As Apple removes all Confederate flags from the app store, one developer muses that we’re missing the point.
The Confederate flag has been taken off the shelves at Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and other retailers. Even Apple just announced that it will be removing all apps that include the Confederate flag, regardless if they happen to be about the actual Civil War. But if you still need to vent, now there's one more way to feel great about giving the rebel banner the boot: booing at this website.
In BooFlag, you do exactly that. You jeer at the Confederate flag through your microphone until it lowers from the pole and bursts into flames. Then the game congratulates you on having "probably addressed" institutional racism and epidemic gun violence. If you don't give the webpage access to your microphone, a condemning Einstein quote pops up. "If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity."
The game is the work of political game maker and satirist Paolo Pedercini, aka Molle Industria, who is best known for Phone Story, an iPhone game that bit the hand that feeds by exploring the human costs of the very device you play on. The timing of BooFlag and Apple's flag-banning decision earlier seems to be a hell of a coincidence. It is a spiritual sequel to Chris Bulch's Americlap, where you make the stars and stripes proud by similarly hollering at it. Pedercini introduced BooFlag as a terrible game, but last night, presumably while making it, also tweeted an article addressing the Confederate flag as the tip of the racist gun-toting iceberg.
The Confederate flag should be gone, it definitively has lineage in white supremacy, but what once began as a needed and constructive conversation is starting to look like an appreciated yet misled scapegoat that can be more neatly dealt with and filed away. Now you can also yell at your computer to make the problem go away. Ya did it America! We can all sleep safely knowing that people of color have nothing else to worry about. From Walmart.