Regional Indicator Symbol

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The regional indicator symbols are a set of 26 alphabetic Unicode characters (A-Z) intended to be used to encode ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 two-letter country codes in a way that allows optional special treatment.

These were defined as part of the Unicode 6.0 support for emoji, as an alternative to encoding separate characters for each country flag. Although they can be displayed as Roman letters, it is intended that implementations may choose to display them in other ways, such as by using national flags.[1][2] The Unicode FAQ indicates that this mechanism should be used and that symbols for national flags will not be directly encoded.[3]

They are encoded in the range U+1F1E6 ๐Ÿ‡ฆ regional indicator symbol letter a (HTML: 🇦) to U+1F1FF ๐Ÿ‡ฟ regional indicator symbol letter z (HTML: 🇿) within the Enclosed Alphanumeric Supplement block in the Supplementary Multilingual Plane.[4]

Examples[edit]

This is a demonstration of how these characters appear in your browser individually: ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡จ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ซ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ ๐Ÿ‡ฏ ๐Ÿ‡ฐ ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ฒ ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ถ ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡น ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ป ๐Ÿ‡ผ ๐Ÿ‡ฝ ๐Ÿ‡พ ๐Ÿ‡ฟ.

Following is a demonstration of sample letter pairs in a variety of fonts:

Sample pairs (default serif) Sample pairs (default sans-serif) Sample pairs (default mono) Apple Color Emoji
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Arial Unicode MS Brampton Quivira Segoe UI Symbol
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Unicode Block[edit]

Regional indicator symbols subset of Enclosed Alphanumeric Supplement[1]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
... (U+1F100โ€“U+1F1E5 omitted)
U+1F1Ex   ๐Ÿ‡ฆ     ๐Ÿ‡ง     ๐Ÿ‡จ     ๐Ÿ‡ฉ     ๐Ÿ‡ช     ๐Ÿ‡ซ     ๐Ÿ‡ฌ     ๐Ÿ‡ญ     ๐Ÿ‡ฎ     ๐Ÿ‡ฏ  
U+1F1Fx   ๐Ÿ‡ฐ     ๐Ÿ‡ฑ     ๐Ÿ‡ฒ     ๐Ÿ‡ณ     ๐Ÿ‡ด     ๐Ÿ‡ต     ๐Ÿ‡ถ     ๐Ÿ‡ท     ๐Ÿ‡ธ     ๐Ÿ‡น     ๐Ÿ‡บ     ๐Ÿ‡ป     ๐Ÿ‡ผ     ๐Ÿ‡ฝ     ๐Ÿ‡พ     ๐Ÿ‡ฟ  
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 7.0

Background[edit]

In 2007 a draft proposal was presented to the Unicode Technical Committee to encode emoji symbols, specifically those in widespread use on mobile phones by Japanese telecommunications companies DoCoMo, KDDI, and SoftBank.[5] The proposed symbols included ten national flags:[6] China, Germany, Spain, France, the UK, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the United States. Encoding these flags but not other countries' flags was considered, by some, as prejudicial.[7] One rejected solution was to encode the ten flags but call them "EMOJI COMPATIBILITY SYMBOL-n" and represent them visually in the Standard as "EC n" instead of showing the flags they represent.[8] Another rejected solution would have allocated 676 codepoints (26 x 26) for each possible two letter combination of A-Z. They would represent political entities based on ISO 3166 such as "FR" for France or Internet ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) such as "EU" for the European Union.[9]

The accepted solution was to add 26 characters for letters used for the representation of regional indicators, which used in pairs would represent the ten national flags and possible future extensions.[2] Per the Unicode Standard "the main purpose of such [regional indicator symbol] pairs is to provide unambiguous roundtrip mappings to certain characters used in the emoji core sets"[10] specifically the ten national flags:[11] ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ, ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช, ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ, ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท, ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง, ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น, ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต, ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท, ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ, and ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andrew West. "What's new in Unicode 6.0". Babelstone. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  2. ^ a b Michael Everson and Ken Whistler. "N3727: Proposal to encode Regional Indicator Symbols in the UCS". Working Group Document, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 and UTC. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  3. ^ "Unicode FAQ: Emoji and Dingbats". The Unicode Consortium. 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  4. ^ "Enclosed Alphanumeric Supplement, Range 1F100 - 1F1FF, The Unicode Standard, Version 6.0". Unicode Consortium. 2010. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  5. ^ Momoi, Kat; Davis, Mark; Scherer, Markus (2007-08-03). "L2/07-257: Working Draft Proposal for Encoding Emoji Symbols". Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  6. ^ "Unicode Mapping for Emoji with Reference to Japanese Carriers, AU/KDDI, DoCoMo, and Softbank" (ZIP archive file format). Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  7. ^ "L2/09-114 N3607: Towards an encoding of symbol characters used as emoji". 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  8. ^ "INCITS/L2/09-304: Comments accompanying the U.S. negative vote on PDAM 8 to ISO/IEC 10646:2003 (SC2 N4078)". 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  9. ^ Pentzlin, Karl (2008-08-09). "L2/08-305: Some suggestions about the encoding of natioal flags as requested by the Emoji proposal". Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  10. ^ The Unicode Standard, Version 6.2, Chapter 15: Symbols. Unicode, Inc. 2012-09. p. 534. ISBN 978-1-936213-07-8. 
  11. ^ "Emoji Sources" (plain text). Unicode, Inc. 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2014-08-18.