Apple to remove games with Confederate flag from App Store

Tech giant Apple joins a swell of retail opposition to 'mean-spirited' uses of the U.S Confederate flag, a symbol which many see as defiantly celebrating racism and segregation.

Adam Jennings/The Rocky Mount Telegram
Dozens of Confederate flags fly outside of Edward Lee West's Arrington Avenue home as Davon King, 14, rides by on his bicycle Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Rocky Mount, N.C.

Apple said Thursday that it is removing games from its online app store that feature the Confederate flag in "offensive or mean-spirited ways."

The move comes days after Apple CEO Tim Cook called on people in a tweet to honor the victims of the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting by eradicating racism and the symbols that feed it.

Apple said in a statement Thursday that apps are being removed "that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines." Other apps that depict the flag in educational or historical contexts are not being removed.

The company is working with developers to get games that have been removed — such as the Civil War battle game "Cannon Shooter" — back in the store after changes are made.

Apple Inc., which is based in Cupertino, California, is the latest company to distance itself from the divisive symbol after the shooting suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, appeared in photos holding the flag.

This week, a host of retailers including Wal-Mart, Amazon, Sears, eBay and Etsy said they would remove Confederate flag merchandise from their shelves and websites, while Google blocked digital ads featuring the flag.

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