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World of Warships removes Rising Sun flag after Korean gamers' outcry (update)

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Wargaming.net has removed the Rising Sun flag of Imperial Japan from its MMO World of Warships after its South Korean audience spoke out against its use, reports The Korea Herald.

The lastest trailer for World of Warships shows the flag amidst scenes of dogfighting and airborne firepower. The Rising Sun is the official insignia of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, but due to its use in World War 2 is still widely considered in Southeast Asia to be offensive and carries associations of Japanese militarism and imperialism.

A group of Korean gamers who were uncomfortable with the flag's presence in World of Warships launched a campaign for its removal, collecting around 40,000 signatures from users for their petition. Shortly after, a Wargaming.net community manager took to the game's official forums to announce the developer would be removing the flag.

"We will be removing the Rising Sun flag from the game in the future," reads the post. "There has been quite a bit of discussion recently regarding this sensitive topic and I hope this clears some of the confusion."

Update: A previous version of this article stated the controversy was linked to World of Warplanes. The Rising Sun flag is actually used in World of Warships, and the article has been corrected to reflect this.