Apple Pulls References to American Civil War in App Store Following Confederate Flag Debate

Confederate flag

Apple has been quick to distance itself from the ongoing debate surrounding the Confederate flag following the tragic shooting in Charleston, pulling content featuring the flag from its App Store, leading many to brand their response as reactionary.

Though Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke out against the flying of the Confederate flag, Apple’s decision to remove content set in the time period of the American Civil War that, of course, contain images of the Confederate flag is very over-the-top. While the likes of Amazon and Walmart’s decision to stop selling the flag was completely understandable, pulling historical strategy games such as Ultimate General: Gettysburg, that take place in a particular point of time in history, for representing the events of that specific period is hardly cause for offense. 

According to Touch Arcade, Apple is now sending out an email to developers who have had their content pulled, saying that the reasoning behind the company pulling their content from the App Store is due to it including “images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.”


Game Labs, the developers behind Ultimate General: Gettysburg, released a statement following Apple’s decision to remove their game from the App Store, which reads: 

“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.

“We receive a lot of letters of gratitude from American teachers who use our game in history curriculum to let kids experience one of the most important battles in American history from the Commander’s perspective.

“Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” did not try to amend his movie to look more comfortable. The historical “Gettysburg” movie (1993) is still on iTunes. We believe that all historical art forms: books, movies, or games such as ours, help to learn and understand history, depicting events as they were. True stories are more important to us than money.

“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.”

However, Gettysburg is not the only game that has been pulled, and it seems that Apple is on a campaign to remove any image of the Confederate flag featured in its App Store. While the debate surrounding the acceptability of flying a Confederate flag that was raised following the Charleston shooting is a conversation that needs to happen, Apple didn’t really need to cover its back by wiping any reference to the Confederates from Apple devices.

Hopefully Apple backtracks on their kneejerk reaction sooner rather than later, or else they might come to the conclusion that it’s best to scrap Wikipedia from the App Store, too.

Photo: Getty Images