Apple Pulls Confederate Flag-Bearing Civil War Games from App Store

Hope King, CNN Money, June 25, 2015

Apple has removed several Civil War games from the iTunes App Store for containing images of the Confederate flag.

The sweep began early Thursday morning, when Apple sent affected game developers a notice that their products were pulled from the app store. In an email to the game creators, Apple said the apps were pulled because they contained “images of the Confederate Flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways,” according to Andrew Mulholland of HexWar Games.

Apple cited its app Store review guidelines: “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.”

The company added, “At this time, your app has been removed from the App Store. We encourage you to review your app concept and incorporate different content and features that are in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.”

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“It seems disappointing that they would remove it as they weren’t being used in an offensive way,” wrote Mulholland. “They were historical war games and hence it was the flag used at the time. . . . We’re in no way sympathetic to the use of the flag in an offensive way; we used it purely because historically that was the flag that was used at the time.”

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Earlier this week CEO Tim Cook spoke out about the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina, saying more must be done to eradicate racism.

“My thoughts are with the victims’ families in SC. Let us honor their lives by eradicating racism & removing the symbols & words that feed it,” Cook said Sunday on Twitter.

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On Tuesday, Amazon followed other major retailers, including Wal-mart and Sears in banning sales of the Confederate flag. Google (GOOGL, Tech30) later announced it would remove the flag from its ads and Google Shopping.

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