Emoji bosses to BAN new flag emojis! This is what happens next

Emoji bosses to not accept proposals for new flag emojis in the future unless one criteria is met. Read to know more.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 11:07 IST
Emojis for flag categories are now banned but there is an exception. (Unicode Consortium)
Emojis for flag categories are now banned but there is an exception. (Unicode Consortium)

Emoji bosses have taken a big step on flag emojis! The Unicode Consortium, who manage emojis on a global level, have made a new announcement regarding the future of flag emojis. Specifically, it is the flag of emoji of any new category that will no longer be accepted. Unicode says that the addition of one flag creates exclusivity at the expense of other flags. Hence, for category flags, there will no more new emojis added to the emoji set.

“If the Emoji Subcommittee recommends the addition of a Catalonia flag emoji, then it looks like favoritism unless all the other subdivisions of Spain are added. And if those are added, what about the subdivisions of Japan or Namibia, or the Cantons of Liechtenstein? The inclusion of new flags will always continue to emphasize the exclusion of others. And there isn't much room for the fluid nature of politics — countries change but Unicode additions are forever — once a character is added it can never be removed,” says Jennifer Daniel.

Emoji bosses put a full stop on new emojis

"Identities are fluid and unstoppable which makes mapping them to a formal unchanging universal character set incompatible," Daniel added.

"We realise closing this door may come as a disappointment — after all, flags often serve as a rallying cry to be seen, heard, recognised, and understood.”

“When people ask for a new flag emoji, we recognize that the underlying request is about more than simply a new emoji. And when we say, “We aren't adding more flags,” we are only saying changing the Unicode Standard is not an effective mechanism for this recognition,” says Daniel.

However, it is not the end of new flag emojis in totality. There is an exception to this ban. If one country gains independence and is recognised by the International Organisation of Standardisation), there will be a recommendation made to automatically put a flag to represent it with the need for a proposal. Unicode also makes it clear that it has no business to decide the appearance of flags, which is why it is up to the phone companies to update them in case of geopolitical reasons.

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First Published Date: 02 Apr, 17:53 IST
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