With the recent uproar aimed at removing the confederate flag from business, Apple decided to clear out apps in the app store that have the confederate flag in them.
Companies like Walmart, Amazon and Sears have chosen to stop selling the confederate flag after a shooting took place in Charleston, South Carolina. The fear these companies have is that they may be seen as supporting the confederate flag and subsequently racist.
Chairman of Davidowitz & Associates Inc. told Business Insider,
“This is no longer acceptable. And it went from being acceptable to no longer being acceptable pretty quick [so now] everybody is bailing out on it… no one wants to be seen as a racist or anything associated with racism.”
Some of the games that have been removed from the app store are “Ultimate General: Gettysburg”, “Civil War: 1862”, “Civil War: 1863”, “Civil War: 1864” and Hunted Cow/Hex War Games because of their depiction of the Confederate flag.
Maxim Zasov of Game Labs who created Ultimate General: Gettysburg said,
“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.”
As of now, they don’t have plans to change the game to conform to Apple’s regulations.
The removal didn’t include apps that were educational. Some of the apps still left in the store are “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government”, “Civil War: History Challenge” and “Gettysburg Guide”.
According to Touch Arcade, Andrew from HexWar Games said, “We’re in no way sympathetic to the use of the flag in an offensive way, we used it purely because historically it was a flag that was used at the time.”
Touch Arcade goes on to explain that HexWar Games is fighting their removal by sending a modified version of their game in which they will use the 1861 version of the flag.
In Apple’s quick response to the controversy, they may have removed things that weren’t inherently pro-confederacy.
In section 19.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines it says,
“Apps containing references or commentary about religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm or violence will be rejected.”
Since the deletion of the apps, Apple has been questioned over its eagerness to jump on the anti-confederate flag bandwagon. There are multiple games still in the game store such as “A Soldiers Vs. Nazi Zombies Defense Game”, “WW2 Nazi Zombie Infantry Assault” and “Super Commando – Nazi Assault”. Although these are not necessarily pro-Nazi games, they also in no way promise you any educational value from them.
Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted on June 21, “My thoughts are with the victim’s families in SC. Let us honor their lives by eradicating racism & removing the symbol & words that feed it.”
Google has had a similar response as Apple and have gone on to remove wall paper, icon and gaming apps that feature the Confederate flag.
According to Mashable, “Google later confirmed Thursday it too had removed apps that depicted the Confederate flag. ‘We announced on Tuesday that we will remove content containing the Confederate flag from Google Shopping Ads,’ a spokesperson said in a statement. ‘We can confirm this applies to apps in Google Play.’”
As companies continue to speak out against the confederate flag, some are wondering how sincere these changes really are, and how much are promoted by their own self-image.
With the removal of the flag in certain apps now, it also begs the question as to why it took so long for this to happen, and why only now that it has become a trend, companies have started to use their own policies as reason for removal.
Image via ‘Touch Arcade’