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Businesses, like government, are reacting to calls to remove the Confederate battle flag. Walmart announced June 22 that it would stop selling items with the flag. Major retailers quickly followed suit, including giants like Google, Amazon.com, eBay, Etsy, Sears and Target.
But some say business has gone too far.
Newt Gingrich voiced his displeasure on Meet the Press June 28.
Gingrich criticized Amazon for removing "an educational game about Gettysburg, which is used widely in schools to teach people to think."
"(The game) has a Confederate versus an American flag, and therefore they've taken the game out of Amazon," Gingrich said.
"There's a point here where we begin to get towards Orwell's memory hole, in which we try to hide from the past. I think it's one thing to say you should not have a symbol which is very offensive to a large part of your population. It's another thing to say, 'Let's erase our history and pretend it never occurred.’ "
We wondered: Has Amazon removed educational Civil War games in its sweep to stop selling the Confederate battle flag?
Neither Gingrich nor Gingrich’s spokesman mentioned the specific names of any games, so we decided to do a bit of digging on our own.
PunditFact found several articles that seemed to indicate that Amazon had indeed pulled various board games depicting the Civil War from its online market.
An article published on June 25 in the Daily Caller -- three days prior to Gingrich’s claim -- listed several removed games and included links to those presumably missing. These games included Battle Cry, The Guns of Gettysburg and Civil War Stratego, all of which display the Confederate battle flag in one form or another.
However, an update to the article on June 26 reads that Amazon had "restored Battle Cry’s listing, though The Guns of Gettysburg and Civil War Stratego remain unavailable."
When PunditFact first accessed the article on June 28, all the games mentioned had been restored on Amazon.
PunditFact contacted Amazon several times hoping to learn what games had been removed, for how long and why, but did not hear back.
Point being: It appears some games were initially removed, according to news articles, but they all since have been restored to the online marketplace.
Gingrich spokesman Ross Worthington, who edits Gingrich’s online e-newsletter, said Gingrich misspoke. Gingrich "was referring to Apple's removal of ... apps from the app store," Worthington said.
Like other companies, Apple is reviewing apps that contain Confederate battle flag imagery.
"(Apple has) removed apps from the App Store that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines. We are not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses," an Apple spokeswoman told CNN.
Gingrich said that an "educational game about Gettysburg" has been removed by Amazon for depicting a Confederate battle flag.
From what PunditFact could find, it appears Amazon did initially remove several board games that depicted the flag, but on the day that Gingrich made the statement, all those games had been restored.
Amazon and other companies say they intend to remove products that "can promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance" and/or "expose the targeted group to harm or violence."
Gingrich’s claim is partially accurate, but also a bit out of date. We rate it Half True.
Politicus USA, "Walmart Becomes The First Store To Remove All Confederate Flag Merchandise," June 22, 2015
ABC News, "Retailers That Have Banned Sales of the Confederate Flag," June 23, 2015
Salon.com, "8 big retailers that have banned the sale of the Confederate flag," June 25, 2015
NBC News, Meet the Press Transcript- June 28, 2015," June 28, 2015
The Daily Caller, "Amazon Flag Hysteria Takes Out Historical Board Games," June 25, 2015
Email interview with Ross Worthington, editor of Newt Gingrich’s online newsletter, June 28, 2015
CNN Money, "Apple reinstates some Confederate flag Civil War games," June 26, 2015
Fox59, "Apple reinstates some Confederate flag Civil War games," June 27, 2015
TechCrunch, "Apple Bans Games And Apps Featuring The Confederate Flag [Update: Some Games Being Restored]," June 25, 2015
Amazon.com, Offensive Products, accessed June 30, 2015
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