederate flag, but this is a complete ban. It is also intruding on the personal choices of consumers who are not offended by the appearance of the flag in a historical context.
Apple is quoted as stating that “we have removed apps from the App Store that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines.” According to these sites, developers will have to either remove or replace the Confederate flag to be allowed on the App Store. I find that decision deeply troubling when applied to games or programs related to the Civil War.
What do you think?