As the country continues to confront the social and political implications of the Confederate flag in the wake of the terrorist attack in Charleston–and the subsequent revelations about the perpetrator–companies are quickly moving to revise how they handle Confederate flag-related merchandise.
Walmart, Sears, and other retail outlets removed Confederate flag-branded items from their shelves, while online marketplace eBay placed a ban on sales of the merchandise. Now, Apple has removed a Civil War-based game called Ultimate General: Gettysburg from its App Store.
In a statement posted on the game’s official site, developer Game Labs claims that Apple would allow them to repost the game in the App Store if they removed the objectionable content:
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.
Although the developers claims that the game has educational value, Apple doesn’t appear to define the game by the same standards. In a comment quoted by TechCrunch, Apple states:
“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’s not immediately clear what, specifically, Apple finds objectionable about Ultimate General‘s content since the developers contend that the gameplay is historically based–still, Game Labs ends their post on a note of support for Apple’s actions, saying, “We really hope that Apple’s decision will achieve the desired results. We can’t change history, but we can change the future.”
According to TechCrunch, Apple is in the process of evaluating its initial ban, and may be reinstating certain games and apps that employ Confederate flag imagery in an educational or historical context. Although Ultimate General: Gettysburg has not officially been reinstated to the App Store, it is believed to be one of the games under review.