Re: Flag tags

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 00:29:51 +0200

2012/5/31 Asmus Freytag <>:
> On 5/31/2012 12:07 PM, Karl Pentzlin wrote:
>> Am Donnerstag, 31. Mai 2012 um 20:09 schrieb John H. Jenkins:
>> JHJ>  <tongue-in-cheek>
>> JHJ>  ... that because some
>> JHJ>  countries have currency symbols with decidated code points, other
>> JHJ>  countries will make *new* currency symbols and demand that *they*
>> JHJ>  get dedicated code points ...
>> Seriously speaking, flag symbols and currency signs are completely
>> different topics.
>> Every country has exactly one flag, right now.

This is wrong if you consider their dependencies. Some dependencies
legally have their own flag used *instead* of the flag for the
main/metropolitan part of the country. So countries can have several

Then consider that countries may also have several flags for different
usages (national flag, civil flag, naval flag...)

Also the same flag may be shared by different political entities (e.g.
The European Union reuses the flag of the Council of Europe, with
permission, and made it one of its official emblems). Some flags are
also shared without permission, because the original design was not
protected internaitonally or had fallen in public domain (including in
the country of origin).

Flags have strong political issues that are out of scope for encoding
directly in the UCS. They are not stable across history, so they
should be versioned, but most frequent uses will omit the precise
versioning, so that flags will be instantly replaced at any time (e.g.
if you encode a flag for US, how many stars will there be on it ?
Libya changed its flag recently, returning to an older flag ; in many
cases it will not really matter, but if you have to deal with encoded
texts that are also versioned themselves, it will not be acceptable to
have flag designs freely interchanged as it would cause confusion :
consider the case of countries that appeared in the history as part of
a split or merge, in an article speaking about their history, and
identifying the armies and generals with their respective flag...).
Received on Thu May 31 2012 - 17:32:56 CDT

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