back to article Apple pulls Civil War games in Confederate flag takedown

Apple is removing games that feature the Confederate flag in their titles or gameplay from its App Store. A number of titles previously available on the App Store, mainly combat and strategy games set in the US Civil War, have been taken down, along with some wallpapers featuring the flag. Though Apple has yet to return a …

  1. Richard 20

    Ok, but where does this leave the Wolfenstein series?

    1. Zarno

      I'm now sadly thinking of the same thing...

      Even if they were to "sanitize" the imagery, some of the level maps are based on fractal swastikas.

      So they'd have to totally rework the levels to be fractal puppies or begonias...

      That reminds me of Chex Quest, the fun filled free advertisment game that was re-skinned DOOM..

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      This new "political correctness" for games, etc.is a bit scary. In the scale models arena, some guys have been beaten to a bloody pulp (verbally) for putting the swastika on German tanks, planes, and ships. and then when they remove it, another group will beat them verbally for not being historically accurate. I imagine this is about to spread into other areas for this flag. The big question is: who or what is next? Paintings in art museums?

      BTW, it's good, IMO, that the flag is pulled from State capitols, etc...

      1. Tom 13

        Re: BTW, it's good, IMO, that the flag is pulled from State capitols, etc...

        So by you it is good to not honor war dead by displaying their regimental colors?

        Because that's what it is/was doing in South Carolina. It wasn't flying over the capital where Democrat Fritz Hollings hoisted it as governor. It was moved from there years ago under a Republican governor and instead flies/flew at the memorial honoring SC's dead civil war soldiers.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: BTW, it's good, IMO, that the flag is pulled from State capitols, etc...

          >So by you it is good to not honor war dead

          So by you its ok for that we yearly (like their government) also honor the Japanese soldiers convicted of committing war crimes in WW2? I personally will never honor anybody just for fighting for the South. They might have been a good person but they were also by definition a traitor to the Union and an enemy just like the Japanese in WW2.

        2. asdf Silver badge

          Re: BTW, it's good, IMO, that the flag is pulled from State capitols, etc...

          It wasn't flying over the capital where Dixiecrat Fritz Hollings hoisted it as governor. It was moved from there years ago under a Republican governor (after a monumental fight in the legislation where opposition to it was mostly Republican)

          FIFY.

        3. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: BTW, it's good, IMO, that the flag is pulled from State capitols, etc...

          Then it probably should stay there on the memorial. I specifically said "state capitols". OTOH, what about German cemetaries? Should they fly the swastika?

    3. Tim Worstal

      Wolfenstein isn't available in Germany, where they do have laws about swastikas and so on. I checked this once, just to make sure. The servers won't download it to you if you're inside Germany (and, I assume, Austria, which has similar rules).

    4. John G Imrie Silver badge

      I was thinking more about The Dukes of Hazard.

    5. asdf Silver badge

      except

      This is a corporate business decision (smells of cheap publicity for Apple but their right I guess). Funny how many people defend business rights until they do something they don't like.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I do hope this doesn't lead to a red-neck counter reaction, you folks over the pond have a lot of loonies with some serious fire-power stashed in their basement.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      But let's see a redneck with a shotgun hit a drone...

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Personally, I wouldn't like to looking down the wrong end of a .308 hunting rifle. It would only take one more beer before the challenge becomes a vocation.

      2. Swarthy Silver badge
        Mushroom

        But let's see a redneck with a shotgun hit a drone...
        Ohh, Yes please. That should be fun to watch.

      3. asdf Silver badge

        >But let's see a redneck with a shotgun hit a drone...

        or a cruise missile. But those shotguns will protect against the big bad government.

  3. King Jack
    Trollface

    Why the surprise?

    Americans have been rewriting history since forever. Just watch any Hollywood 'factual' movie.

    Remember folks, they was no yesterday and there is no tomorrow, only today.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Why the surprise?

      >they was no yesterday and there is no tomorrow, only today.

      Funny it wasn't an American author who had the best quote ever about this concept (Orwell).

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Meh

    Principled stand?

    Or just "Whistling Dixie"?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Principled stand?

      Oh no, don't tell me I can't play Dixie anymore. Seriously, it's one of the great old tunes. To hell with politics.

  5. Justin Pasher

    Fast track to offense

    And just like that, the flag which has been around for over a century has suddenly become "offensive imagery" overnight and requires immediate eradication. This is the state our world now lives in.

    1. Faceless Man

      Re: Fast track to offense

      Actually, it's been offensive all that time, it's just now there seems to be the political will to do something about it.

    2. GBE

      Re: Fast track to offense

      No, it's been offensive since the 1860s.

      It stands for racism, hatred, and slavery and always has.

      1. john devoy

        Re: Fast track to offense

        The United States in general stands for racism, it's not as if the problems are all in Southern states.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Fast track to offense

          >The United States in general stands for racism

          Well if we are going to deflect blame that way we can say so does Australia who are still far more racist than the US (paying smugglers off to take asylum seekers back out to sea is a bit beyond the pail no?). Also you don't see American sports having to censure entire fan bases for racism. Say what you want about the US but our immigrants learn to speak the language by the 3rd generation unlike many parts of civilized Europe.

          1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Fast track to offense

            @asdf - and the phrase is "beyond the pale", referring to the fence delineating the extent of English rule in Ireland, so could be considered offensive too.

            1. asdf Silver badge

              Re: Fast track to offense

              >@asdf - and the phrase is "beyond the pale", referring to the fence delineating the extent of English rule in Ireland, so could be considered offensive too.

              I guess that's what I get for using terms I steal from the UK readership. Throwing your toys out the pram isn't racist in anyway is it?

        2. Dan Paul

          Re: Fast track to offense

          John Devoy,

          You should concern yourself with your own country and it's problems. You spout ignorance and hatred yourself.

          STFU!

      2. dan1980

        Re: Fast track to offense

        @GBE

        "It stands for racism, hatred, and slavery and always has."

        Well, one might argue that, with the exception of the 'stainless' banner, the flags stood for the confederacy which did indeed want to secede to preserve slavery.

        But does that mean that the flag itself stand for that?

        Perhaps, and, when flown and displayed in a modern context, this becomes far more likely.

        But that's the point - the context. When displayed as part of a historical context, it is the battle flag for several armies of the south and most notably General Lee, who used it at Gettysburg.

        Thus a HISTORICAL portrayal of the Battle of Gettysburg would be willfully inaccurate if it removed or replaced this flag.

        Displayed by the KKK it stands for racism and hatred. Displayed in a video game about Gettysburg, it stands for General Lee's North Virginian Army, without whom the campaign would not be a very important event in history as it's hardly worth remembering the summer that George Meade spent with his friends in Pennsylvania.

        This is a knee-jerk over-reaction by Apple and, if this is really their position then I urge them to remove all content with similarly offensive livery from their store.

        I don't know how many people would missThe Dukes of Hazard but we can't stop at just this flag because certainly the Nazi Swastika qualifies every bit as much - if not more.

        1. Jaybus

          Re: Fast track to offense

          "It stands for racism, hatred, and slavery and always has."

          "Well, one might argue that, with the exception of the 'stainless' banner, the flags stood for the confederacy which did indeed want to secede to preserve slavery.

          Well, no, the flag in question is the Battle Flag of the Army of Virginia. It stood for the Army of Virginia. The 'stainless banner' was the second national flag of the Confederate States of America, and it had a similar pattern in the top left corner of an otherwise plain white rectangle twice as wide as tall. A shorter version, 1.5 times as wide as tall was used as the Confederate Navy's ensign. So, one would certainly expect to find the battle flag in a game that is specifically about a battle involving the Army of Virginia, yes?

      3. Captain DaFt

        Re: Fast track to offense

        "It stands for racism, hatred, and slavery and always has."

        Nope, as any scholar of American History will tell you. (But who listens to them?

        It stood for Sates rights, the whole succession movement came about because the Federal Government was expanding its powers in ways that abrogated State Rights.

        Slavery wasn't even mentioned until the second year of the war, when the northern states started demanding that the Federal Government end the bloody massacre.

        Slavery? Funny thing that. The Emancipation Proclamation only ended slavery in the conquered territories. (Their term, it's right there in the proclamation itself.)

        There were Northern states that continued to use slavery for another 2 years afterward, until the 13th amendment was finally added to the constitution.

        Funny, that is almost never mentioned these days, or that slavery was practiced in many so called free northern states, before during and after the civil war.

        "The historian Joanne Pope Melish, who has written a perceptive book on race relations in ante-bellum New England, recalls how it was possible to read American history textbooks at the high school level and never know that there was such a thing as a slave north of the Mason-Dixon Line:" - http://slavenorth.com/

        1. Naselus

          Re: Fast track to offense

          "Slavery wasn't even mentioned until the second year of the war, when the northern states started demanding that the Federal Government end the bloody massacre."

          Well, except in the various state's declarations of secession, where it's mentioned dozens and dozens of times. Georgia's starts off with ' For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery'. Mississippi's justification begins 'Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth'. South Carolina's is much more heavily based in State's Rights, but does refer to the South as 'the Slave-holding States' throughout.

          That does kind of suggest that, a the time, most of them were thinking a bit more about keeping their slaves than they were about constitutional conventions surrounding the relative power of federal and state legislatures.

        2. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Fast track to offense

          >It stood for States rights

          What total BULLSHIT! Revisionism is far more dangerous than any flag. Get that lost cause of the confederacy propaganda the fug out of here.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Cause_of_the_Confederacy (plenty of other non wikipedia sources about this garbage as well)

          >Slavery wasn't even mentioned until the second year of the war,

          Wrong again.

          Constitution of the Confederate States

          Article IV Section 3(3)

          The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several states; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form states to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory, the institution of negro slavery as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress, and by the territorial government: and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories, shall have the right to take to such territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the states or territories of the Confederate states.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: Revisionism is far more dangerous than any flag.

            Yours more than most you hateful bigot.

            1. asdf Silver badge

              Re: Revisionism is far more dangerous than any flag.

              >Yours more than most you hateful bigot

              I apologize in advance for not buying the narrative that the older southern white christian American male is ruthlessly persecuted.

              1. skeptical i
                Joke

                Re: Revisionism is far more dangerous than any flag.

                Hi, asdf: re "I apologize in advance for not buying the narrative that the older southern white christian American male is ruthlessly persecuted.", you forgot 'het': Queer Nation is apparently hunting down heterosexuals and taking their marriages away thanks to the Supreme Court legislating from the bench. [* rolls eyes *]

        3. Tom 13

          Re: Nope, as any scholar of American History will tell you.

          Incorrect. Some of them will, some of them claim it stands for racism. Granted the ones who claim it stands for racism put their politics in front of their scholarship, but they are still titled as scholars. And who can blame them when Southern Loyalists are as willing to spin history as they are?

          Lincoln didn't have the authority to free slaves in the US. He did have the authority to do it in the conquered territories. Freeing them required a Constitutional amendment (several actually as each was used to address a specific point. Funny how they didn't pull this omnibus crap back then) which was taken up as soon as the war was over and passed quite quickly thereafter (a mere 8 months, lightning fast for the time given it need approval from both houses of Congress plus 3/4 of the states).

          As a Pennsylvanian I was quite aware that slaves were not merely bought and sold across the whole of the US from colonial times, I learned about the trade triangle (rum and goods to Africa, Slaves to the Americas especially Jamaica and Cuba, and sugar to New England) which quite obviously was as evil if not more as owning the slaves. However it was equally true that by the time of the Civil War not only had owning slaves fallen out of favor in the North, many if not most of them had amended their constitutions so that slavery within their borders was illegal. In fact, that was the whole point of the Dred Scott case. Scott lived for 4 years in a territory where it was illegal to be a slave. On that basis he sued to be permanently freed. Then a racist Chief Justice rewrote the laws of the States from the bench. It's a blow from which our court system has never really recovered. Now it's blase for justices at all levels of the courts to rewrite laws to fit their political views.

        4. Jaybus

          Re: Fast track to offense

          "Funny, that is almost never mentioned these days, or that slavery was practiced in many so called free northern states, before during and after the civil war."

          Never hear of the three fifths compromise either, though it played a huge part in the controversy over slavery at the time. The slave states were being taxed by the federal government to a greater extent because 3/5 of the slave population was being counted when apportioning taxes. The free states feared being left behind in the Western expansion because they could not compete with the slaveholders economically without attempting to hamper the slave states through taxing. So, was it about slavery? Yes, indirectly, but like every war ever fought, it was about money. Saying that the American Civil War was fought to free the slaves is like saying World War 2 was fought to liberate the Jews.

          1. asdf Silver badge

            Re: Fast track to offense

            >The free states feared being left behind in the Western expansion because they could not compete with the slaveholders economically without attempting to hamper the slave states through taxing.

            What kind of bullshit is this? The ones scared about being left behind economically were the slave states. The industrial North had so many more resources than the agri South (even today) it wasn't even close. If everyone from Westpoint would have went Union that war would have been over in six months. Only incompetence of Union generals (and admittedly brilliant Southern ones) early on prolonged it. The North might have had mixed reasons for fighting the Civil War but the South certainly didn't. Without slaves for example Mississippi was destined to be well Mississippi today.

            1. Jaybus

              Re: Fast track to offense

              "What kind of bullshit is this? The ones scared about being left behind economically were the slave states."

              That is true, however the fear went both ways. The US-Mexican war and subsequent annexation of Texas as a slave state and Westward expansion of slavery was a huge part of the conflict. Congress had been trying to maintain a balance of representation from slave and free states for some 40 years prior to the war. It was the industrial revolution come to America, industry versus agriculture, and each side wanted to take the nation in different economical directions accordingly. As always, the war was fought over money.

      4. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Fast track to offense

        It stands for racism, hatred, and slavery and always has.

        I like that flag, visually I mean. It has never held any symbolism for me other than The Dukes of Hazzard, which inevitably leads to thoughts Daisy Duke's hot pants and the back seat of a Dodge Charger.

        I've been fortunate enough to spend some time working in America down the years, and still have friends from there. None of them has ever attached any symolism to the flag and certainly hadn't marked it out as the domain of racists and slavers.

        Yes, I understand the history of the flag and the civil war, but that was a very long time ago. In the years since then, the home grown racists in the UK stole our St Georges Cross, which took many years for the rest of us to take back from them. They tried to move on to the Union Jack, and we held our ground there by flying our flags in their faces. I would take a very dim view, 50 years from now, being told that flying the flag of St George at sporting events makes me an oppressive racist rather than someone proud of their country and its rich history, but who is also aware of our past misdeeds, some of which were done under my flag. There isn't a flag on the planet can truly claim not to be stained with blood.

        I'm certain that many of those flying the Confederate flag and adorning their vehicles with the bumper stickers are simply proud of their state, and their region, and manage this without being racist, oppressive, or full of hate. It would seem to me to be more oppressive and hateful to attempt to ban their flag.

        Britain has the Union Jack, England the St Georges Cross, Scotland has the Saltire, and so it goes. Why then can Texas or South Carolina not have both?

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Fast track to offense

          > It has never held any symbolism for me

          And being from the UK you probably don't about things like the song Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday is about dead black people hanging from trees killed by lynch mobs (who usually supported Confederacy ideals) so you might not know why its a big deal. That said we have the 1st amendment in this country so any one should be able to fly that horrible flag or even a swastika if they want. However tax payers of all races should not be paying the government to fly it in public in any way.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Fast track to offense

            And being from the UK you probably don't about things like the song Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday

            No, I understand the lyrics and the meaning.

            However tax payers of all races should not be paying the government to fly it in public in any way.

            As a point of order, I happen to agree. The only flags flown from civic buildings should be that of the nation. I don't see that as a race issue, but as one of societal cohesion.

    3. PJL500

      Re: Fast track to offense

      Does Apple allow games with WWII swastikas to be used for entertainment? If one looks back at the efforts of the organization that used that symbol it might be possible to find ideas that were very patriotic and and maybe even something to be proud of. BUT... because of several ideas that were absolutely abhorrent and debasing to humanity that flag, aside for historical references, is consigned to the garbage and to the basements of hate filled people.

      To use the swastika for entertainment purposes and leave out the extermination camps and all the other abhorrent ideology, experiments etc is no different from using the Confederate flag and ignore 1/ the historical fact that preserving lynching, kidnapping, enslaving and debasing human beings based on their skin color was a major factor in the goal of flying that flag and 2/ the present day fact that *many* mean spirited people would causally continue to fly this flag and use it in "games" despite the fact that it threatens that whole segment of society who are continually targeted by the base ideals represented by the flag.

      Apart from historical reference this Confederate flag belongs with that swastika - in the trash.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Fast track to offense

        @PJL500

        Apart from historical reference this Confederate flag belongs with that swastika - in the trash.

        And this game is, explicitly, a historical reference.

        "To use the swastika for entertainment purposes and leave out the extermination camps and all the other abhorrent ideology, experiments etc is no different from using the Confederate flag and ignore 1/ the historical fact that preserving lynching, kidnapping, enslaving and debasing human beings based on their skin color was a major factor in the goal of flying that flag . . ."

        So a mobile game specifically about the Gettysburg campaign/battle is justified in using the historical accurate flag used by General Lee if, and only if, it also spends time focusing on the ideology of the South and if it doesn't then it must censor (and that is exactly what this is) out a historical fact?

      2. Jaybus

        Re: Fast track to offense

        Of course, the vast majority of the ships bringing African slaves to the Americas flew the Union flag. So which flag is next to be banned?

      3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: Fast track to offense

        Apart from historical reference this Confederate flag belongs with that swastika - in the trash.

        What's wrong with the swastika? I personally like it. It's just a pity that some nutjobs decided to appropriate it for their own ends and that as a result we've been denied it ever since. Making it illegal is as senseless as making the symbol '福' illegal.

    4. chivo243 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Fast track to offense

      At least when people have the "Flag" on their truck, car etc we know their views. I have a feeling this action will just drive the people who still believe in "Old Glory" underground, and then what? Secret clubs with secret handshakes? Oh Wait! There is already one of those, three letters, eleventh letter of the alphabet...

      I say let people express their beliefs, at least then we can see who stands for what. If people want to fly their "Freak Flag", then let them.

    5. Ian 55

      Re: Fast track to offense

      Burn it, now!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fast track to offense

        Well Americans do have a constitutional right to burn flags including our current one (safety fire laws aside) and also have a right to wear a t-shirt with the stars and stripes that says burn this flag asshole. We are funky like that.

  6. ratfox Silver badge

    I have to say I find the reaction rather weird. That flag has been honoured in part of the US for a century, and suddenly it's so hot that everybody's falling upon themselves to stop selling it. I understand that for a lot of people in the South, it stood for freedom and the Dukes of Hazzard, and now suddenly they have to throw it away or hide it in shame. A bit as if Germany had gone from 1939 to 1945 in a couple of days.

    1. GBE

      Just be cause it was "honored" in parts of the US don't mean it isn't a symbol of bigotry, ignorance, hatred, racism, and slavery. It should have been hidden in shame 150 years ago. They're just a bit slow in some of those southern states. The Southern Baptist church only officially renounced its pro-slavery position in 1995. Yes that's a NINETEEN. They split with the rest of the Baptist church in the US when the rest of the church came out against slavery.]

    2. Tom 13

      Re: A bit as if Germany had gone from 1939 to 1945

      More like 1928 to 1942, except replace Jews with whites, especially southerners.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: A bit as if Germany had gone from 1939 to 1945

        >More like 1928 to 1942, except replace Jews with whites, especially southerners.

        Dylann Roof did you get internet access in jail?

  7. DN4

    WTF?

    I suppose the next step will be historical books about the Civil War that display the flag, or are they disallowed already?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Principle

    Slippery slope as not a lot stands up to historical scrutiny against modern standards.

  9. Winter is Coming!

    Amazon pulled Board Games and more!

    Okay, a store has the right to sell what they want. Sure, that's their thing and people can boycott the store if they want to. I just do not understand how a board games based on history can be banned. Pendulum is swinging a bit over I would say. It will help the old Avalon Hill resell values though! Just imagine when they ban the WWII, War of the Roses, Roman Empire, etc. games. I'm pretty sure somebody is offended by thinking about history or putting their minds into thinking of strategies of how a battle could have been won or lost. Dangerous thoughts for such a modern US society.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Apples offend me, Tim Cook.

    Let's see you squirm your way out of this one.

    1. YARR

      Re: Apples offend me, Tim Cook.

      Fast forward 150 years....

      Rainbow flags offend me. They stand for separated colours and division. We must decree that the only flag that is universally acceptable is a uniform mushy-grey-brown colour.

      My great-great grandfather (adoptive gay-dad) flew the Rainbow flag but now I say enough is enough! Ban this rainbow filth!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Oh God, no more Lynrd Skynrd? Or is that Lynrd Skinhead?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. asdf Silver badge

        don't forget

        In Birmingham they love the governor (George Wallace?), boo boo boo

        Now we all did what we could do

        Now Watergate does not bother me

        -- Sweet Home Alabama

  12. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    Meanwhile, far from the moral panic, in the history books...

    The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, by Thomas DiLorenzo

    Among the guilty is the foremost of all historians who have written on the topic, James G. Randall. "In chapter after chapter of his 595-page book Constitutional Problems Under Lincoln, he [Randall] dutifully describes not mere problems but the destruction of constitutional liberty. He concludes almost every chapter with a string of excuses. . . . The establishment of a dictatorship was not the overthrowing of the Constitution but merely ‘out of keeping with the normal tenor of American law.’ Nor were thousands of arbitrary arrests an example of tyranny but only ‘unfortunate,’ and made, after all, with ‘the best of motives’ " (p. 160).

    Incredibly, the same pattern recurs among Lincoln’s partisans when they describe the gross violations of international law committed, with Lincoln’s entire approval, by Generals Sherman, Sheridan, Butler, and many others. After his bombardment of Atlanta, "Sherman’s army went on its usual binge of looting and burning. . . . It has been estimated that more than 90 percent of the city was demolished" (p. 186). As if this were not enough, Sherman expelled the remaining civilian residents from the city. Nevertheless, Mark Grimsley, a leading military historian, "downplays the suffering of the citizens of Atlanta by saying that ‘only’ a few thousand of them were evicted from their homes" (p. 187). In the face of Sherman’s march to the sea and Sheridan’s burning of the Shenandoah Valley, Mark Neely writes that "Sherman and his ‘fellow generals waged war the same way most Victorian gentlemen did, and other Victorian gentlemen in the world knew it.’ Total war, according to Neely, was just not Sherman’s cup of tea" (p. 198).

    To attack Sherman and his cohorts is fortunately not very controversial, even in these times of abject Lincoln worship; but to state the obvious clearly is no small virtue. Professor DiLorenzo undertakes a much more difficult task, though, in his treatment of Reconstruction. Here he undermines completely the arguments of the dominant approach to this period among contemporary American historians.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, far from the moral panic, in the history books...

      The Cornerstone Speech

      "Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. "

      -- Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at the Athenaeum in Savannah, Georgia, on March 21, 1861 (a few weeks before the Confederacy would start the American Civil War).

      1. Phil.T.Tipp

        Re: Meanwhile, far from the moral panic, in the history books...

        He was correct - and the fact still stands.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Meanwhile, far from the moral panic, in the history books...

          Oh I won't argue the North wasn't nearly as bad (Gangs of New York shows that lol) or that Lincoln was some saint. I will argue however the lies that slavery played a small role in why the South committed high treason.

    2. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, far from the moral panic, in the history books...

      Constitution of the Confederate States

      Article IV Section 3(3)

      The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several states; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form states to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory, the institution of negro slavery as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress, and by the territorial government: and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories, shall have the right to take to such territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the states or territories of the Confederate states.

    3. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, far from the moral panic, in the history books...

      And to finish here are some excerpts from the statements of secession issued by several of the erstwhile Confederate states

      --Mississippi:

      Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery— the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

      --Texas:

      Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery— the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits— a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

      --South Carolina

      The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution.

      --Georgia

      The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.

    4. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, far from the moral panic, in the history books...

      If you are going to talk about war crimes don't forget to mention the South's near concentration camp Andersonville down there in Georgia. I think this picture of a survivor says it all.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andersonville_National_Historic_Site#/media/File:Andersonvillesurvivor.jpg

  13. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Well you have to remember:

    1) the South lost, and is angry and bitter about it, so the flag has sort of "wunna these DAYS... we're gonna rise up again and whup some yankee ass" pseudo-rebellious feel to it.

    2) People in the South are considered lazy, ignorant, racist bible-thumpers. And speaking as someone born and raised in Florida/Georgia, I have to admit that's not far from the truth.

    3) As a result of 1 & 2, the Yankees feel superior and think someone should stop all that foolishness down there.

    The flag is just a concise symbol of it all, just like a swastika is now a concise symbol for Nazi Germany.

    Don't forget, just as England & the US are divided by a common language, so are the North and the South, and it goes much further than "pop" vs "coke" as a generic term for soft drinks. I was once discussing elections and said "George Bush was a spook" (meaning he had been CIA director - i.e. a spy) and my friends from the North looked funny and said "but George Bush is white!!"

    My very racist grandmother used to swear "well, I'll BE JOHN BROWN!" (who was a famous abolitionist - and I didn't understand this swear until I took high school history)

  14. James O'Shea Silver badge

    I find it interesting

    that some people hate Apple so much that they scream when Apple dumps a symbol of traitors, slavers, murderers, thieves, and rapists. Not to mention just plain bigots. A certain cracker who will not be named shot nine people dead in an effort to (by his own admission) start a race war, inspired in large part by that flag. And yet some on this site object to it being removed.

    I went to university with someone whose great-whatever granduncle was with the 1st Minnesota at Gettysburg. 262 Minnesotans mounted a spoiler attack to block a Confederate assault. 47 were still standing after the unit achieved its objective. The 24th Michigan took 77% casualties holding the Angle, the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. They held. The 20th Maine literally ran out of ammunition defending their position; they fixed bayonets and charged, despite being outnumbered four to one. They routed the rebels. And that's just Gettysburg. And leaves out Buford's cavalry saving the high ground, the fight in the Devil's Den, the rest of the Iron Brigade (24 Michigan was in 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps first to fight, a.k.a. the Iron Brigade) standing at the Angle when Longstreet's men tried to run them over. Men carrying that flag. 1st Minnesota was at the Angle, too; one of their men captured a rebel flag and it's in a museum in Minnesota. A few years ago some Virginians demanded their flag back. Minnesota told 'em to come get it and bring body bags, they'd be needing them.

    Getting rid of that flag has been a long time in coming. Far too long. Museums are the only place those flags should fly.

    Several regiments of the Virginia National Guard are still called the Stonewall Brigade. Time to change that name, too. And Ft. Hood. And Ft. Bragg. And Ft. Lee. And a bunch more.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I find it interesting

      "that some people hate Apple so much that they scream when Apple dumps a symbol of traitors, slavers, murderers, thieves, and rapists. Not to mention just plain bigots. A certain cracker who will not be named shot nine people dead in an effort to (by his own admission) start a race war, inspired in large part by that flag. And yet some on this site object to it being removed."

      Not so many years ago here in Blighty our flag was more or less hijacked by a bunch of vicious fascist scum calling themselves the National Front. To be honest, most people here really didn't give a toss since it's only a flag and doesn't really mean all that much to most people. We might have been a bit pissed off if someone like Apple came along and tried to ban games which included it because it "inspired" a small minority of vicious thugs to commit random, often racist, violence but that so-called "inspiration" was certainly not seen as a reason to ban it by the populous at large. Banning otherwise innocuous symbols because a tiny a minority claim they were inspired by them is a slippery slope you really don't want to be going down.

      1. ian 22

        Re: I find it interesting

        Racialism in all it's manifestations and symbols must be eradicated. Any fool flying the 'stars and bars' will now know what others are thinking of him.

  15. cyrus
    WTF?

    I hang my head in shame

    that the take away from a horrible crime is to stomp on the least significant aspect of it. We Americans are fools.

    Regardless of how people feel about the shooting, the Confederate flag is not the issue. What fault of law allowed this mental defective to have a gun? Any one have good answer for that? Did the Confederate flag give him the gun? I think this is more typical American denial of the real problems in our society.

    I believe in our right to bear arms. But we have a problem here in the U.S. of allowing the criminally insane to take part in that great Right. Maybe that's what we should be discussing instead of doing stupid, ignorant and virtually useless things.

    I cannot imagine that removing the Confederate flag from the face of the nation will stop this from happening again. Maybe next time, the perpetrator will have a picture taken of him with the American flag. How will the dumb people I have to call my countrymen deal with that?

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: I hang my head in shame

      >What fault of law allowed this mental defective to have a gun? Any one have good answer for that?

      N R _

      Pat can I buy an A?

      When you represent gun makers then common sense laws that even responsible gun owners would agree with become a danger to profit.

    2. FozzyBear Silver badge

      Re: I hang my head in shame

      Personally i like jim jefferies take o gun control in the U.S. Sorry no link, at work with youtube blocked

      1. AbelSoul

        Re: I hang my head in shame

        Personally i like jim jefferies take o gun control in the U.S. Sorry no link, at work with youtube blocked

        You mean this one? (Not that you'll be able to check it right now, of course.)

    3. Tom 13

      Re: What fault of law allowed this mental defective to have a gun?

      No fault of law. There is the fault of people who think that by outlawing guns they will make the world safe. This has proven to be ineffective wherever tried, even Britain.

      Had even a few of the people in that church been properly armed, the "mental defect" would not have killed so many people.

      I will also note that to a great extent the "mental defect" was radicalized by none other than The Big 0 himself. Hate speech directed at others on the basis of the color of their skin is always likely to set his type off.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: What fault of law allowed this mental defective to have a gun?

        >This has proven to be ineffective wherever tried, even Britain.

        I believe in the 2nd Amendment but this is actually not true as there is the perfect test case in the last twenty years. Remember guns kill more people by suicide than homicide even in the US.

        Did gun control work in Australia?

        ...

        But one of Howard's other lasting legacies is Australia's gun control regime, first passed in 1996 in response to a massacre in Tasmania that left 35 dead. The law banned semiautomatic and automatic rifles and shotguns. It also instituted a mandatory buy-back program for newly banned weapons.

        So what have the Australian laws actually done for homicide and suicide rates? Howard cites a study (pdf) by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University finding that the firearm homicide rate fell by 59 percent, and the firearm suicide rate fell by 65 percent, in the decade after the law was introduced, without a parallel increase in non-firearm homicides and suicides. That provides strong circumstantial evidence for the law's effectiveness.

        The paper also estimated that buying back 3,500 guns per 100,000 people results in a 35 to 50 percent decline in the homicide rate, but because of the low number of homicides in Australia normally, this finding isn't statistically significant.

        What is significant is the decline the laws caused in the firearm suicide rate, which Leigh and Neill estimate at a 74 percent reduction for a buyback of that size. This is even higher than the overall decline in the suicide rate, because the gun buybacks' speed varied from state to state. In states with quick buybacks, the fall in the suicide rate far exceeded the fall in states with slower buybacks:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/02/did-gun-control-work-in-australia/

  16. john devoy

    Ridiculous

    This shows how much money talks in the USA, don't blame the guns...blame a flag for his murders. If the next killer flies the red white and blue will they ban that as well and just fly a picture of a fat man stuffing a McD into his face from now on?

  17. asdf Silver badge

    confederate flags

    Really the only confederate flag that mattered was the one that was completely white. Still the flags really should only be banned from government public property (museums aside). Rednecks should be able to own as many of the loser flags as they want.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: confederate flags

      I hate to agree with you, but this is one of the better points in the comments.

      I am in favor of having the "Confederate Flag" (as mentioned above, it really isn't) available to whomsoever wants to display it. It should not be displayed by state governments, excepting in an historical context; but individuals should be free to let everyone else know their stance. Displaying the Stars and Bars allows others to recognize that you are ignorant and/or bigoted, and ignore/avoid you as appropriate.

  18. bill 30

    All the balls have left the bar

    My country has become so PC, it is now to the point of just plain making me sad.... I can't even respond to the idiots who run this place.... aaaaargh

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All the balls have left the bar

      Good thing you still have your guns huh? Society is going to hell (didn't he think that too?) when even two men might soon be able to marry eh? You might want to get you some collared shirts to cover up that neck.

      1. bill 30

        Re: All the balls have left the bar

        Well boy howdy... you sure have got me pegged.... your snarky comments are very refreshing, and original

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: All the balls have left the bar

          "Boy howdy"? Ya'll from the South? That clears up some of your statements.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: All the balls have left the bar

            Listen up boy! You deserved that. And probably a good beating as well.

      2. DryBones

        Re: All the balls have left the bar

        The problem is that society is simultaneously becoming less able to deal with the aberrants. It's out of their ability to process, completely traumatizing. No guns, no tolerance for them, abject fear of what they might do. More and more people are becoming vegetarians because they cannot deal with the idea that something had to die for their food. It's narrowing, reducing our ability to adapt and cope.

        There are very valid reasons for having that tolerance, knowing about tools and weapons, for having a breath of experience. Knowing how to hunt, to fish, to make things, to design things. Sounds very Time Machine, gradually making people into Eloi.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: All the balls have left the bar

          Wow DryBones were you playing Country Boy Can Survive on repeat as you wrote that drivel? The still rather rare vegetarians (at least in the US) generally have to work a lot harder at feeding themselves than all the lard ass mouth breathers in the McDonald's drive through lane, that yes also are very popular down the in the south land as well. That said its hard to imagine a world worth living in without dry age steak.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: All the balls have left the bar

            Also that little misadventure in Iraq I think showed clearly how the US public is perfectly fine with people dying as long as it isn't them or their family.

          2. DryBones

            Re: All the balls have left the bar

            @AC: I think you parsed the wrong meaning there. I meant of those who become vegetarians, it seems like more and more are changing to such a diet because they cannot bear the thought that an animal died for their food.

            Not sure, but we may have a generation growing up with little concept of where their meat comes from. Ask, and get "The store."

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: All the balls have left the bar

              > it seems like more and more are changing to such a diet because they cannot bear the thought that an animal died for their food.

              But when it comes to killing hundred of thousands of people in Iraq, %80 approval no problem.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Rik Myslewski
    Thumb Up

    Not to be glaringly obvious, but ...

    ... can we simply stop being one-upsmanshipping assholes to one another, scratching snide comments against each others' cheeks and trying to assert our own self-identified tribe as the only holder of The One Great Truth?

    Chill, folks, chill — on this side of the pond, we're all in it together, and all of our opinions count.

    Compromise? I've heard of it...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not to be glaringly obvious, but ...

      >Compromise? I've heard of it..

      Ideology conflict only being solved via armed conflict also heard of it (Civil War only way to get rid of scourage of slavery, WW2 needed to get rid of most of fascism in Europe, etc).

  20. M7S

    Meanwhile here in the UK, not so very long ago.....

    ..allegations of a similar nature are made over the various national flags

    http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Taxi-driver-told-remove-St-George-s-flag-sticker/story-19955377-detail/story.html

    http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Shirley-dad-branded-racist-Union-Jack-flag-shed/story-11369823-detail/story.html

    strangely however those complaining about this seem rarely to complain about the Saltire or St. Piran's flag.

    Even in the US some complain about the "Stars and Stripes" http://www.wnd.com/2014/05/americans-now-racist-for-waving-u-s-flag/

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The response to another mass shooting is to ban.....

    ....flags?!

    1. ukgnome

      Re: The response to another mass shooting is to ban.....

      to be fair, you could have someones eye out with one, if you waved it particularly roughly.

      Or maybe shot it from a cannon.

      It reeks of desperation doesn't it.

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: The response to another mass shooting is to ban.....

      As someone said recently, it's the least we can do, and unfortunately the way things are it's the most we'll be able to do.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: The response to another mass shooting is to ban.....

        wow Uncle well said (by whoever) and so sadly true.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: The response to another mass shooting is to ban.....

      "Never let a crisis go to waste. It is an opportunity to do something that would otherwise be impossible to accomplish."

      Spoken by a modern racist. He just happens to hate white people instead of blacks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The response to another mass shooting is to ban.....

        >"Never let a crisis go to waste. It is an opportunity to do something that would otherwise be impossible to accomplish."

        Sometimes it takes a shove to get ignorant people to take the pee stained sheets off their head. No worries though Zed your great great grand kids will have no problems getting Confederate flags for their self driving pick em up trucks.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big issue

    Well, instead of fighting the real issue of racism as seen in recent cases (this incident, police shootings, etc) let just remove the symbols and hope the problem goes away. The whole flag saga diverts attention from the real sad issue (IMHO).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Union Flag.

    I object to the display of the British union flag on the grounds that it represents colonial oppression and was also used in the context of civilian death atrocities (Dresden for example) in WWII and the Boer War. It is a disgrace that it continues to be flown on public buildings.

    I also object to the Stars & Stripes because of its association with the oppression of and war crimes against the Vietnamese people.

    I also object to the flag of the Soviet Union (hammer & sickle) because it represents the wholesale murder of European people by Stalin.

    I also object to the Chinese flag because of Tibet.

    I also object to the flag of FIFA for very obvious reasons and any display of the Union Carbide logo because of the Bhopal atrocity.

    Shall I go on or should the world get a life!

  24. Tikimon Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The display of ignorance and bigotry is astounding

    Yanno, I like reading the Register, and generally enjoy the comments. It's nice to hear the reasoned opinions of geeks and techies, presumably people with brains.

    Generally. But bring in Politics, Firearms, America vs Britain, North vs. South, any race issue or sometimes even Apple vs. Anybody and it all goes directly to Hell.

    At least half of you folks really need to take a look at yourselves. You call people nasty things out of your smug self-assurance about things you know nothing about. People you've never met, places you've never been. It's depressing, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE SMART ONES.

    1. Spleen

      Re: The display of ignorance and bigotry is astounding

      Being smart just means that you are capable of being wrong in more creative ways than a stupid person.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The display of ignorance and bigotry is astounding

      >Generally. But bring in Politics, Firearms, America vs Britain, North vs. South, any race issue or sometimes even Apple vs. Anybody and it all goes directly to Hell.

      Because politics matter. When the SCOTUS picked a president against the popular vote (stupid assnine 18th century political system) the result was the most destructive, expensive and unnecessary war involving the US since Vietnam.

  25. ukgnome
    Black Helicopters

    Oh America

    dear oh dear oh dear .......a flag, A FUCKING FLAG!

    I cannot comprehend you and your dull witted ways.

    Maybe, just maybe you should ....um....ban guns.

    And for the American NRA idiots don't go giving me second amendment bullshit without first reading what the second amendment is. As owning a gun is not the same as forming a militia to oust the forces of the British monarch. Especially as we have already decided that you are entirely too much bother, heck even the Australians are more favorable. And they, unlike yourselves were the descendants of criminals. Granted you're the decedents of idiots, so like I say, too much bother. Of course we will still happily accept the tax you keep paying for the use of sovereign land. Like I said, idiots.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-entertainment/dukes-of-hazzard-admit-kkk-membership-2015062599565

    'Nuff said... ;-)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are the Somerset Rebels (a Premier League Speedway team - that motocross competition Sky Sports show when the football's not on) also now going to have to drop the Confederate flag from their badge? I genuinely don't know, but if they have to drop it for fear of appearing to promote slavery and white supremacy in the West Country through the medium of driving dirt bikes round and round an oval, we'll have cranked the absurdity up to 11.

    To a few political wackjobs (on both wings) the Confederate flag stands for slavery and white supremacy, to the majority of those who fly it it stands only for loyalty to one's local community over the federal state. In exactly the same way as the St George's Cross stands for racism and neo-Nazism to a minority, to the majority who fly it it means only that they are English as well as British.

    But some people don't cope well with people who think different things. Their minds cannot conceive of one symbol meaning different things to different people. To them one symbol must mean one thing; if someone thinks it means something different to what they think it means, that person is guilty of "incorrect thought" and must be "re-educated". This is about more than a flag.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      amen

      >This is about more than a flag.

      Yep this is about the least educated and poorest half of the country not learning its lesson after getting its ass handed to it repeatedly, literally being wrong on every social issue looking back and thinking it gets to pick another village idiot to start a war for fun and profit.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > to the majority of those who fly it stands only for loyalty to one's local community over the federal state

      That attitude works out great in the 3rd world and Iraq huh? Tribe first. Guess that is why communities that think that way are generally worse off in almost all quality of life (obesity, income, education, teen pregnancy) measures than ones that don't including in the Southern US.

  28. Ian 55

    A quick recommendation for the game itself

    And the PC / Mac / Linux version available on Steam and GOG is better than the iPad one anyway.

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