About cultural/languages communities flags

Ken Whistler kenwhistler at att.net
Mon Feb 9 17:11:39 CST 2015

To follow up on Doug Ewell's response, the mechanism currently
standardized in the Unicode Standard for "regional indicator codes"
has an interpretation tied to the two-letter codes of ISO 3166-1,
and *not* to TLD's. The two are not directly connected.

If anyone really wants to pursue getting a Scots flag into general
implementation via Unicode regional indicator codes, the correct
way to make that happen is for somebody to get off their duff
and convince the BSI (British Standards Institute) to put in for
an exceptional reservation of a two-letter code for Scotland in
ISO 3166-1 by petitioning the ISO 3166/MA. See:


for the full context, and for the current 26x26 letter matrix which is
the basis for the flag glyph implementations of regional indicator
code pairs on smartphones.

SC, SO, ST are already taken, but might I suggest putting in for registering
"AB" for Alba? That one is currently unassigned.

Yeah, yeah, what is the likelihood of BSI pushing for a Scots two-letter
code?! But seriously, if folks are planning ahead for Scots independence
or even some kind of greater autonomy, this is an issue that needs to
be worked, anyway.

In the meantime, let me reiterate that there is *no* formal relationship
between TLD's and the regional indicator codes in Unicode (or the 
built upon them). Well, yes, a bunch of registered TLD's do match the 
codes, but there is no two-letter constraint on TLD's. This should already
be apparent, as Scotland has registered ".scot" At this point there 
isn't even
a limitation of TLD's to ASCII letters, so there is no way to map them
to the limited set of regional indicator codes in the Unicode Standard.

Not having a two letter country code for Scotland that matches the
four letter TLD for Scotland might indeed be a problem for someone,
but I don't see *this* as a problem that the Unicode Standard needs
to solve.


On 2/9/2015 2:38 PM, Doug Ewell wrote:
> Joan Montané <joan at montane dot cat> wrote:
>> I don't request flag support for every flag in the world. I requested
>> flags for culture/language communities *with* an approved TLD (Top
>> Level Domain).
> Incidentally, about a year and a half ago I discussed this with another
> list member, on- and off-list. We agreed that some sort of text-based
> encoding of flags would be an interesting project, but disagreed as to
> whether this was a Unicode problem.
> The present discussion seems to approach the issue from the other side:
> treat it as *only* a Unicode problem, and assume that the encoding
> problem has been solved by TLD registration.

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