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Apple is removing App Store games that show the Confederate flag

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The United States is rethinking its relationship with the Confederate flag, a symbol of the South's attempt to secede from the United States during the Civil War. Politicians are calling for its removal from public spaces and many retailers are removing products showing the flag from sale. Warner Bros. has even ceased licensing Dukes of Hazzard products that show the flag, including the iconic "General Lee" car.

It looks like Apple is joining this trend by seemingly removing games set in the Civil War that show the Confederate flag.

"Many large US companies, like Walmart and Amazon, have already banned the sale of any Confederate flag merchandise as a reaction to the recent events," Touch Arcade reported.

"Now, it appears that Apple has decided to join them by pulling many Civil War wargames from the App Store. As of the writing of this story, games like Ultimate General: Gettysburg and all the Hunted Cow Civil War games are nowhere to be found. Apple is famous for reaching for the axe rather than the scalpel when it comes to political issues (like rejecting Hunted Cow's Tank Battle 1942 for depicting Germans and Russians as enemies), so this move doesn't come as a great surprise."

Touch Arcade reports that Apple is claiming at least one of the games was removed  "...because it includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways."

Since the games were ostensibly no longer listed in the iOS App Store, Polygon did a search for "civil war games iOS" on Google, and attempted to buy many of the games listed, only to find that they weren't available on the U.S. store. While we were able to find a few games set during the Civil War in the App Store, some of which showed the Confederate Flag, large amounts of games seem to be missing. At least one developer has claimed the flag is why their game was removed.

There seems to be no differentiation between games using the flag "offensively" and others displaying it within its historical context. We've reached out to Apple, as well as impacted developers, for clarification but have not received a comment by the time of publication.