Flag tags with U+1F3F3 and subtypes

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Mon May 18 17:08:27 CDT 2015

2015-05-18 23:38 GMT+02:00 Doug Ewell <doug at ewellic.org>:

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

I just included merges only to be complete because they frequently occur a
little time after a split (and not with the former part).

But of course merges are much less frequent than splits. An in today's
globalized world, splits are even easier than they were in the past (where
merges were the results of invasions/wars/conquests).

The rate of splits is in fact accelerating in history, even in countries
living in peace, this does not mean that they terminate all their
partnerships, just that they take the right to create their own alliances.
There are reasons for them: cultural (language), national taxes, economic
difficulties in some regions, unemployment, management of resources (water,
constructible or cultivable soils) but the most important reasons is
political (defiance between political parties, or brutality against
minorities and mutual misunderstanding)...

In the last 50 years the most important changes came from decolonialisation
and its independances (that was completed at end the the 1970's). But now
we are seeing splits for much smaller entities, and this can occur in many
more places.

With ISO 3166-2 the situation within countries is much more complex and
more frequent (in Europe most countries are undergoing large changes in
their administrative divisions, the changes that will occur next year in
French regions is still not taken into account in ISO 3166-2, as well as
the change that is already effective within one department, splitted in two
parts with only one which remains as a department, the other one being a
group of communes erected into a new territorial collectivity taking all
powers of its former department, for local adminsitration only, but with
the national power still not divided in what is now a "circonscription
départementale" with the same departmental prefecture as before the split.

The hierarchical model of subdivisions has in fact lots of exceptions (look
into Spain, UK, Germany, it was already true for France and US, but now it
is also occuring even in the Metropolitan area). In fact we can see several
parallel layers of subdivisions, but for different legal roles/missions.

The ISO 3166-1 also assumes that everything is a country, but it is already
wrong with some dependant territories (not all) of France, UK, US, the
Netherlands, Spain and possibly some islands of China. And these codes also
don't map correctly to effective national divisions (the encoding for
claims in Antartica remains ambiguous, depending on who uses the data).
There are also reserves for things that are not countries but groups of
countries (EU, WIPO areas...), and there could exist new codes for other
international alliances (these look like "merges" except that they are not
full merges and the entities continue to coexist separately).
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