Apple Pulls All Games Featuring Confederate Flag From App Store

125px-Apple-logoConfederate_Rebel_Flag.svgGaming 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?

71 thoughts on “Apple Pulls All Games Featuring Confederate Flag From App Store”

  1. You mean we can’t play “yanks versus rebs” anymore. Oh well… there’s still the Nazi flag.

    1. Broke down in Buffalo – I saved all my Avalon Hill games. I can still play the Civil War, WWI, WWII, etc.

  2. Paul

    It doesn’t matter if there was ten years of drought, the slave owner’s kids were starving, and his wife ran off with Bubba T Beauregard, slavery was, is, and will always be inexcusable. Or, are you simply fu*king with me? Yeah, I’m done here.

    1. issac – I find it morally correct to fight for something that is not illegal. You have a problem with that? Plantation owners actually lived from crop to crop. They were ‘cash poor.’

  3. By David Brooks, who I find myself at odds with from time to time.

    This story is included with an NYT Opinion subscription.

    The debate about the Charleston Bible study shooting has morphed into a debate about the Confederate battle flag and other symbols of the Confederacy. This is not a trivial sideshow. Racism is not just a personal prejudice and an evolutionary byproduct. It resurfaces year after year because it’s been woven by historical events into the fabric of American culture.

    That culture is transmitted through the generations by the things we honor or don’t honor, by the symbols and names we celebrate and don’t celebrate. If we want to reduce racism we have to elevate the symbols that signify the struggle against racism and devalue the symbols that signify its acceptance.

    Lowering the Confederate flag from public properties is thus an easy call. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Southern heritage and Southern life without choosing one so enmeshed in the fight to preserve slavery.

    The harder call concerns Robert E. Lee. Should schools and other facilities be named after the great Confederate general, or should his name be removed and replaced?

    The case for Lee begins with his personal character. It is almost impossible to imagine a finer and more considerate gentleman.

    As a general and public figure, he was a man of impeccable honesty, integrity and kindness. As a soldier, he displayed courage from the beginning of his career straight through to the end. Despite his blunders at Gettysburg and elsewhere he was by many accounts the most effective general in the Civil War and maybe in American history. One biographer, Michael Korda, writes, “His generosity of spirit, undiminished by ideological or political differences, and even by the divisive, bloody Civil War, shines through in every letter he writes, and in every conversation of his that was reported or remembered.”

    As a family man, he was surprisingly relaxed and affectionate. We think of him as a man of marble, but he loved having his kids jump into bed with him and tickle his feet. With his wife’s loving cooperation, he could write witty and even saucy letters to other women. He was devout in his faith, a gifted watercolorist, a lover of animals and a charming conversationalist.

    In theory, he opposed slavery, once calling it “a moral and political evil in any country.” He opposed Southern secession, calling it “silly” and a rash revolutionary act. Moreover we shouldn’t be overly guilty of the sin of “presentism,” judging historical figures by contemporary standards.

    The case against Lee begins with the fact that he betrayed his oath to serve the United States. He didn’t need to do it. The late historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor demonstrated that 40 percent of Virginia officers decided to remain with the Union forces, including members of Lee’s family.

    As the historian Allen Guelzo emailed me, “He withdrew from the Army and took up arms in a rebellion against the United States.” He could have at least sat out the war. But, Guelzo continues, “he raised his hand against the flag and government he had sworn to defend. This more than fulfills the constitutional definition of treason.”

    More germane, while Lee may have opposed slavery in theory he did nothing to eliminate or reduce it in practice. On the contrary, if he’d been successful in the central task of his life, he would have preserved and prolonged it.

    Like Lincoln he did not believe African-Americans were yet capable of equality. Unlike Lincoln he accepted the bondage of other human beings with bland complaisance. His wife inherited 196 slaves from her father. Her father’s will (somewhat impractically) said they were to be freed, but Lee didn’t free them.

    Lee didn’t enjoy owning slaves, but he was considered a hard taskmaster and he did sell some, breaking up families. Moreover, he supported the institution of slavery as a pillar of Confederate life. He defended the right of Southerners to take their slaves to the Western territories. He fundamentally believed the existence of slavery was, at least for a time, God’s will.

    Every generation has a duty to root out the stubborn weed of prejudice from the culture. We do that, in part, through expressions of admiration and disdain. Given our history, it seems right to aggressively go the extra mile to show that prejudice is simply unacceptable, no matter how fine a person might otherwise be.

    My own view is that we should preserve most Confederate memorials out of respect for the common soldiers. We should keep Lee’s name on institutions that reflect postwar service, like Washington and Lee University, where he was president. But we should remove Lee’s name from most schools, roads and other institutions, where the name could be seen as acceptance of what he did and stood for during the war.

    This is not about rewriting history. It’s about shaping the culture going forward.

  4. Paul

    You just argued my point for me. Thank you. It was all about the money. Follow the money. Along the way you will hear lots of rebel yells, songs of freedom, and other neat stuff, however, it is the money.

    The reality of it was that most of the Southern soldiers that fought and died received nothing from the Southern economy. They lived off of the land and their communities: farmers, tradesmen, etc. They lived the way people have lived for thousands of years when enough of them congregate in one spot. The ones that caused the war were those that created and profited from a slave labor economy that depended on international trade and resulted in wealth and ego massage for them.

    Think a little how the myths are used by those who don’t need them to control those that do. When you are wondering if you can afford to kill a chicken for Sunday dinner the myth makes a fine sauce. When you wondering whether or not you should spend another year studying at the Sorbonne the myth is meaningless. You can have any sort of sauce you wish.

    1. issac – what you are not getting is that the North wanted the South to flush all that money down the drain. If you had 100 slaves would you be happy to flush that money down the drain?

  5. Paul

    You can exclude the ‘writing on the wall’ and cherry pick from speeches but all of the other issues had been ongoing since the country’s beginning, sometimes more or less heated. At the time of secession the tax and tariffs issues were at an ebb. The South, sometimes collectively but most often individually state by state issue by issue had continually objected to the federal/Northern perspectives and proposals and had reached compromises through negotiations every time.

    This give and take regarding commercial issues took place regarding slavery for a while. Lincoln himself signed a document obligating Northerners to allow Southerners to come up North and take their escaped slaves back. This stance eroded to a point where it was not to be upheld any more. The South wanted slavery in the newly acquired territories and eventually to become states. The North took a firm stance against this. The writing was on the wall regardless if it was in any quotes or speeches until after Gettysburg.

    The facts of the matter were that the greatest commodity at the time in the US was comprised of slaves, The economy of the North did not depend on slavery, the economy of the South depended on slavery. The oligarchs or wealthy plantation, factory, and land owners who depended on slavery were then, as oligarchs are still today, pulling the strings. The tarrif and tax issues affected not the 90% of the population that did not own slaves and could not give a dam. It affected the oligarchs or wealthy exporters of agricultural commodities which could only compete successfully with slavery.

    For the rest look at Iraq, Viet Nam, and other colonial adventures. Include the colonial adventures of European countries before, during, and after the time of the Civil War. Armies of hundreds of thousands have been raised to fight against enemies composed of armies of hundreds of thousands and in almost every case they are told that they are fighting for something that is almost if not entirely fabricated or solely in the interest of oligarchs.

    Viet Nam was not about saving that area from communism it was about maintaining economic and resource control over lands rich in material wealth and potential consumers. The songs and political bs are simply the gunpowder.

    The soldiers of the Confederacy couldn’t give a pinch of coon sh*t for the real reasons and if they knew who was to profit from ‘defending the South’ they would have lynched all of those gallant gentlemen.

    The Civil War would not have happened if not for the fear of losing the one economic pillar of economic wealth on which the society of the powerful few rested, the slaves.

    1. issac – you really need to get your historical s**t together. Do you own a car? If you do, what if the government seized that car and refused to give it back or give you any money for? Now suppose you owned 100 cars and they did the same thing. What would be the economic damage to you?

      A top field hand in 1860 was worth about $100.00. In today’s money that is around $250,000.00. Now a hundred prime field hands would be worth 100 x 250k. Think how that would affect you financially.

  6. Issac, slavery was the first issue which was trumped by the second issue, secession. Did you protest the vote on secession by Scotland last year? Scotland had the innate right to secede as a woman has a right and a duty to leave a violent, abusive husband; one like Abraham Lincoln, religious whack job extraordinaire. Lincoln did not know that America was not a theocracy and that he was not a king or otherwise dictator. We’re talking about law here. The Confederate States had the right to secede and they did secede and they were a foreign country and Lincoln invaded it with military forces; the Northern War of Aggression.

    The upshot is that ALL of the laws and influences of Lincoln, including the “Reconstruction Amendments,’ must be repealed as illegal and unconstitutional if America is to be a “society of laws.”

    Let’s get busy. We have a lot of work to do.

  7. @forgotwhoiam – I’m not well versed on this history but have read some, like the below, which I coped and pasted.

    ~~ A comparison of the Islamic slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts. While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Islamic slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.
    While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Trans Sahara and East African slave trade was between 80 and 90%!

    While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service.

    While many children were born to slaves in the Americas, and millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the USA to this day, very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survive.

    While most slaves who went to the Americas could marry and have families, most of the male slaves destined for the Middle East were castrated, and most of the children born to the women were killed at birth.

    It is estimated that possibly as many as 11 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic (95% of which went to South and Central America, mainly to Portuguese, Spanish and French possessions. Only 5% of the slaves went to the United States).

    However, at least 28 million Africans were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East. As at least 80% of those captured by Muslim slave traders were calculated to have died before reaching the slave markets, it is believed that the death toll from the 14 centuries of Muslim slave raids into Africa could have been over 112 million. When added to the number of those sold in the slave markets, the total number of African victims of the Trans Saharan and East African slave trade could be significantly higher than 140 million people.
    . . .
    Historian Robert Davis in his book “Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters – White Slavery In the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy”, estimates that North African Muslim pirates abducted and enslaved more than 1 million Europeans between 1530 and 1780. These white Christians were seized in a series of raids which depopulated coastal towns from Sicily to Cornwall. Thousands of white Christians in coastal areas were seized every year to work as galley slaves, labourers and concubines for Muslim slave masters in what is today Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. Villages and towns on the coast of Italy, Spain, Portugal and France were the hardest hit, but the Muslim slave raiders also seized people as far afield as Britain, Ireland and Iceland. They even captured 130 American seamen from ships they boarded in the Atlantic between 1785 and 1793.

    According to one report, 7000 English people were abducted between 1622 to 1644, many of them ship crews and passengers. But the Corsairs also landed on unguarded beaches, often at night, to snatch the unwary. Almost all the inhabitants of the village of Baltimore, in Ireland, were captured in 1631, and there were other raids in Devon and Cornwall. Many of these white, Christian slaves were put to work in quarries, building sites and galleys and endured malnutrition, disease and mistreatment at the hands of their Muslim slave masters. Many of them were used for public works such as building harbours.

    Female captives were sexually abused in palace harems and others were held as hostages and bargained for ransom. “The most unlucky ended up stuck and forgotten out in the desert, in some sleepy town such as Suez, or in Turkish Sultanate galleys, where some slaves rowed for decades without ever setting foot on shore.” Professor Davis estimates that up to 1,25 million Europeans were enslaved by Muslim slave raiders between 1500 to 1800.

  8. Slaves represented the largest economic commodity in the entire US, North and South. Without slaves the South would lose its upper and middle class wealth. The taxes and tariffs levied from Washington were at an historical low before the Civil War. Those in power, the oligarchs who either owned slaves and made their wealth from owning slaves, morphed the entire main issue into the knee jerk issue of rights to bring in the population. The deserters and abstainers from the Southern Armies numbered over two hundred thousand. That’s over two hundred thousand men who knew exactly what was going on and wanted no part of the Southern ’cause’.

    This happens a lot throughout history and can be seen on this blog on a routine basis. The erosion of the Northern acceptance to Southern demands for the North to return runaway slaves illustrated what was happening to the Southern upper and middle class. The North’s refusal to allow slavery in the new territories and eventual states also illustrated what was in store for the South if they did not secede.

    All the other reasons, aside from slavery, had been going on since the country was born: the resentment of federal laws, taxes, and tariffs, the direction the industrialized North wanted to take the country when it conflicted with the agricultural South, and other issues. None of these were not resolved and never were compromises not found and adjustments not made.

    It was about slavery in that if the issue of slavery was not involved there would have been no Civil War. To absolve the heinous crime of obtaining wealth off of the backs of slaves and the myriad associated crimes of the only real reason for the Civil War is nothing short of mindless argumentative drivel. Read all the history available, not just the stuff some idiot writes to make a buck from time to time. “Oh it really wasn’t this, it was that.” The grand expose’. The Confederate Battle Flag is no different than the Swastika. Many good and righteous, as well as ignorant Germans fought valiantly without slaughtering civilians. Many Southern slave owners routinely raped their female slaves, shot or hung those that objected, and looked at Blacks no differently than racist Nazis looked at almost everyone else especially the Jews.

    The Civil War was about slavery. For the South slavery was all about wealth. When one refers to the South it is important to understand that the South that went to war was lead by the knowing Beauregard P. Bamboozle the wealthy slave owner with lots and lots of heritage and not by Rufus P. Bottomacre the farmer from Tennessee who was bamboozled into thinking it was about rights or some such nonsense.

    1. issac – the Civil War was first of all about states’ rights. It did not become about slavery until after the Gettysburg Address. Remember that even after that address, all slaves in the North remained slaves. They don’t call it the War of Northern Aggression for nothing. The South did not attack the North.

  9. @Paul Schulte

    ~~ Slavery was outlawed when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and it went into affect on January 1, 1863. I also know there were Irish slaves as well. I remember reading about the stigma for them and how many of them changed their names to sound less Irish back then. In doing some of the research with my family, I discovered my ancestors went from Baily to Bailey in early 1840’s, but my family did not come from Ireland. Today gave new meaning to the reason Lincoln was shot. Worried that some of these changes are going to bring some radical dudes like John Wilkes Booth out. There are some angry people out there, on this issue.

    The Irish Slave Trade – The Forgotten “White” Slaves – The Slaves That Time Forgot

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-irish-slave-trade-the-forgotten-white-slaves/31076

    1. Lisa Metzger – thanks for the article. Actually the slavery of the Irish goes back at least to the Vikings who used to sell them to the Turks, among others.

  10. Sam Fox,

    No discussion of slavery and culpability is complete without reference to the first party, the party which SOLD the slaves, and that first party as fully, singularly and severally responsible and culpable for slaves being on the slave market or any market at, to begin with and in the first place.

    In the era and the activity known as Slavery of Africans, the first party is the group of African Tribal Chiefs who sold members of the tribes to Arab slave traders.

    In America, there would have been no slavery of Africans, if the African Tribal Chiefs had sold tribe members.

    If we know that American planters bought slaves,

    we know that Arabs traded slaves,

    and we know that Tribal Chiefs sold slaves.

  11. @Nick Spinelli – June 26, 2015 at 6:11 pm
    “Are you all enjoying the Skip Gates, Ben Affleck, slave owner, NPR scandal? Liberals love to rewrite, edit, and erase history.”

    ~~ I read that they are canceling the series. I just sent my DNA in to see where my ancestors came from. I have been building my ancestor tree for a number of reason’s. For my children and my father was adopted. I found out that my great grandmother x3 lived in Gettysburg, PA and was killed in 1812. My great grandfather x3 fought in the Civil War for the Union. This is on my mother’s side.

    My father’s mother came from Norway and father from England, so I have to search further on them. So I can honestly state that NO ONE in my family owned slaves. Funny when the hollyweird types lose their credibility publicly and are no longer interested in furthering their agenda and hope we forget.

    1. Lisa Metzger – Affleck’s relatives came from Massachusetts but slavery was not outlaw until the mid 1840. They held slaves before that.

  12. Are you all enjoying the Skip Gates, Ben Affleck, slave owner, NPR scandal? Liberals love to rewrite, edit, and erase history.

    1. Nick – I have been following the saga of Gates and Affleck. Gates who probably will no longer work for PBS and Affleck who probably caused the end of an interesting program. It turns out that Affleck has not one slave-holder relative, but 3.

  13. Some good comments up in here & some good UN-revised history. Here is
    The Truth About The Confederate Battle Flag

    http://www.confederateamericanpride.com/battleflag.html

    I saw a pic of Roof holding a Confederate flag. He was sitting in a chair. He was wearing pants, shoes & a shirt. He hair on his head….I assume he ate food, lived in a house & drove a motor vehicle….

    According the ban the flag ‘logic’, LUCY!! we gotta LOT of banning to do!

    I just hope he didn’t drive a truck…;-)

    Since the slaves were all brought in on Northern ships flying the Stars & Stripes….

    SamFox

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