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Microsoft bans the Confederate flag from Forza Horizon and Forza Motorsport games

Forza 7 Chevy Cruze Williams
Forza 7 Chevy Cruze Williams (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has issued a statement outlawing the use of the Confederate flag in all Forza games.
  • Use will be categorized as "notorious iconography" and will result in a ban.
  • In the real world, NASCAR recently outlawed the flag at its events in a continued effort to create a more welcoming atmosphere to all.

With the current situations globally surrounding social injustice, major brands have all begun to take steps towards a better, more inclusive environment for all. Microsoft is one of those brands, with a recent period of media blackout just one way the company tried to highlight stories more important than their own.

And now, Microsoft is outlawing the Confederate flag from all Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon games. The news was issued in a statement via the Forza Support Twitter channel.

Use of the flag will result in an instant ban in any circumstances, which includes any replica paint jobs of the infamous General Lee. It's a small step but one Microsoft clearly hopes will keep the Forza universe a welcoming one for all players. This comes soon after NASCAR, in the real world, also outlawed the Confederate flag at all of its events for similar reasons.

The move is part of a wider mission statement on providing a safe and inclusive environment for all Forza players with a zero tolerance approach to rule breaking. You can check it out in full over on the Forza support forum.

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Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

76 Comments
  • I am seriously going off gaming and all other things to much **** going on. Politics dont belong in games erosion of free speech and symbolism RIP GENERAL LEE 😥 People being found guilty on social media before they even have a chance to defend themselves vote with your wallets people sad times ahead
  • Sad times we live in now. I'm all for equity but we need to teach people not force it as this creates hate.
  • What?! That don't teach hate. If you gone have hate then it's already in you.
  • You have misunderstood what I am trying to say. There are people that will go againt movements like BLM and others if people take things away they don't understand the history of or why it was removed. Just like statues ect. This is what I mean by education. Plus different generations have different views on things. My grandad for example could not get his head around my cousin coming out as being bisexual. He did not discard him for it but struggled with how he could like both genders. As I said its all about education and upbringing. Race and other things will not go away over night its a thing that we have to start with the next generation to pass on. My son is 2 and has friends from all different backgrounds in nursery and dose not know the difference so it's up to us as the generation that teaches his generation to look at eveyone as equal. No matter race, gender, background ect.
  • Sad times we live in indeed, people have to fight for their 'rights' to put their bigotry on display for the world to see. Its funny that the same people that are up in arms about confederate flags and statues being taken down are the same ones that complain that someone is being un-American when they kneel during an anthem or simply march down the street in protest. Considering the confederacy was the greatest example of treason against the US, this is quite laughable. BTW you have no 'freedom of speech on a private platform, so GTF over it. 😉
  • This right here.
  • 'General Lee' wasn't just a car lol. Are you really surprised by this new rule? Looooooong overdue imo
  • Erosion of slavery symbolism? Which "symbolism" are you talking about, exactly?
  • General Lee would Probably pissed that the flag is even still relevant as he would have also felt with monuments. He didn't want them. Also the confederacy lasted 5 years, I think Gangnam style was on the billboard charts for longer. Good riddance to glorifying traitors.
  • Yup, Lee was opposed to any confederate symbolism including flags and monuments. Most of the monuments were erected during the 20's, 50's and 60's as explicit statements against black Americans.
  • "Politics dont belong in games" Neither does racism, wouldn't you say?
  • Has the world gone stark raving mad? What the hell happened to plain common sense? Shall America try to erase all mention of the confederacy and pretend that Trump has been in power for the last 500 years? Why dont we all erase all history up until today and start again?
  • @Alan Wade, I'm sorry, it's not about common sense but it's the symbolism of oppression and hatred, such symbolism should never be celebrated let alone showcased. The world's population is mixture of ethnicity, when you remove all form privelege - everyone is equal and no one is superior. It's high time uncomfortable conversations were had about the history of the US, it rise to prominence and that history has to be taught without any form of bias. You cannot celebrate landing of Columbus without the speaking about the violence that followed against the Native Americans. The hardship they are still enduring to this day. The plight of the Native Americans is not is not widely spoken about. Then to top it off the elements of Slavery that still exist to this day and the supremistic mindset against the black community still exists as well as against all people of colour. The unconfortable truth is that most Americans are descendants of Migrants. Both descendants of the first Europeans and the poor souls who were kidnapped from their homes and forced into Slavery. The second uncomfortable truth is that the Americas is a continent which consists of North America, which contains Canada and South America which contains Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezula. With Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, not to mention the islands dotted here and there falling the middle. So all the people from these countries, by geography are Americans. Just like people the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands Etc are Europeans. But it's more "comfortable" to 'mislabel' an entire population group as "American Indians" which is completely wrong, They are not Indians. They are Americans. Just like the Black community, they are not a sub group. They are Americans. So Alan Wade, if you wish to discuss about the history of the confederacy, you have to have to discuss the whole history of the US in context. If anything, the strive, the violence, the lynching of ethnic communities would have been solely been erased if technology like smartphones and social media did not exist.
  • They call themselves African American
    I've yet to see A A have a conversation without the word black coming into the picture. On this side of the Atlantic, they call themselves black South Africans and yet the other doesn't have a prefix. So even at 70% of the population and as the default race, brothers still need a prefix.
  • @Hiswona, Yes, I'm aware however what about the folks from the Carribean, Jamaica, Haiti etc? Geographically they are in the American continent, so...
  • They are not American. They are Jamaican etc. An Egyptian is not a South African just because the name of the country is the same as that of continent. That's not the point i was making though. I don't see the real cause of this obsession with black. It's as if we've only been on earth for 20 years and looking for some kind of approval. So what if some European American left a noose in your Nascar. The guy is not even black, his biracial.
  • In terms of context, geographically and to use your example sure an Egyptian would not be technically be South African but they still will be African. Furthermore folks with say South African parents and born in Egypt will effectively make them both Egyptian and South African. So the ocrrect prefix would be Egyptian African. As the latter is also part of the heritage. Speaking of Heritage and going back to prefixes you still need the correct prefix to distinguish that heritage as you cannot call some who has a Jamaican heritage Afrian American, they would be by definition Jamaican American, Carribean American, Haitian American. Just like how someone can be French Canadian, or Asian British or Carribean Scottish. Secondly, the broad term of regionality, people who reside anywhere on the American Continent would still apply just people in the countries in Europe are referred to as Europeans. They too would be and should be called Americans. Now we also get into the debate of the Eurasia continent but that is not the point here. Going back to Heritage and identification in terms of the census and box ticking. Here in the UK for instance, to comply with the equality act, every organisation has to provide a form and on that form. A person's heritage is categorised and grouped. Here is one such example: https://www.scotland.police.uk/assets/pdf/327931/404765/equalityanddiver... So my point here is that by systemically denying the civil rights by extension the identity of vast amount of the population. People will either claim or reclaim something that are able to identify with; even though the history of terms of colour association was not coined by people associated to that colour and even though that history is marred in segration, lynching and oppression. Putting aside cultural and aspects of tradition, an African person would not have called themselves or another African person as black or brown, they would have been seen as the same as them - as people. One uncomfortable truth here is that the Asian community also diverse in colour do not have a colour term attached. As do people of the African, Jamaican, Carribean, Haitian Heritage etc . The only other aspect of the world's population that has a colour associated are White folks. The true irony of that colour association is that the colour white in the light spectrum is made up of a mixture colours. When you go back through history, colour association has been given or take in existence for about a few hundred years - effectively during the era of Colonialism and thus people were categorised as form enforcement of castes - superiority and inferiority. Which is was also compounded by Zealots using religion to enforce such drivel. Just like the bible was used incorrectly and wrongly used to enforce Slavery and commit other atrocities. Unfortunately such Zealots exist to this day as we still have oppression, systemic abuse in other parts of the world as well. People may clamour Religion is the key to these conflicts, they are mistaken it's those who twist the words of religion, facts and figures are the cause of these conflicts. My point is that as long there are individuals in power that stoke division and hatred as well as oppress people through legislation, there will come a point when the dam will burst and the people will not give a damn about repercussions. That is what I believe is happening now.
  • So what constitutes a "symbol of oppression"? Because, and correct me if I'm wrong, the American flag flew over more years of slavery, Jim Crow (after the Civil War), segregation (after the Civil War), redlining (after the Civil War), and general discrimination (again, after the Civil War) than the Confederate Flag ever did. So how do you justify not viewing the American Flag as a symbol of oppression that needs to be banned as well?
  • There are indeed questions about the American flag and that discussion is ongoing. Having that discussion does not mean we should keep other, clearer expressions of white supremacy on display.
  • Saying that the Confederate Flag is a "clearer expression" of white supremacy makes no sense. The same intention was present when the American flag was flying over slavery as it was when the Confederate Flag was flying over it. In addition, your statement doesn't take into account the various institutions of oppression that I listed that occurred well after the end of slavery. And considering that these people who want the Confederate Flag removed believe that America is still a racist country, your comment doesn't explain why the Confederate flag would receive more scrutiny on this issue than the American flag.
  • It is. But it's also more than that. It's a symbol of much hugger ideals. The Confederate flag on the other hand is not more than a symbol of the extent to which slave owners went to defend their legal right to own human beings.
  • That's your interpretation of the Confederate flag. But, much like the American flag, different people see it as different things. For some people, the Confederate flag is more about their ancestors fighting and dying in a war than about anything having to do with slavery. Slavery wasn't the focus of everyone involved in the Civil War on the Confederate side, just like it wasn't the focus of everyone involved on the Union side. If you don't believe me, go and read Lincoln's statements about his reason for engaging in the Civil War. Similarly, not everyone sees the American flag as a symbol of "hugger ideals". you can go and ask the athletes who insist on kneeling when it is displayed about that. But we can agree on the fact that what I said is 100% true. The American flag flew over more years, by far, of oppression than the Confederate flag. So, again, why is it that the American flag is not targeted in the same way?
  • Exactly what historical significance does this flag have in the context of Forza? It's not a game that's designed to teach American history.
  • Uh, no. Nobody tries to erase all mentions of Nazism but yet nobody's gonna put SWASTIKAS on the cars. You're the dumb one lacking "common sense", sir.
  • What ignorant people think putting a Confederate flag on a car is about celebrating history?
  • As a potent symbol of hate, it should have been banned before this. But better late than never.
  • @mythos13 Totally, the conferderate flage shouldn't never been allowed in the first place. Just like the Swastika is not allowed.
  • Is it a symbol of hate? Wasn't when the Dukes of hazard used to run with it. That was a kids TV show.
  • It was then too, people just didn't care. The Confederate flag as it is known today was the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, not the confederacy. It became popular in the 1950's and 1960's as people used it to show support for Jim Crow laws in protest of the Civil Rights movement.
  • Wow! Thank goodness I live in UK.
  • It's cool. Bo Duke does P90x now. He's fine.
  • Dukes of Hazzard lost syndication in 2015:
    https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-tv-land-dr.... You can still buy all the episodes from 5 seasons online at : Amazon
    https://www.amazon.com/Dukes-of-Hazzard-Season-1/dp/B000HPIG6S?tag=hawk-... Google play and vudu still have full 7 seasons, while apple has 3, and microsoft
    has 1. get them while you can, before they get banned also. later
    -1
  • They won't get banned, they'll just have a disclaimer placed at the beginning, as they would. It wasn't even a very good show lol.
  • Not to mention there's a big difference between "I went out of my way and purchased a dated TV show with the poor taste of the era" and "drivatars in my racing game are decorated with flags seen at KKK rallies"
  • You're so with it, negative one. How can I be as cool as you? Are you from the 90's?
  • What's funny is the argument that "its OK it was on a TV show when I was a kid" isn't an argument that it must be OK but is instead proof that indoctrination works.
  • Didn't for me. Or maybe it did. I used to love the show. Though I suspect the flag didn't mean the same to many of the kids that watched it. In the same way that the image on jam jars wasn't racist to me. I used to like them too. As for rice, I used to associate that with Chinese food. So I always used to think Uncle Ben was from China.
  • This seems true.
  • This has really gotten out of hand. Someone needs to put a stop to all this.
  • @Kadcidxa This what happens when suppression occurs years on end, you cannot suppress something for an eternity as in the end something has to give way. That's the fundamental rule of the cosmos, energy is always converted to something else as it's never truly static.
  • That's why we're working to remove the glorification of a racist past. Putting a stop to all this, and not putting up with that sort of BS any longer. Celebrating a "heritage" based on the enslavement of an entire race, and a symbol rooted in a "War of Northern Aggression" which was, truly a "War so we can keep enslaving these people", is exactly the sort of thing we have been trying to end now for.. what? Longer than your parents have been alive? So, yes. The BS has gotten out of hand.
  • I'm talking about all the virtue signalling.. I'm pretty sure they don't really care about it being a Confederate flag.
  • They probably don't care about it being a flag, but they definitely care about it being a symbol of hate and oppression, and that allowing it will make certain gamers feel unwelcome. And that's what this is all about, allowing people to feel welcome in a game. By the way, your complaining about "virtue signalling" is itself virtue signalling. You're telling us all that you're upset/offended over others being allowed to enjoy a game without seeing something potentially upsetting to them.
  • It wasn't a problem before. Its all virtue signalling.
  • They are putting a stop to it. That's what the article is about.
  • Yeah stop putting racist crap on cars
  • Yes! Let's "put a stop to this." Let's force a private company to allow a symbol of black slavery in its games. Because principles. Not today, Satan! Do you wake up every morning thinking, "What really, really f'ed up priorities should I have today?"
  • When I first read the title and article, I was rolling my eyes. I'm UK based, so the flag means nothing more than Dukes of Hazard, and or Southern American pride. Honestly, I knew almost nothing of the history (why would I?). So, I had nothing but positive thoughts about the flag. Obviously, I've learnt a little more since. Hard to be objective now, but If love to go back in time and see what people thought 1yr ago. Over here, they are wanting to get rid of a couple of statues. To be honest, I would assume that there were some unsavoury parts to most people from years back, I thought that was a given. It's a tricky one. I'd be surprised if 90% of successful people from years ago weren't oppressive of some people. Times were different. For me, if the flag was still strongly linked to slavery etc, I can cope with it going.
  • The real reason for a lot of the uproar is because most of the Statues in the US of Confederate leaders were actually built over 70 years after the Civil War ended by white supremacists that were trying to assert the continued inferiority of black Americans. Unfortunately most Americans are ignorant of this fact, especially in the South. There has been outrage at the Confederate symbols and statues for decades, but it's become more widely acknowledged and main stream in the last few years.
  • People should educate themselves. The American Civil War was fought over slavery. The Confederacy was a rogue state founded on the principle that white men are superior. https://app.getpocket.com/read/3012027929
  • Bet they allow the lgbtqndhfbsndbf flag still.
  • Haha. Yeah. They should get rid of that anti hetro symbolism
  • It's interesting to see homophobia from someone who can't even spell hetero... I guess ignorance is a whole brain thing.
  • :-D I just don't care that much, which is why I can have a laugh about it whereas you're like a trout on a hook
  • Why would they ban something you just made up?
  • Yes, but they should get rid of it too because it's a potent symbol of hate and oppression. Oh wait.
  • Times have definitely changed.
  • That's right. Peaceful mass protests work.
  • Great, make that lying cheating traitorous flag be nothing but an after thought. The true flag of the southern traitor is the white surrender flag.
  • I really don't care about a confederate associated flag being in Forza or not. If the majority of players don't want it there, then great. If Microsoft heard from them and made the change, good on them. I think one potential issue is the bigger picture. I know this is just a tech site, but since they decided to cover this topic, might as well opine on it. I think the tough conversation we need is on the topic of offense. The harsh reality is that there is no true majority opinion on what is offense in these latest rushes to change names of things, tear down statues, destroy history, etc. There are people from every race that aren't offended in most of these cases. You can't just take Twitter and claim it represents any race. I can list so many examples of African Americans standing in harsh opposition to what could be referred to as over reactions. Until everyone is willing to take a deep breath and consider all sides, we won't get anywhere. Otherwise, you create resentment that bubbles and explodes, repeating the same cycle of hate and anger. It has to be a fair assessment in every case. Using common sense and understanding. Tearing down a statue because a mob says to is way easier than learning the history and thinking for yourself. We are all better than that. This is simply about respect for everyone. Changing brand names, hiring practices, etc, doesn't really fix that. It never was about those things. Respect each other and the resentment and anger can fade.
  • I believe that the confederate flag and symbols will return at some point in movies and games, similar to the swastika symbol in european games. However, the current protests and state of affairs are a stark reminder that racism is not gone. We treat people worse than we treat animals. It will take effort and action to change this and taking these statues and symbols down is a start.
  • I love that this has the white-supremacy snowflakes in a tizzy. Why don't we have King George III statues or Emperor Hirohito statues in this country? Because they LOST. The traitorous flag of the confederacy existed for 5 years, 1861-1865. Hardly enough time to establish a "cultural heritage." Call it what you will, but if you're offended by the removal of racist symbols of the past, now is the time to examine your own inner racist. And I guess many people out there still are.
  • They should have George Washington statutes in London
  • Oh it definitely is cultural heritage. It's a reminder that elites from the South risked having one of the bloodiest wars in history up until then to make sure they could still own people as they had for three centuries. That's the heritage! It's sick that anyone would want to celebrate it. But it's not about celebrating anything, is it? It's about telling blacks they still think they're subhuman today.
  • Technically this is not correct. The current Confederate flag did not start getting widely used until the early 1900s, way after the Civil War. The flags used for the Confederacy during the Civil War consisted of 4 or 5 variations. The Battle flag (the Confederate flag we know today) wasn't widely used. That being said, all Confederate flags belong in museums or, if people choose, their own private property. They have no place in society or entertainment unless it's a game or movie specifically about the Confederacy or the Civil War (Metal of Honor, for example)
  • See ya Forza...
  • Bye, white supremacist snowflake. Sorry we hurt your feelings.
  • OMG what do you mean I can't scrawl "I LIKED IT BETTER BACK WHEN ALL BLACKS WERE SLAVES" on my car? Tyranny!
  • Speaking of a snowflake.
  • I'm, black and I'm black and I'm black y'all. I'm really not but that song popped in my head. ha. Anyways, racism is dumb and archaic. We should not celebrate it but remember it, so we and our future generations do not make the same mistakes. That's what I believe history is for.
  • Virtue signaling. People are just looking for reasons to be offended and see just how much control they can leverage over people and companies. Focus on dealing with actual racism instead of this kind of garbage.
  • Why can't they do both? If you play a game to race cars, why do you need a Confederate flag? Why does anyone? If they don't, what's the problem? Sure, people like to use symbols in games to represent their personality, etc, but if you feel that a symbol of racism and treason represents you, maybe you should spend less time on video games and more time on trying not to be a bad person.
  • I'm 43 and all I really ever think about when I see that flag is the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard. But after a little thought, reading, and some empathy I know that this flag is Racism.
  • Check out the "Cornerstone Speech", it is Defending slavery and the inferiority of the black race. That is the confederate flag.
  • From your profile pic, you're not African American or descended from any of the former slaves that this flag was used to oppress, so sure the flag isn't offensive *to you*. To those that are, it's a symbol and reminder of the hatred their kind has faced for centuries and continue to face today. So yes, allowing the flag is very much offensive and can suck the fun out of the game for them. How about you focus on learning empathy and the racism that people deal with day to day instead of doing your own virtue signaling.
  • If we keep going down this road of removing all traces of anything that offends us, then we will be left with an empty void of nothing to exist in.