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Apple confirms Confederate flag ban in App Store, says war games have to change art

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Apple on Thursday confirmed that it has removed a number of games and other apps from the App Store because they contain images of the Confederate battle flag.

"We have removed apps from the App Store that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines," a spokesperson said to BuzzFeed News. The company denied issuing a blanket ban however, stating that the flag can be shown for "educational or historical uses."

The decision has, however, forced a number of American Civil War games off of the App Store, even though developers insist the Confederate flag was only used to be historically accurate.

Sources told BuzzFeed that Apple is working with affected game developers to get their apps back in the App Store. The company is reportedly asking them to remove or replace the offending flag, however. One developer, HexWar, previously said it would resubmit with a less familiar 1861 version of the flag.

The racist killing of nine people at a South Carolina church last week has since led to a widespread campaign to remove the Confederate flag from public spaces, including government buildings and stores such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. For black Americans, the flag is often seen as a symbol of the slavery the Confederacy imposed on ancestors.