The importance of context: Apple removes U.S. Civil War games

The importance of context: Apple removes U.S. Civil War games

Recently, companies have made a public relations move to drop their products that represent the Confederate flag in response to the Charleston shooting earlier this month, even if the merchandise isn’t siding with the Confederacy.


On Thursday, Apple discontinued games from their app store that depicted the Confederate flag. Many of the games that were removed portrayed the U.S. Civil War.


Apple told the game developers that they made this decision “because it includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.” Did all of these U.S. Civil War games really use the Confederate flag in an offensive way?  Andrew Mulholland, developer of the recently removed game HexWar Games, doesn’t agree.

“We’re in no way sympathetic to the use of the flag in an offensive way; we used it purely because historically that was the flag that was used at the time.”  

If historical games that show Confederate flags are being taken down, does this mean Apple should also drop historical movies about the U.S. Civil War?


Photo of historical event displaying the Confederate flag.

Establishing conditions on which to remove a video game solicits double-standards which companies must evaluate prior to making decisions. (

The 1993 historical drama “Gettysburg” is currently on sale on the app store which centers around the Battle of Gettysburg, ultimately displaying Confederate flags throughout the film.  Yet, Apple will most likely keep offering the film for sale through the app store because the flags are shown with historical context.


Mulholland claims his company’s games also represent the Confederate flag in a historical context rather than showing support for the Confederacy. If this truly is the case, should Apple reconsider some of the games they have removed?


It’s unknown if Apple will go back on their decision to drop these civil war games, but for now the debate rages on over the Confederate flag and video game censorship.


Do you agree with Apple’s decision to drop American Civil War games? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.

Devon Karbowski

Devon Karbowski graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2015. He received a BA in Writing Studies with an emphasis in Professional Writing and a minor in Philosophy. Currently, he is using his degree to pursue a career in freelance writing, proposal writing and social media management. The focal point of his MUI PR articles will involve public relations related topics.

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