🇬🇧 🇩🇪 🇳🇱 How to create national flags as topic tags? (And whether to have them at all.)

How is creating a new national flag as a topic tag supposed to work?

The US flag comes to mind currently, it doesn’t exist as a topic tag yet while a number of other flags do exist.
Creating the tag via copy/paste e.g. from https://emojipedia.org/flags/ or by using the :us: format used in topic titles doesn’t work for me. The flag emoji doesn’t get converted to a tag, and :us: becomes a tag as text including the colons.

Is this something only moderators can do, or does this need a different format for the tag?
I can’t seem to find anything about this specifically (apart from some general admin stuff on meta.discourse.org not revealing to me why I can create tags in principle, but not flags).

I doubt moderators can do that.

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Back when I was a moderator I could do it, but now I can’t anymore.
But it may be for a different reason.

Also maybe we should talk about whether we still want flags as language indicators. I for one am now against it.

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  1. I would be interested in why.
    I quite like the use of these flags here in the forum and miss them elsewhere, but apart from them in their formal sense not depicting languages but territories I’m of course willing to talk about reasons.
    And I’m always for consistency. A few select flags being available without an easy way to add other ones is not a consistent state of things. Either have them all (at least potentially with an easy way to add new ones), or don’t have them.

  2. I brought up the US flag as a current example I could have used. It would not be a language indicator but the US as a territory. So even if the flags aren’t used as language indicators anymore the question would still remain how the flag can become a topic tag as long as this forum has the flags in principle.


It’s quite colonialist to use country flags for languages.
Many English or French speaking countries have a bad association with :uk: or :fr:.

@leomakkinje: Do you know how this works currently?

I think Discourse depreciated emoji in tags. At least it doesn’t work in another forum either.

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Thanks, that came up in my search there, too.
But if I didn’t miss anything important while browsing through, it doesn’t work like that anymore …

While that is true, that doesn’t make the languages anything other than English and French, and using the flags for depicting them is established and well-understood worldwide, even in countries which have a bad association with :uk: or :fr:.
What would you use instead (worldwide, think tourist signs and such)? I think ISO codes will not work well as icons for this any time soon … List of ISO 639-1 codes - Wikipedia

I could rather think of an argument about languages not associated to a country with a flag, but that should have come up somewhere already, I guess … 📊 Language Tags - "Final" Vote

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You know that’s not the flag of England right?

No it’s not. The flags depict regions, not languages.


Can tags be all-caps? I’m not taking a side here, just wondering if ISO codes could be capitalized if used as tags.

The issue I have is that the flags could denote Nations as in where the OP is that starts the topic, but then they could just note that in the text.

But then language can be defined by the text, although as more people will no doubt be familiar with national flags having a flag can indicate the language as if therefore more easy to select a topic to read.

So as mentioned, whereas colonialism does have it’s memory effect, I can’t see that as an issue if the purpose is to make it clearer if the language is something a person can deal with.

So the problem is why is a flag being used. So either none or one for each a) the flag b) the flag preceded by an uppercase L or 𝄞

I tend to interpret the flag as a language indicator

I don’t think so. Tags are all lowercase.

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Discourse should just introduce languages as a separate thing next to categories and tags.


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Yes, and the forum knows that, too, at least in anything other than tags. :england:
However, I don’t see this one much as an icon for the language anywhere, for whatever reason.

It is.
You just point out the conceptual problem, to which I don’t object at all, but you can’t deny how the flag icons are used worldwide in reality.

This sounds good.

Where else but the Fairphone forum do you still see flags as language indicators?
That’s so outdated and wrong.

This can be changed in the forum’s admin settings:

I hinted at a broader scale earlier, but if you want to stay in the internet … language selectors on a myriad of websites.


Lots of places

Many sites indicate a language by national flags as there is no set of icons for languages, and the language used is more ‘important’ when writing that the country of residence of the person

EDITED the image to show how the Fairphone shop do it.

Flag for Location | Text for language

What could be better

I see the England :england: flag as national and the UK :uk: as a language, meaning , British English

But to note the UK flag is for GB & NI.

Britain is only England and Wales, for which there is no flag, so national flags can be misrepresentative of the people in that location.

So Flags for location and maybe language abbreviation for preferred custom/culture/ and identity.

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