By Andrew Dodson on June 26, 2015 at 1:17am
After last week's shooting in Charleston, there has been a lot of debate in the United States about remembering the victims and how to proceed in the aftermath of the events. A major focus of those talks has been about a Civil War battle flag that has, over time, become a symbol of the Confederacy and a flag often co-opted by racist groups within the country.
For the first time in decades, states that once flew that flag over their capitol buildings are now taking them down, and many major corporations are removing the symbol from their shelves.
In response to these changes, Apple has taken the axe to the App Store and are removing any games that display the Confederate flag. Some of the games affected by Apple's sweep include the popular "Ultimate General: Gettysburg," "Civil War: Gettysburg," "Civil War: 1862," and "Civil War: 1863."
Andrew Mulholland of HexWar Games (developer behind "Civil War: Gettysburg"), was notified that his game had been removed because "it includes images of the Confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways." Apple cited their App Store guidelines in response to questions about their decisions:
Apps containing references or commentary about a 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.
Obviously, this has been an unpopular move by many gamers and developers who used the flag in a historic sense to bring a sense of realism to a strategy game.
Apple said that developers can remove the offending imagery the app and resubmit it to the App Store. Many developers seem to be planning to remove the well-known North Virginian battle flag that typically represents the Confederacy with the official flag used by the Confederate states.
In the past, Apple has performed similar cuts to the App Store, though those mostly focused on apps with obvious imagery depicting firearms and nudity.
Player Theory will continue to keep an eye on the situation as it develops.