Amazon and Apple made a promise to purge their websites of any materials with Confederate flags in order to shun the ‘racism’ that inheres in the image. Well, however true or false this may be, it appears that neither company bothered to follow through completely on their respective promises, leaving online some of their best-selling items that show the Confederate flag.
Movies like ‘Gods and Generals’ and ‘Gettysburg’ are still up on both Amazon.com and iTunes despite displaying Confederate flags on their covers and undoubtedly throughout the movies. The latter is Amazon’s 6th best-selling military and war DVD, and one can assume that even taking a popular public stance isn’t more important than that. Then there’s Ken Burns’s The Civil War, which is Amazon’s best-selling documentary, so it’s no surprise that it’s not going anywhere either.
In addition, on Amazon, a plethora of shirts, ‘General Lee’ cars, and movies that feature prominent Confederate flags remain available for purchase. But with the surge of demand for Confederate memorabilia, perhaps Amazon wasn’t willing to follow through on their promise since it would mean losing some of their profit.
Apple promised to take down all Confederate memorabilia on their App Store as well, but then didn’t, leaving up apps for Civil War reenactment groups and e-books about the fall of the Confederacy.
One game that was taken down, ‘Ultimate General: Gettysburg’, attempted to recreate the titular battle. The game’s developer, in response to Apple’s removal of it, explained, “We wanted our game to be the most accurate, historical, playable reference of the Battle of Gettysburg. All historical commanders, unity composition and weaponry, key geographical locations to the smallest streams or farms are recreated in our game’s battlefield.” Oh terrible day! What racists!
Apple released a statement saying, “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.” So historical accuracy (where the Union won, in case anyone forgot) is offensive and/or mean-spirited? Well apparently if it’s in a movie on iTunes, it’s ok.
Apple hasn’t yet taken down a plethora of Confederate flag-branded material on their main platform. This includes the movies mentioned above, which overlap with Amazon, but Confederate related music remains as well. Heritage Not Hate, an album by The True Brothers, features a Confederate flag front and center on the album cover, and includes songs like ‘If the South Woulda Won’.
So Apple did take down some products that ostensibly seem to do nothing but associate the flag with the Civil War, while leaving others that posit scenarios where the Confederacy won. It’s not only hypocritical, but confusing.
Try as these companies might to purge it, the Civil War did happen, but now even historical facts are ‘offensive’. Unless they make you serious money, that is.