Re: Flag tags

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 10:21:45 -0700

On 5/31/2012 9:40 AM, Shawn Steele wrote:
> Which ones are used in print? Isn't that the criteria? Personally, I'd like to see the maritime flags encoded, because I've always been interested in them, but I can see a case for them not being encoded. (Though a couple weeks ago on a cruise ship I did see them used in several places "in print" as it were, though I'd have to concede that the reason they were "in print" was primarily decorative, though they were readable. Eg: "Signals" bar spelled out in flags).

The decorative use of those is in fact not uncommon, and when they are
used that way, in print, they do form "strings".

They do, by definition, require colors for their representation,
although, the design is such that colors and shapes work together in a
redundant way, to improve their recognition under poor visibility.

They are also not "glyph variants" of ordinary letters and digits, even
where there is a 1:1 correspondence.

First, reprinting Shakespeare's works using flags would make it
immediately and utterly illegible to most speakers of English. So they
would fail the test of being recognizably the same letter.

Second, one place where the flags are still used today is sailboat
races. Replacing the flag by a placard showing the letter would also not
be acceptable in that context.

So, seeing that Unicode nowadays has the support of SMS-specific symbols
as part of its scope, who would like to be able to communicate with flags?

Another alphabet, even that with 1:1 correspondence to Latin, but,
again, not recognizable as such are the "dancing men". They at least can
be demonstrated to have appeared in print.


> Seems like swimming flags or shark flags or dive flags wouldn't be used much in print?
> -Shawn
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On Behalf Of Asmus Freytag
> Sent: Poʻahā, Mei 31, 2012 9:00 AM
> To:
> Cc: Michael Everson; unicode Unicode Discussion
> Subject: Re: Flag tags
> On 5/31/2012 2:06 AM, Philippe Verdy wrote:
>> 2012/5/31 Asmus Freytag<>:
>>> On 5/30/2012 7:19 PM, Philippe Verdy wrote:
>>>> 2012/5/31 Michael Everson<>:
>>>>> On 31 May 2012, at 00:24, Mark Davis ☕ wrote:
>>>>> Members of ISO National Bodies quite properly thought that it is
>>>>> inapprioprate for an International Standard to encode the flags of
>>>>> some countries and not the flags of others. You can stuff your
>>>>> condescension, Mark.
>>>> I fully agree. Either all of them or none of them (or just a generic
>>>> white flag).
>>> No at least the black pirate flag, and the checkered flag (for car racing).
>> There are two black pirate flags. One is all black (the most generic
>> one), another has bones and skullhead. OK these ones are generic
>> enough to not convey country/territory specific information.
>> There are also conventional sky blue flags used in Europe (may be
>> elsewhere) for the quality of waters. There may be others used for
>> signaling (including surveillance of beaches and dangers for swimming
>> : red, orange, green) : may be unified with the all-black flag (if
>> color is not really encoded but assignable by external styles).
>> If you add the flag cor car racing, then why wouldn't there flags used
>> in other transportation areas ?
> You are right! I missed these:
>> Add also flags used as maritime alphabets (they are a true script by
>> themselves, whose mapping to actual letters depend on the locale's
>> script, so they are not really a visual variant of any script, just
>> like the Braille script is not tied to Latin), or othe "ideographic"
>> flags displayed much like the pirate flag (e.g. signaling deceases on
>> board)...
Received on Thu May 31 2012 - 12:24:24 CDT

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