America's mixed feelings on its relationship with the Confederate flag has led to a controversial decision from Apple to pull many games that contain it.
The flag, a symbol of the American South, is considered by many to have racist associations owing to its origins from the American Civil War and the South's attempt to separate the seven ‘slave states' from the rest of the Union.
Others, however, say it represents America's heritage and serves as an important historical reminder.
With the debate currently a hot topic on the other side of the Atlantic – particularly after the recent South Carolina shootings – an increasing number of organisations have vetoed its use. Warner, for instance, says it will no longer license Dukes of Hazzard poroducts that show the symbol – the most famous of which is the iconic orange ‘General Lee' Dodge Charger.
Apple now appears to have joined them, with many developers including Hexwar and Game Labs, saying that their titles which include the flag in various capacities have been pulled from sale.
Apple boss Tim Cook himself has even addressed the issue on Twitter.
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," Apple told Touch Arcade. In a separate statement to TechCrunch it added: We are not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses.”
The application of this principle has been questioned, however, with dissenting voices claiming that some of the pulled titles simply used the flag in its historical context and should not have been removed as a result.
My thoughts are with the victim's families in SC.Let us honor their lives by eradicating racism & removing the symbols & words that feed it.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 21, 2015