From: verdy_p (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jan 13 2009 - 23:22:21 CST
"Michael Everson" wrote:
> > The alternative that Michael prefers is where all pairs of letters
> > are encoded: FLAG AA, FLAG AB, ... FLAG ZZ for a total of 676
> > assigned code points.
> I never said that. I said only that your alternative wasn't in the
> least bit tempting.
> > In summary, I am OK with the rendering optimization Michael
> > advocates, though it is a special case since it is limited to 2-
> > letter country codes.
> I "advocated" no such thing.
I also won't advocate this solution. For me, the Unicode encoding requires stability, something that ISO 3166-1 "country" codes do not provide at all:
If flags are ever encoded (independantly of the fact that fonts supporting them will have problems to support their nearly mandatory colors to avoid the many ambiguities that would occur with monochromatic renderings... ), then I would much prefer that they are encoded with a name matching the effective country name using it (plus a date where there are several flags for the same country), instead of using unstable ISO 3166-1 "country" codes. In addition, this model would support further extensions for regions or international organizations.
But there will also remain problems with the design of some flags that are protected (notably for organizations) and that can't be used freely (except possibly those for countries recognized at UN). Some other flags would cause political problems that could be blocked by some ISO members that don't want to recognize those flags (Palestine, Taiwan ROC, Kosovo, Western Sahara...) and other historic countries or flags for past regimes (like the flag for the German Reich, despite it was used officially and recognized during a few years before WW2 and displayed by the IOC during the Olympic Games of Berlin); the same limitation would also apply for the Olympic flag that was used officially for some time by the Unified Team that followed the former USSR after its collapse, when the ISC was still not fully promulgated as an international organization and Russia still did not have its own flag, and when the member comities could not change the composition of their team, as they were also still not completely operati
onal : the flag was used for the Unified Team jsut to allow exceptionally their athlets, that were already selected for these games to participate at the Olympic Games, with a special agreement between the IOC and the new national comities that were still in creation)
If flags are encoded, there will be also problems with some of them, because they are not official (for example, we can see on the web several flags used as icons for the French overseas collectivities that have ISO 3166-1 codes, despite most of these flags are NOT official and the standard French flag should still be used for these territories, the only exceptions being New Caledonia and French Polynesia with their special semi-autonomous or transitory status; the same will be true for Palestine, not recognized at UN: Israel could vote against this flag, but there may exist enough ISO TC and Unicode members to support it to get these flags encoded).
I won't support the specific encoding of the alternate animated flags, that don't encode something different than the basic flag (unless variants are specifically encoded using optional variant codes added after the main code for the basic flat flag, giving additional rendering hints like "wavy flag", not animated but possibly with a pole, or "animated", or "hanging verticaly" with a rotation).
Note that it is exceptionally possible to render flag colors in monochromatic fonts using the heraldic conventions of patterns for metals and furs (but some flags use non heraldic colors, or different shades of colors that are too near from each other to be distinctive with these heraldic patterns). However such rendering will be difficult at small font sizes where only white/black and a single grey pattern would be distinctable (this will be a severe problems for allowing the distinctions between the common tricolor flags if they are rendered with a single ink).
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