Re: Emoji: National Flag Symbols

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Tue Dec 23 2008 - 00:06:55 CST

Christopher Fynn <cfynn at gmx dot net> wrote:

> If these things are indeed intended to indicate language/locale then
> perhaps UTC should map them to a generic FLAG character plus a plane
> 14 language tag.

Christopher knows how to hit me where I live. Of course, the plane 14
language tags (which have now been formally deprecated) were a favorite
of mine, the direct opposite of this set of 600-odd cartoons of crying
faces and fish cakes with swirl design and piles of poop which I don't
think are characters but which will soon be added to the Universal
Character Set.

> For "English" I'd prefer to see something like a half US half UK flag.
> Few websites offer a choice between US and UK English and the
> differences rarely matter.

The best representation for "English" is the letters "en", whether
rendered as individual text letters or in a blue box or in pulsating
animation or whatever. If necessary, for American English you can use
"en-US", for Jamaican English "en-JM", and so forth. National flags are
a popular but poor way to represent languages.

>> "[This glyph is an icon of the] Russian national flag [standing for
>> the Russian language/locale]."
> If that is the case - where are the flags for Portugese, Arabic, Thai?

The Japanese phone vendors simply chose not to include them. That is
just one indication of the arbitrariness of the combined or individual
emoji repertoires, a point made by Ed Trager.

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Jan 02 2009 - 15:33:07 CST