The rush by online retailer Amazon to eliminate any non-book products bearing the Confederate flag appears to have claimed several innocent victims: Historical board games allowing players to recreate historic Civil War battles.
One of the games, Battle Cry, is published by Wizards of the Coast (also behind popular games like Magic: The Gathering) and was available on Amazon as recently as June 23, the day Amazon announced it would take down Confederate flag products for being offensive. Now, the game’s product page has disappeared entirely.
The likely reason is that the game’s artwork contains several Confederate battle flags, as befits a game about the Civil War (several Union flags are visible as well). Supporting this possibility is the fact that a single copy of an older Battle Cry print run is still available (it does feature any Confederate flags on its box art).
It’s difficult to argue that Battle Cry promotes hate in any way. The game simply allows two players to play 30 different scenarios based on major engagements of the Civil War. In that regard, it is little different from hundreds of other games recreating World War 2, the American Revolution, or even the ongoing war on terrorism.
Battle Cry isn’t the only game that has disappeared. Also vanishing is The Guns of Gettysburg, a more detailed strategy game focused on the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. The game was also available just two days ago but has since vanished. Also gone is a Civil War version of the classic strategy game Stratego.
Civil War-themed games have also been vanishing from the Apple’s app store, with one developer being told it was “because [the game] includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.”
The move to eradicate all vestiges of the Stars and Bars, meanwhile, is having a paradoxical effect in some corners of the old South. CNN Money reports that small stores have seen a spike in orders of Confederate merchandise over the last couple of days, even as big box retailers cut back:
“Somebody in Rhode Island ordered in 50 Confederate (lapel) pins,” said Kerry McCoy, owner of Flag and Banner in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The order came in on Monday, when Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol.
Freddie Rich, owner of Rebel Store in North Carolina, said his sales of Confederate items is “unbelievable right now. This is something I never envisioned.”
Rich said he shipped out 200 Confederate flags in the last 24 hours, compared to his usual sales of a dozen flags a day.
This report, by Blake Neff, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.