Apple has joined the likes of Amazon, eBay, Walmart and others in removing products bearing the Confederate flag, reports TouchArcade. The outlet pointed out this morning that a number of apps and games, which featured imagery of the controversial flag, have been pulled from the App Store.

Despite the fact that Apple has told developers it’s only removing titles that “feature images of the Confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways,” several Civil War-era games, which contain images of the Confederate flag for historical and educational context, have been pulled as well.

TouchArcade has a statement from Game Labs, the developers of Ultimate General: Gettysburg:

We accept Apple’s decision and understand that this is a sensitive issue for the American Nation. 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.

[…] Therefore we are not going to amend the game’s content and Ultimate General: Gettysburg will no longer be available on AppStore. We really hope that Apple’s decision will achieve the desired results. We can’t change history, but we can change the future.

And here’s Apple’s official statement on the removals, via TechCrunch:

“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. We are not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses.”

It would seem that Ultimate General: Gettysburg would fall under the “educational or historical uses” category, so it’s possible it and other Civil War games could be re-admitted into the App Store once the dust settles. Apple has a reputation of using too-broad-a-sword in these types of situations.

The removal of Confederate flag-bearing products by Apple, Amazon and others was sparked by the tragic, racially-charged shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina earlier this month. The flag can be seen in a number of photos taken of the suspected shooter, leading up to the attack.

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted the following on Sunday:

  • Paymon John Vafa

    Is it just me or should that civil war game be exempt? I mean, that’s a direct reference to a historical battle between the north and south. Its like deleting all WWII games due to the nazi symbol.

    • takean

      Thats what I was thinking. This thing with the confederate flag has just gone way out of control. It seems to me that if they are willing to do this…just because 1 individual had a symbol and did a hate crime…maybe they should do the same with other flags due to other individuals who have done bad things. Saying the confederate flag is a symbol of evil because of what someone does is like me calling all americans evil because one american may commit a war crime. Or that Apple is evil because they used manufacturing plants that abused workers and hired children in China.

      • George

        That stupid flag represents nothing good about america, I don’t get why you think it’s overblown?

      • Paymon John Vafa

        No I completely agree with you on the symbol. But I am talking about a historical game about the civil war. Do you want to just erase the fact that the war existed?

        Sounds like newspeak from 1984. Let’s delete the fact that we were at war with the south (east Asia again from 1984)

      • barely_free

        Oh its much worse than 1984. We have a knee jerk reaction from the intolerant left and even worse an Apple CEO that feels compelled to speak out on any and every liberal cause of the day. Gosh I miss Steve Jobs as CEO.

      • barely_free

        You are an ignorant person to say such a thing. The confederate flag invokes a lot of positive aspects for southerners (i.e. states rightists federal rights) the support of slavery was only one aspect of it.

        To ban this from a civil war game is ludicrous and shows how stupidly politically correct Tim Cook really is.

        – Did Tim ban the Nazi flag from WW2 history or games?
        – Did Tim ban gangster rap from iTunes since they advocate cop killing?
        – Did Tim ban many thousands of other rap and hiphop songs because they vulgarly talk about raping and denigrating women?

      • Rowan09

        Should he ban Pop music since a lot of them profess to devil worshipping or mind control? Leave rap out of this it’s always a target but the kids commiting these crimes are usually not kids that listen to rap music.

      • Jake1047s

        The flag was created because the south wanted to leave the U.S. The main reason they wanted to leave was so that slavery could exist so that flag stood for slavery that is why it exists so yes it is offensive to some. Does Walmart sell things with the Nazi symbol on it, no, why should they sell a flag that caused way too many deaths. That flag caused our country to rip open at the seems, let’s not forget it but let’s not incourage it. Be respectful to people. Sorry if you feel this goes against your right. No one is telling you that you can’t have those things but they don’t have to support you owning them

      • Dan

        There’s a difference between acknowledging history and forgetting it.

    • White Michael Jackson

      That is true.

  • Jeremy

    I’m so glad that many people are finally realizing this flag is a symbol of racism, slavery, and treason.

    • It’s doesn’t matter the meaning… it’s American History. It is important to remember the bad times in history as well as the good. How do you learn to not repeat bad history? From learning about that history. The confederate flag is a staple in American History and the Civil War. Society is so messed up with all this political correctiveness. Our founding fathers would be ashamed!!!!

      • Paymon John Vafa

        I agree but I do think we should remove the flags from all gov and state buildings.

        Historical games though? Come on… Lol

      • Kurt

        A republican gov had it taken down. and he lost the next election. The Democrat gov who won, put it right back up. Should we take down the American flag as it was the flag on the ships bringing slaves to America?

      • Jeremy

        No I totally agree that it is history and should remain in educational games and other educational apps but just to have it in an offensive context is what I’m happy about. It has no place being on government property or buildings.

    • GuyWithTheThings

      Except it’s not. Now I don’t want to get into detail and start a fight over a FLAG on the INTERNET but that’s just my opinion and I have my reasons. 🙂

    • mrgerbik

      so censorship is the answer? Where does the censorship end? Thats my concern. In 20 years time, if we keep this up, we will be arguing ad nauseum over the tiniest ‘infractions’ that people deem offensive.

      Baby steps towards thought control.

  • Jamessmooth

    This is getting out of hand.

  • Why are you so far behind on your news items? All other Apple Blogs had this info posted yesterday lol.

    • George

      Copy and paste broke

    • Melvco

      TouchArcade, the first site to my knowledge to report on the removals, posted this morning (Thursday, here in the U.S.), and there have been several updates throughout the day. I agree, though, we could’ve been much faster.

      • Jonathan

        Speed doesn’t bother me. It’s quality. The only things I want to know immediately are big headlines news, like a new jailbreak for example. 🙂

  • Eikast

    The Confederate flag is racism and is almost as bad as the Nazi Flag. The thing is, we don’t censor games from displaying the Nazi symbol. I think that these games shouldn’t be removed, after all they’re games. I think apps that glorify the confederate flag should be removed.

    • takean

      I could care less about whether or not the flag is hung anywhere. I know that I’m not the normal southerner because I think this way. However, that said…how is this flag a symbol of racism? Especially since THIS flag according to history is the battle flag…NOT the confederate state type flag. How about we do away with the american flag as well…because you know several documented historical accounts show that we have committed terrible acts as well during different wartimes. Did that mean the America is evil? A resounding NO. Does it mean what an individual did was evil? Yes. Focus on the problem….and don’t succumb to racism and judgement because of lack of knowledge. Find out the facts first.

      This flag issue is out of hand. Its not meant to do anything serious such as healing a nation. All that it does is divide it even more. And people continue to get their facts wrong and do not know their history. If we think THIS is evil…LMAO, how about the US and how we treated the indians. This whole mess pales in comparison to that…but you don’t see us taking down the American flag do you?

      Its to divide…no other reason.

      • barely_free

        Don’t worry these looney leftists are coming after the American Flag as well, they just need another convenient tragedy to exploit.

      • Kurt

        It was the United States of America that had slavery. It was USA who brought the slaves on over. Ban the American flag! lol

      • mrgerbik

        The funny thing is if you actually go through history, almost every single group of people (city-state, culture, etc), including many African cultures, practiced slavery in one form or another.
        Im not saying that it is okay, just putting things into context.

      • Kurt

        Exactly. There are more slaves now then ever before in history. Black Americans can get pretty pissed off when you talk about modern day slavery. What pisses me off is you and I care about dead american slaves but you don’t care about slaves alive now? Such racists.

    • barely_free

      To compare the confederate flag to the Nazi flag reveals the colossal ignorance or your statement. Really! So the nation that started WW2, killed tens of millions of people, killed 6 million jews in concentration camps in only 5 years is being compared to a flag that represented states rights vs federal rights.

      Are you really this ignorant to not know your history?

      • mrgerbik

        it wasn’t 6 million btw – other then that, agreed

    • Rowan09

      Just a politically correct thing to do at this time. The thing with the Nazi flag is its portraying the bad guys, while the Confederate flag is playing both sides.

    • mrgerbik

      The problem here is that where do you draw the line. Censorship is censorship.

  • dudeimmexican

    The Political Correctness police does it again

  • lol this is kind of ridiculous. I mean for one thing it the civil war was so long ago. The other thing is that it was history and to take that away would be to repeat it. We have history so we don’t repeat the mistakes of our past.

  • nonchalont

    This is ridiculous and I’m black. Who cares about “dukes of hazard” flag. It’s history. Why this “divide” between white and black. Every race has their knuckleheads.

  • Steven Honey

    “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    First Inaugural Address

    Monday, March 4, 1861

    • Kurt

      Ban Abraham Lincoln lol

  • GuyWithTheThings

    The same people freaking out over a flag (keep in mind, it’s strings that have been strung together. People are arguing over that) are the same people that said Benghazi was old news two years after it happened and that we should just forget about it. Ok, so now a 150+ year old flag is current news?

    The flag doesn’t symbolize racism at all. All it does is symbolize a separate nation that wasn’t even recognized as that by foreign nations and the United States alike.

    The reason the South seceded from the Union was to preserve their way of life. Yes, they hated African Americans and wanted to keep slavery. But they didn’t want to keep slavery because of their hatred for African Americans. They simply wanted slavery to stay around because without it, their economy and businesses would collapse. So, when a president happily comes along and starts abolishing slavery in certain areas (some say unconstitutionally) the South is understandably upset. This president is also not supposed to favor one region over another. The North didn’t want slavery, and Lincoln was from Illinois, so the South viewed him as a traitor or unjust president in a way.

    Also, before the secession of the South, slavery was encompassing the majority of the United States under the American flag we use today. So, why isn’t that flag considered racist? It could also be considered racist because of what can be viewed as war crimes and inhumane acts committed in other countries in past wars.

    TLDR; It’s not a flag symbolizing racism. It’s a flag symbolizing a region’s desire to uphold their way of life and keep their economy from collapsing.

  • Jon

    Why don’t we just remove the American flag from everything while we’re at it since we have cops, who are suppose to represent it, out there killing and abusing innocent people out there. And don’t even get me started on our corrupt government and there corrupt system lolz. They supposedly don’t believe in peace in violence or by it, but yet here we are killing and torturing people in and from other Countries as well as our own. Take a look at the History of wrong our Country has done and is still doing. To me, all this just seems hypocritical. Besides, the Confederate were Americans, so therefore this is like saying FU to Americans of a certain belief in the way things should be done, when yet everyone believes things should be done differently. I would like to say that we don’t shut down those people who stand up for there beliefs, but then that would be a false statement, now wouldn’t it? Stop procrastinating about how others are wrong just because you feel your way is better. That’s what made racism, sexism, etc blown out of proportion anyways. Just learn to accept one another for who they are, or don’t. But don’t act against them just to fill your ego or political standing or whatever. Act in supporting each other and let there be peace.

  • JulianZH

    it just a flag…. rather than fixing the guns problem they picked a flag to blame… MERICA!!

    • GuyWithTheThings

      There is no gun problem. There’s just an idiot problem.

      • JulianZH

        right, since gun almost free and anyone can get it on this country.

  • mrgerbik

    oh christ here we go …

  • Dan

    That’s pushing it quite a bit, I agree that the flag shouldn’t be hung at political buildings, but removing it from History games? What about the nazi flag?

  • iPhoneWINS

    shwastica is banned .. no one even discusses it but the rebel flag has many defenders and it s a big