There's been a lot of controversy surrounding the Confederate flag in Civil War games since Apple pulled them yesterday, but we just got word from HexWar Studios, developers of Civil War: 1863 [$10.99 / $10.99] that these games may just be coming back after some minor changes.

Andrew Mulholland of HexWar says "basically we need to remove prominent flags from the screenshots" and "don't have them in the app icon." The Confederate flag is okay within games, but it appears that it just needs to not be prominent at all in the forward-facing parts of the App Store. Here's the new icon for Civil War: 1862 on the left, compared to the old one on the right:

New Civil War 1862 Icon Old Civil War 1862 Icon

In fact, Civil War: 1863 should be rolling back out on to the App Store today, and is already showing up again in the US App Store. It's worth noting that Mulholland stated that Apple has been "really decent" about the whole situation, and they sound intent on making things right with the developers who have been affected. This seems to be typical procedure for an Apple approval controversy: Apple makes a big, brash move that angers a lot of people, then they smooth it out pretty quickly and everything is okay. See the big "guns in screenshots" controversy from earlier this year, that's exactly how it played out. Odds are, with developers just needing to tweak their games to not display the Confederate flag so prominently, they should still be able to make apps and games concerning the flag in the future.

Update: According to a Facebook post by Game Labs, Ultimate General: Gettysburg [$3.99 (HD)] is also back on the App Store once again after "several late night phone calls with Apple."

  • StealthDawg

    So I wonder if Ultimate General: Gettysburg will be coming back? Still a stupid ass policy by Apple. Sigh...

    • EvanJO14

      I know right. Let's say I am offended by swear words. Let's remove every freaking game with the word damn in it. That would not work. To many people are offended by to many things.

      • Zero Ehxe

        They'd remove the swear words from the App Store description page and tell you before buying that there are potentially offensive words in the game, and by buying it you're saying that you're not offended by those words. Perfectly reasonable.

      • EvanJO14

        But if you are a person who doesn't read the description you would be offended, wrongly so I will admit. And yes damn is not racist. But some people get offended by the n word.

      • Zero Ehxe

        It doesn't really seem like you believe that argument yourself. The obvious answer is that you can't go to court, say you didn't keep up your part of the contract because you didn't read it before participating, and expect to win. Few people read the entire EULA before clicking accept, but you're no less liable for the agreement.

        Whether the "N Word" is racist on its face or it depends on context or who says it is an entire debate on its own, but in relation to the Apple rebel flag debate: if Apple thinks the n word is possibly going to offend people, they'd allow it in the game/app but not on the storefront pictures and descriptions. The same with nudity, alcohol, drugs, or suggestive situations. They're making it safe for younger people to use the App Store, which I don't see a problem with.

      • EvanJO14

        Ok then we'll I will accept verbal defeat and bow before your superior logic.

      • L0ck

        swear words are not racist iconography hth

      • YourMom9999

        Well, if swear words symbolized race supremacy and a failed rebellion, you may have a point....

    • Zero Ehxe

      Just updated the article and apparently it's back on the App Store.

    • pauldavidmerritt

      Of course it's stupid-ass from Apple. They're marketing propaganda.

      • LKR

        Care to explain how they are marketing propaganda?

      • bhayes444

        The feelings of what the rebel flag stands for are the propoganda, and Apple is marketing it by removing it from the App Store, thereby making people think that it is something terrible otherwise it wouldn't be removed. If they viewed the flag in a positive light then it wouldn't be removed. Their act of removal puts an even more negative light on the matter.

      • Benjamin Rodriguez

        Lol, how much more negative can it get? The flags creator named it the "White man's flag" its sole creation was to represent White supremacy. "Heaven ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior, colored race" So said he.

        It may have changed since then, which is semi-true to some, but it should've never came into existence in the first place.

      • bhayes444

        You do realize white men from that time period and thousands of years before then felt the same way right? Heck, even after the civil war the air of white supremacy was heavy all through the United States. Heck, since the actual US flag was formed during the Revolutionary War, and the US had slaves throughout the country (North and South) for over a hundred years afterwards, couldn't you say that the US flag is a flag of a nation built partially on slavery?

        People just need to stop attributing slavery and oppression to a damn flag! It was prevelant for hundreds of years and thousands of years all throughout the world. It really is one of those situations where if you happen to be one of the last groups of people to adopt a social policy (e.g. abolition of slavery), then you will labeled as slavery advocates forever, even though everyone else did exactly what they did; they just happened to stop sooner.

        This issue is filled with such hypocrisy it is sickening!

      • Benjamin Rodriguez

        You're right about a lot of your points, but you're changing the subject issue here. You're giving valid points about other issues and times that have no relevance to what I specifically mentioned. You do not make an attempt to discredit what I said.

        What I would like to highlight is that you agree with the statement about the creation of the flag and its purpose.

        Because it is fact that the flag's sole creation was to represent those ideals.

      • bhayes444

        If you want me to discredit what you said then I will try. The "Confederate Flag" as we know it today is really just the lady battle flag that the Confederacy used in the war because all their other battle flags caused issues. The first looked too much like the Union flag, and another had so much white on it that when the wind didn't blow it looked like the white flag of surrender. Really, people are arguing over a flag that didn't even represent the Confederacy, except on the battlefield. It honestly just looks more badass and distinctive than the others, and that's why I feel people like it and point to it more.

        The creator's words aren't any that I will defend, as I don't believe in any of what he said. However, my points above are valid ones against your argument. Just because a person says that the flag was designed to represent white supremacy doesn't mean that all the people who were governed under it felt the same way. Granted people can pervert the meaning of symbols (e.g. swastika is the symbol of peace in parts of India and Asia), but it only takes on the characteristics of that perversion if people let it. That is exactly what has happened here.

        The man you quoted was clearly very narrow minded and self serving. I can't blame him for what he said, because he chose to see the world in such a simple way. It takes a truly great individual to see past the simple minded views of others, and to help pull them into a world where things are more complex and have real depth to them.

      • Benjamin Rodriguez

        That is incorrect. While there are many variations of the confederate flag, the most popular one and the one most relate to is the one that Miles designed.

        Which goes back to the creators words.

        Now we may be talking about completely different flags here so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Tell me which confederate flag you are talking about?

        Because the one we are most likely to see today, is that very flag I mentioned.

        And my point stays valid as my only point was that the creator created it with its meaning being deeply imbedded in bigotry.

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  • Zero Ehxe

    Stupid or not, they're allowed to run their business as they wish. Knowing some people can be offended by the flag and just not having it displayed in icons to be offensive in passing seems like a reasonable business decision.

    • CrazedJava

      Lots of people are offended by lots of things.

      A reasonable decision would have been to stay out of this divisive subject and show themselves above the fray instead of wading into a political quagmire.

      • nini

        They'd be screwed either way, keep them in and you'd have people complaining to take them out and if they remove them then you'd have people complaining it's stupid, they don't win even if they don't get into it.

      • Kevin234

        Not true. The number of people running around complaining about the flag would be tiny and mostly crazy. Who was calling on corporations to do this? I have no connection to the South but this kind of dumb stuff makes me want to buy a flag and fly it just to be counter cultural and stick it to the man.

      • Zero Ehxe

        The article clarifies that the potential offensive material is removed from the storefront and not being censored within the game.

        Think of it in another scenario that the U.S. law follows: if you have a music club with profane lyrics and expletives it's legal because everyone came into the club knowingly. On the other hand the elderly couple taking their granddaughter for ice cream that has to hear it from across the street has standing to complain. Taking the potentially offensive flag (which I agree shouldn't be offensive, but yesterday was filled with that debate) off of the App storefront but leaving it in the games is equivalent to keeping the music inside the club so only people who want to hear it have to.

      • Smazeli

        Well, that's a bad analogy. One is a matter of law and noise ordinances, the app stores is purely company policy. And to date there have been no reports of people taking offense to seeing a confederate flag in civil war games

      • Zero Ehxe

        I wasn't aware that we had access to Apples list of offended customers. They're more likely getting in front of any bad publicity, lawsuits(however unlikely), etc. Ounce of prevention vs pound of cure concept

      • Smazeli

        Except removing these apps have seemed to generate even more bad publicity, including from mainstream news and gaming sites.

        And on what grounds could someone possibly sue Apple for anything confederate flag related?

    • StealthDawg

      If something like a silly flag offends you then you have major issues and are beyond help.

      • Zero Ehxe

        I'm not offended by it but just to play Devil's Advocate: you don't comprehend how someone who was taught by their elders of all the racist experiences they personally went through could see the background of a flag as racist? Could you walk around with a Nazi symbol and be confused about why people who know the symbol's history are offended? You don't have to share someone's point of view to understand why they hold it and you don't.

      • LKR

        If something like the removal of a dilly flag offends you then you have major issues and are beyond help.

    • Zero Ehxe

      I have never had so many dislike ratings. Something about this topic makes everyone either pick one side or another and find no way to see the arguments from both sides.

    • L0ck

      Whole lotta people voting down a very sensible post here.

  • spsummer

    Well, this at least makes more sense.

  • DavidLee0810

    America became more stupider this years

    • L0ck

      As proven by your comment.

  • barefootdragon

    Well there you go...

  • John M.

    Well the American Flag can be seen as highly offensive too. Can we please remove it too from app icons?

    • dancj

      I'm offended by celery. Please can we remove all apps displaying that disgusting excuse for a vegetable?

      • John M.

        That't the point I'm trying to make. This is a slippery slope we are going down.

      • dancj

        I was agreeing with your point.

      • CrazedJava

        I dunno. Banning celery seems kinda reasonable to me.

    • Zero Ehxe

      For the same reason we can say some "curse words" or expletives now that 10 or 30 or 100 years ago were much more offensive (think about TV even showing a married couple only having one bed). What's considered offensive is tested against the "general public", sort of a majority consensus. As standards shift and change what is offensive changes. Profane words become more common and less offensive. As for the American flag? In places around the world where the general consensus of the culture is that it's offensive it won't be accepted, and to happen here we would have to have evolved negatively to a point that we wouldn't even recognize our own society. But a few people couldn't do it without moving the masses.

      • EvanJO14

        But if Apple banned everything the general public, business would become bad, and life would get a lot less fun. Somebody has a problem with violence. There go half the games. Somebody has a problem with expletives. There go the other half.

      • Zero Ehxe

        You're conflating removing every game that has objectionable content with making sure you can only see the content within the game. Making it so you can't see objectionable content in the storefront while you're browsing isn't removing the games themselves. Even then Apple as a private company had the right to censor its product and what it hosts, we would all just dislike it and migrate to android. That's the joy of free market though.

      • Entropy2k

        The problem with your argument is it's not "someone", it's millions of people. It's not a vegetable or a PG 13 curse word brought up earlier, it's a symbol displayed proudly by a subhuman that slaughtered 9 people in a church. If American society calms down about the flag (in case you haven't realized it yet I hope not), the rule will change again and you'll see it come back to icons. Such is business, such is life.

      • smr

        Subhumans tauting the American flag have a death count into the millions, over the many needless wars waged by imperialist Americans.

        But hey, at least I understand that symbolism is part of the most important right we are afforded in this country.

    • L0ck

      Do you consider the American flag to be symbolic of racism? Is that the general perception of it? If so, you have an equivalent example. (Hint: it's not, and you don't)

      • Keithustus

        It's a flag of genocide. Compare Native American population in 1776 to 1800 to 1850 to 1900.

      • Zero Ehxe

        I dislike that you have a valid point.

      • Zero Ehxe

        And now that I think about it when I see a cross it makes me think of the atrocities of the Crusades and the people who follow Jesus's words in Luke 19:27 "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."

      • Carl Eric Scott

        Most of that population loss was due to germ and immunity dynamics. Genocide is intentional. And tell us what the federal government could realistically have done differently to have prevented the systematic injustice done to Native American peoples, mostly dealt out by local governments, or even illegally, and we could have a discussion. They certainly could have done more and much better, but I'm afraid not enough to stop much of that population drop. Moreover, what we need is a discussion that admits past injustices and certain present responsibilities for them, sure, but which also uses words like "genocide" with care, and which remembers that few large nations or empires have ever treated tribal peoples with much fairness. Shall we study up on how the Incas treated the tribes in their way? The Romans? the Chinese? The Arabs? The Ethiopians? I dare say I think I can remain a bit patriotic about my America, when all is said is confessed.

      • Keithustus

        Germ and immunity dynamics were known and deliberately exploited. Not to say it didn't work far, far better than expected.

  • scottsoapbox

    By clarifies you mean backpedals.

    • scottsoapbox

      Down votes??? Apple banning everything and then saying "oh we meant the icon..." isn't backpedaling?

  • Wizard_Mike

    Being "really decent" (or just plain reasonable) would have been sending out a memo to developers beforehand, with a date to have the icons changed by, along with an explanation why. Doing this after the fact isn't "really decent", it's damage control.

  • gleeclub

    still BS

  • GoldenOreo

    Here comes the racists saying the same BS and trying to justify A racist flag

    • Jay G

      Here comes the one-trick pony!

      • GoldenOreo

        You are just mad because Apple has spoken lol. Get used to it racist

      • EvanJO14

        I'm willing to bet that you are a black Oreo instead of golden. Get used to it. No matter what opinions you may have, The majority of people will not agree with you, and there's nothing you can do about it.

      • L0ck

        You don't seem to understand the definition of 'majority'.

      • dancj

        Ah, now I get it. You're a troll.

      • Jay G

        You don't know me, and I said nothing to indicate that you could even remotely pass judgement on me as being racist or not. I think you have your head in your ass, and your ignorant, knee-jerk responses to this subject are predictable to a fault...just like Apple.

    • dancj

      There's a big difference between trying to justify that flag on a government building and justifying it being used in a historical game.

      • GoldenOreo

        some of us do NOT want to see that racist flag in real life OR in a game. So, don't agree. I said here comes the racists and you replied!

      • dancj

        And some of us think racism and slavery are terrible things that shouldn't be swept under the rug.

      • Kugiro

        Then avert your eyes and do not play those games? Instead you just force your opinion on others. Cool.

      • Jim Shorts

        Guys be sensitive to what the flag may represent to some people. Look at it this way, would you want a giant penis icon for your app? I surely wouldn't, but some might. I would appreciate it if Apple removed all icons with it on there.

      • dancj

        If I didn't want a giant penis icon them I wouldn't install that app.

      • Kevin234

        I bet if America voted more people have a problem with rainbow flags than the confederate. This is just dumb stuff all the way around. It is literal modern mass hysteria.

  • Panzerbush

    The flag of a defeated nation does not offend me at all.

  • http://adamsimmersive.com Adams Immersive

    Clarify first? Nah... more fun to cause needless confusion and alarm for a few days!

  • the_rebel14

    Well, this makes more sense. Seriously though, would it hurt to clarify BEFORE you take all the games down?!

  • Dueler

    Historical accuracy isn't good enough said Apple.

  • zergslayer69

    I'm sorry but what's the difference? Seems like the guy just grew facial hair and the sun is going down a little.

    • alduinslayer

      The confederate flag was removed from the right

  • Haanden

    Do we have to repent history in racist context? Yup.
    Do we have to understand the foundation in which light the horrible facts took place? Yup.
    Do we have to apologise for our great-grandfathers crimes and assaults, even though we haven't personally been involved? Ofcourse.
    It is by humble human nature we again can bridge the gap between people. Between different cultures.
    However, hiding the cruel facts only highlights the shame we cannot embrace. History, by definition, relates knowledge then and now by clarification. And so, however disturbing symbols may be, lets look at them with knowledge in mind, and repent. Without censorship either.
    Peace out.

    • Entropy2k

      I think there's a difference between hiding and choosing to not officially display. Those games will have the flag within them, I assume, and I 100% support that.

  • JK

    This whole thing is utterly ridiculous. Trying to erase history is about as stupid as it gets.

  • Delance

    Ban first, ask questions later.

  • HDd

    That is so much better. Let's not remove our history, let's hide it. Cowards.

  • Freeman

    Still not buying from them. It's just a flag.

    • L0ck

      It's not 'just a flag,' no more than the Nazi flag is 'just a flag.'

      • EvanJO14

        You are right. The nazi flag was a symbol of hate and Aryan supremacy. The one true racist flag. The confederate flags was not. In fact, the civil war was not even about slavery. It was about getting the secede states back. Lincoln even said if there was a way to do that with out freeing the slaves he would. So you might as well remove the American flag.

      • Freeman

        Both symbols of times long past. Today Germans are not more Nazis then Southerners are slave owners. To remove them entirely is to deny history and invite a culture of censorship and ignorance. Out past must be faced, not denied. You're only more sensitive about it because it's American history. Today, Germans can be sensitive about the Nazi flag but for the most part they do not take part in blame because most of them were not involved in the war. Also, a little food for thought, Nazi Germany came to power almost 100 years after the Civil War was finished, which means Germans matured about the subject of their past faster then Americans did about theirs. Take a page out of their book and grow up.

      • Entropy2k

        You do realize that nazi symbolism is banned by federal law in Germany, right? Not an individual business decision, federal law.

      • Freeman

        You do realize that the ban isn't absolute, right? Germans can still see it in movies, text books and museums. Hell, even the Buddhist and Hindu versions aren't banned. It's a common sense kind of law.

  • kfcdelivery

    Leave the flags I want to burn them myself.

  • L0ck

    This makes a lot more sense, but could have been handled much better if it was made clear to developers from the get-go.

  • L0ck

    It's not offensive to me, why should it be offensive to anyone else? Said the maker of Apartheid-era national flags.

  • Zeillusion

    That flag is in no shape or form racist. The media won't show you guys what's really going on. YouTube has tons of people standing up against this idiocy. This flag shall remain a symbol of pride. White, black, people fought for their beliefs. Just like the American flag. People died to protect what was there's. They deserve to be acknowledged, and how do we do that? How did they do that? They stood by their flag proudly. People these days are offended by to much. I remember when I was in 5th grade and had to draw a picture for art class. I drew a NASCAR driver with jewelry on his neck. A cross. Next day my parents got a call from an offended parent. Apparently some kid complained to the office. I was so amazed and confused. I never would think twice if I saw another type of cross or star or symbol on a drawing. Nothing offends me in that sense. We had to stop singing the nation anthem 4 years later. We had to stop Christmas decorations in school 6 years later. I never could understand any of it. People celebrate different things, people believe different things. We are all individuals and have the right to practice whatever we like as long as it doesn't cause harm to others. Crazy stuff.

  • matus

    Just of of interest, have other symbols been banned or just this one? I'm not American, so I don't have much of an idea about what the confederate flag stands for these days, but I know the swastika has had racist connotations since it was adopted by the nazi party. Is that banned as well? I'm not offering comment on it, I just wondered.

  • InTheAir

    Dat Beard!!!!!!

  • kfcdelivery

    Dirty Yankees

  • chank

    If some would take the time to truly learn history, then the Confederate flag wouldn't be so offensive. This whole thing is stupid.

  • MonkeyChunks

    Apple has no excuse for this sort of absolutely unnecessary censorship. I don't think any of us cared at all about which side we played as in games where the Confederate side was is available, nor did many of us paid attention to where the Confederate Flag appears in the screenshot, menu screen, or in the game. Now it's a stirred can of worms. As if there were sooo many civil war games in the App Store to begin with.

    By the way, I am very offended by the display of the Soviet red flag and the hammer and sickle symbol. This isn't sarcasm from me. I really am offended as someone who was born within the borders of what I consider an Empire of Evil. Should these soviet and red army symbols be also removed from the App Store because of people like myself.

    I am also offended by the flag of modern Russia because it bullies their neighbors including Ukraine. Please remove its displays from all apps as well.

  • spartusrings

    It's to late Apple. You showed your ture colours!! Don't try and kiss our ass because you pissed people off. Apple sucks. And with even pulling games, books, movies, posters or what ever else for an image of a flag. You don't believe in freedom. Or you are to weak to say no to the U S government. Sell your product in other countries. I'm not buying it. Who cares about glass you use that breaks and batteries you can't change or memory you can't add. I don't want iTunes to update my product or transfer files. There is alot of better products out there that doesn't have a rotten apple on it. You spoiled the bunch.

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  • emerica1@att.net

    Apple has big stupid ass policy's. The confederate flag is in history and its a symbol of the south during the civil war. Simply put its a mere symbol of the south. Nothing else to it and it doesn't have anything to do with being racist. People have simply lost their minds I guess.

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  • mycoolroy

    Backpedaling, the reaction I saw was 90% negative to it. I know they come out with this, I'm pretty sure if they could've gotten away with it they would've done far worse. I don't trust Apple anymore.

  • Kevin234

    Stupidest policy in the world. Stalinist crap going across whole country trying to erase the past. Because a crazy person killed people. I just don't understand how America got so dumb.

  • Benjamin Rodriguez

    Okay so now that we know you're talking about either Miles or Thompson's variations of the flags, which quote do you want? Because they basically said the same thing. That they the white man were given God given rights to the inferior colored man.

    • bhayes444

      Does it really matter that much to you? Flags are symbols that take on the meaning that people attribute to them. Just because it was created with a poor meaning doesn't mean that particular meaning is what everyone knows it for. Take the swastika: it meant quite the opposite of what Hitler used it for. It meant peace. If people see it nowadays they only think of hate, unless you belong to the original group of people who know what it originally meant.

      I would like you to furnish me with Miles' quote since it is his flag that the whole controversy surrounds. With sources if you please.

      Why are you so hung up with what they said. The people that fought under that flag fought for their country regardless of what the people who created that flag intended it to mean. You act like the troops were given a memo that said: "hey this flag means whites are better than the other colored races, so if you don't like it then have fun." In the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter. The flag has taken on different meanings to different people, like other countless examples over the centuries.

  • MonkeyChunks

    This isn't about the historical meaning of the flag. We all know that the bad side used it and lost. It does not excuse such stupid censorship as Apple has began require.

    The changes were made to the in game flag display. It's not true that it only has to do with the screenshots and the title art. In game confederate battle flags are replaced with what's called National Flag of the Confederacy. It has a circle of stars in the square and three bars.

    It is just so stupid and offensive to make these changes. It is offensive because basically apple is saying that the users are dumb sheep who need to be babysat so they don't see something offensive.