##Quick poll to start with:
Do you see these 20 symbols:
🇦🇺 🇨🇦 🇨🇭 🇨🇳 🇩🇪 🇪🇸 🇫🇷 🇬🇧 🇮🇱 🇮🇹 🇯🇵 🇰🇳 🇰🇷 🇳🇴 🇳🇵 🇵🇸 🇶🇦 🇷🇺 🇸🇸 🇺🇸
and the 5 tags of this topic as flags?
- yes, all of them
- some of them
- no, I only see letters or strange symbols
- depends on which device I use (FP1/FP2/computer)
##What is this?
These are so called Regional Indicator Symbols, a set of country flags encoded from the following 26 alphabetic unicode characters:
🇦 🇧 🇨 🇩 🇪 🇫 🇬 🇭 🇮 🇯 🇰 🇱 🇲 🇳 🇴 🇵 🇶 🇷 🇸 🇹 🇺 🇻 🇼 🇽 🇾 🇿
Adding two of them together creates a country flag. e.g.
🇩+ 🇪 = 🇩🇪,
🇫 + 🇷 = 🇫🇷 and
🇳+ 🇱 = 🇳🇱.
##Why should I care?
We could start using them in this forum to tag non-english topics instead of adding :nl:, , :no:, … in the topic title.
The advantages of using them as tags would be:
- You can easily display all topics of the same language by simply clicking on the tag.
- You can mute all topics in languages you don’t understand
- You can follow all topics in a language that you can speak to make sure your fellow countrymen who don’t speak english get help.
- If something changes with the encoding of the symbol we can simply rename the tag. Now when something changes we have to manually rename all topics that use country flags or else we get stuck with lots of topics that start with " instead of “”.
##Then why don’t we use them already?
The disadvantages of these unicode flags are:
- It depends on your platform, browser and installed fonts whether you can see these symbols as flags. An update to the forum software won’t fix symbols that don’t display properly. (At least not yet)
- As opposed to other tags you can’t mention these like this: #
🇮🇹. But that’s probably not something that will be dearly missed.
- You can’t tag a topic by simply typing letters and symbols, but have to copy-paste the actual flag symbol from somewhere. (e.g. this Wikipedia Article under “List of current emoji flag sequences”.
- Switching from the old system to the flag-tags system would mean we’d have to again manually rename & tag all non-english topics. But it would be the last time.
##So do you think we should do the switch?
- Yes, this is cool.
- Yes, if someone explains to me how to be able to display all the flags on all my devices
- No, because I don’t see the flags and also don’t want to update the OS on the device I use to browse this forum.
- No, this is dumb.