Re: Adding RAINBOW FLAG to Unicode

From: Noah Slater <>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:06:42 +0000

Thanks for the reply, Ken! Comments inline.

On Mon, 29 Jun 2015 at 15:50 Ken Whistler <> wrote:

> There is no effective end to the "or otherwise" case for flags as symbols,
> and that is why they are "generally not amenable to representation by
> encoded characters".

Well. Arguably, Unicode represents food, and there is no effective end to
the "or otherwise" case for food items either. (As I'm sure you're all
aware of given the popularity of requests in this category.)

As mentioned earlier in the thread, it seems to me that the Consortium has
a rigorous (and notoriously hard to satisfy) process for guarding against
such things. The rainbow flag is ubiquitous, so much so that it's even
become a compat issue with existing communications platforms. The same is
most likely not true for the less common flags.

It seems to me that the correct thing to do here is to apply the existing
process to this proposal (and any subsequent ones, should they occur). I
similarly doubt that there is a particularly strong case for the Oakland
flag, in accordance with Annex C.

That is not the realm of *characters* -- it is the realm of graphic design
> of
> flags, emblems, and frankly, at this point, heraldry. ;-)

Well, you could say the same about all the emojis. Emojis blur the line
between characters (in a typographical sense) and iconography. Again, I
would simply point out that Annex C seems to be designed to handle exactly
this domain of concerns.

> So, to sum up, I suggest that this thread about the RAINBOW FLAG be
> directed to the soon-to-be-posted Public Review Issue about extending
> the generative mechanisms for representing emoji symbols for flags

How do we/I do that?

I will restate that I think that if a RAINBOW FLAG emoji is added to
Unicode, I expect wide use. And I am concerned that an alternate proposal
would run the risk of not seeing wide use. (Though I have no actual
experience here that informs that. I welcome feedback on the topic.)

To reply to Richard: I mention this in my first email :)

> While it can be argued that the RAINBOW emoji itself is usable as a
stand-in (as above), it usually requires some sort of additional context to
work. There is a clear need for a rainbow flag that unambiguously
symbolises queer pride.
Received on Mon Jun 29 2015 - 12:07:52 CDT

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