Flag tags with U+1F3F3 and subtypes

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Mon May 18 16:38:19 CDT 2015

Philippe Verdy <verdy underscore p at wanadoo dot fr> wrote:

>> 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).

I assume you're aware of the extent of my involvement in BCP 47, so this
is a semi-rhetorical question.

If and when ISO 3166/MA manages to use up all of the remaining 336
unassigned code elements -- nearly half of the TOTAL possible code space
of 676 two-letter combinations -- the corresponding numeric code
elements will be assigned as BCP 47 region subtags instead.

> 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?)

What actually happened was, 'CS' was withdrawn for Czechoslovakia and
then assigned to Serbia and Montenegro. At that time, the waiting period
was five years; the 'CS' incident is what resulted in the change to 50

> 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.

Again, I'm guessing you already know that I know how BCP 47 works.

ISO 3166/MA can recycle alpha-2 code elements 50 years after withdrawal
if they feel like it. BCP 47 can't prevent that. That's why BCP 47 has a
mechanism to work around that possibility.

> 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.

Changes of regimes don't usually result in new 3166 code elements. The
same is true for merges (look at DE/DD or YE/YD). New and changed
country names usually do.

Doug Ewell | http://ewellic.org | Thornton, CO ����

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