Thursday, July 2, 2015

Apple Removing Some Apps That Contain Confederate Flag Imagery

Apple to Pull out Apps with Images of Confederate Flag

It has been reported that Apple has recently put some Civil war games in the iTunes App Store and the company has informed game developers that the app would be pulled since it contained images of the Confederate flag used in an offensive and mean spirited manner, as per Andrew Mulholland of HexWar Games.

The company will be removing mobile apps from the App Store which portray the Confederate flag and several of those apps tend to be Civil War-themed strategy games such as Ultimate General, Gettysburg and Civil War – 1863 which tend to display the flag in a historical setting just like the representation of Nazi imagery in video games related to World War II.

 Nick Thomadis of Game-Labs, developer of Ultimate General has commented that `Apple has removed the game from App Store due to usage of the Confederate Flag’, while Gettysburg has mentioned in a blog that `we accept Apple’s decision and understand that this is a sensitive issue for the American Nation’. The confederate flag, represents the eleven Southern states which separated from the Union at the time of American Civil War is at the centre of a nationwide argument after a white chauvinist alleged last week had killed nine black churchgoers.

Appeals to Remove Flag from Statehouses/License Plates 

The ones killed had been attending bible study class at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church, in Charleston, South Carolina. Several of them associate the flag with slavery and consider it as a racist symbol. No comments have come forth from Apple in this regard, but all the same have informed TechCrunch that it is `not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses’.

Appeals to do away with the flag from statehouses and license plates have been coming from across the political field which includes the former Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Besides retailers which include eBay, Amazon, Wal-Mart and Sears have banned the sales of the flag and related merchandise like shirts, hats and belt buckles. Google has also removed the Confederate flags from its Google Shopping online retail network and the product listing advertisements which have been displayed on search engine results.

Contemporary Symbol of Divisiveness/Racism 

The company has confirmed in a statement that their policy tends to extend to apps in its Google Play app store though against those app whose main function lies in promoting the Confederate flag. eBay spokesman, Johnna Hoff has recently said in a statement that ` we are of the belief that it has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism and this decision is consistent with the long standing policy which prohibits items that remote or glorify hatred, violence and racial intolerance’.

Apple too seems to be following suit. The company has had a long history of inspecting software for its iOS mobile operating system which would comprise of gun violence, nudity, political undertone or references to public figures that may force developers in altering promotional material or the game as well. Besides these, other game developers are also making attempts in finding ways around the Confederate flag ban and the team at HexWar Games, the makers of the strategy games of Civil War series intends to replace users of the famous 1862 version of the Confederate flag according to TouchArcade, with initial lesser known renderings.

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