Flag tags with U+1F3F3 and subtypes

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Mon May 18 15:26:43 CDT 2015

2015-05-18 22:14 GMT+02:00 Doug Ewell <doug at ewellic.org>:

> I know I'll regret this...
You should not

> Philippe Verdy <verdy underscore p at wanadoo dot fr> wrote:
> > Sometime in a future, two letters will not be enough even in ISO
> > 3166-1, if countries continue to split/merge (this does not happen
> > frequently but is occurs every few years; and it will not be possible
> > to reuse old codes that are maintained for a long period).
> ISO 3166-1 already defines alpha-3 and numeric code elements, as well as
> alpha-2.

But how to work with the 2 letters limitation when the world wants more
stability in codes (this was an important reason why ISO 639 was not fully
integrated in IETF tags, and why the IETF tags have chosen the stability by
keeping also the codes that hbave been deleted in ISO 639, but only
deprecated in IETF language tags (BCP47).

We've already seen the famous reuse before 50 years (do you remember when
CS was reassigned just a few months after it was discarded after an initial
introduction for some months in Serbia-Montenegro?)

ISO coding standard are known to be unstable. This would also be true of
the UCS if Unicode did not push its stability pact with ISO!

But now let's remembers that parts of ISO 3166 are also included (not
fully) in BCP47 tags that require the stability. IT will prohibit
reassignments by ISO (or if this happens, this will break BCP47 and et IETF
will reject the change and will use another subtag if needed.

So country codes cannot be reassigned (and we can expect many more
merges/splits or changes of regimes in the many troubled areas of the world.
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