At first, it doesn't sound all that odd to hear that Apple has yanked games that use the Confederate flag from its App Store. Until you realize that means the company has yanked many Civil War-themed games because they feature the flag. TouchArcade reported on the move, noting that games including Ultimate General: Gettysburg and Hunted Cow's Civil War games are now gone, and in an update, the site says that Apple is telling affected developers their games have been removed because they include "images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways," even if the games in question are simply using the flag in a historical context. According to TechCrunch, despite such games being yanked, Apple claims it is not pulling apps that use the flag for "educational or historical" purposes.
"I imagine that any rational person would see the difference between, say, a family hanging the flag outside their house as a sign of pride and a video game using the flag in the context of the Civil War. But over the years, the App Store’s curators have proven themselves to be anything but rational, censoring on a whim," writes Jason Schreier at Kotaku. "Apple is notoriously skittish when it comes to the App Store, often censoring and banning games that show naked people (in any context) or use gun imagery in their marketing materials. So it’s not a surprise to see the company reacting to recent controversies ... by burning everything to the ground." Sources tell BuzzFeed Apple is working with affected game developers to get their games back online, but they will need to change the flag art—though Ars Technica notes that, oddly, some Civil War-themed games remain available despite featuring the flag.