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 🇦 REGIONAL INDICATOR SYMBOL LETTER A (HTML 🇦) to U+1F1FF 🇿 REGIONAL INDICATOR SYMBOL LETTER Z (HTML 🇿) within the Enclosed Alphanumeric Supplement block in the Supplementary Multilingual Plane.[4]

Emoji flag sequences[edit]

A pair of regional indicator symbols is referred to as an emoji flag sequence (although it represents a specific region, not a specific flag for that region).[5]

Out of the 676 possible pairs of regional indicator symbols (26 × 26), only 270 are considered valid Unicode region codes. These are a subset of the region sequences in the Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR):[5][6][7]

  • All 256 regular region sequences in the CLDR
  • Two of the 35 macroregion sequences in the CLDR (EU and UN)
  • All 12 deprecated region sequences in the CLDR (strongly discouraged—intended for backward compatibility only)
List of current emoji flag sequences
flag code region[8]
🇦🇨 AC Ascension Island
🇦🇩 AD Andorra
🇦🇪 AE United Arab Emirates
🇦🇫 AF Afghanistan
🇦🇬 AG Antigua & Barbuda
🇦🇮 AI Anguilla
🇦🇱 AL Albania
🇦🇲 AM Armenia
🇦🇴 AO Angola
🇦🇶 AQ Antarctica
🇦🇷 AR Argentina
🇦🇸 AS American Samoa
🇦🇹 AT Austria
🇦🇺 AU Australia
🇦🇼 AW Aruba
🇦🇽 AX Åland Islands
🇦🇿 AZ Azerbaijan
🇧🇦 BA Bosnia & Herzegovina
🇧🇧 BB Barbados
🇧🇩 BD Bangladesh
🇧🇪 BE Belgium
🇧🇫 BF Burkina Faso
🇧🇬 BG Bulgaria
🇧🇭 BH Bahrain
🇧🇮 BI Burundi
🇧🇯 BJ Benin
🇧🇱 BL St. Barthélemy
🇧🇲 BM Bermuda
🇧🇳 BN Brunei
🇧🇴 BO Bolivia
🇧🇶 BQ Caribbean Netherlands
🇧🇷 BR Brazil
🇧🇸 BS Bahamas
🇧🇹 BT Bhutan
🇧🇻 BV Bouvet Island
🇧🇼 BW Botswana
🇧🇾 BY Belarus
🇧🇿 BZ Belize
🇨🇦 CA Canada
🇨🇨 CC Cocos (Keeling) Islands
🇨🇩 CD Congo - Kinshasa
🇨🇫 CF Central African Republic
🇨🇬 CG Congo - Brazzaville
🇨🇭 CH Switzerland
🇨🇮 CI Côte d'Ivoire
🇨🇰 CK Cook Islands
🇨🇱 CL Chile
🇨🇲 CM Cameroon
🇨🇳 CN China
🇨🇴 CO Colombia
🇨🇵 CP Clipperton Island
🇨🇷 CR Costa Rica
🇨🇺 CU Cuba
🇨🇻 CV Cape Verde
🇨🇼 CW Curaçao
🇨🇽 CX Christmas Island
🇨🇾 CY Cyprus
🇨🇿 CZ Czechia
🇩🇪 DE Germany
🇩🇬 DG Diego Garcia
🇩🇯 DJ Djibouti
🇩🇰 DK Denmark
🇩🇲 DM Dominica
🇩🇴 DO Dominican Republic
🇩🇿 DZ Algeria
🇪🇦 EA Ceuta & Melilla
🇪🇨 EC Ecuador
🇪🇪 EE Estonia
🇪🇬 EG Egypt
🇪🇭 EH Western Sahara
🇪🇷 ER Eritrea
🇪🇸 ES Spain
🇪🇹 ET Ethiopia
🇪🇺 EU European Union
🇫🇮 FI Finland
🇫🇯 FJ Fiji
🇫🇰 FK Falkland Islands
🇫🇲 FM Micronesia
🇫🇴 FO Faroe Islands
🇫🇷 FR France
🇬🇦 GA Gabon
🇬🇧 GB United Kingdom
🇬🇩 GD Grenada
🇬🇪 GE Georgia
🇬🇫 GF French Guiana
🇬🇬 GG Guernsey
🇬🇭 GH Ghana
🇬🇮 GI Gibraltar
🇬🇱 GL Greenland
🇬🇲 GM Gambia
🇬🇳 GN Guinea
🇬🇵 GP Guadeloupe
🇬🇶 GQ Equatorial Guinea
🇬🇷 GR Greece
🇬🇸 GS South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
🇬🇹 GT Guatemala
🇬🇺 GU Guam
🇬🇼 GW Guinea-Bissau
🇬🇾 GY Guyana
🇭🇰 HK Hong Kong SAR China
🇭🇲 HM Heard & McDonald Islands
🇭🇳 HN Honduras
🇭🇷 HR Croatia
🇭🇹 HT Haiti
🇭🇺 HU Hungary
🇮🇨 IC Canary Islands
🇮🇩 ID Indonesia
🇮🇪 IE Ireland
🇮🇱 IL Israel
🇮🇲 IM Isle of Man
🇮🇳 IN India
🇮🇴 IO British Indian Ocean Territory
🇮🇶 IQ Iraq
🇮🇷 IR Iran
🇮🇸 IS Iceland
🇮🇹 IT Italy
🇯🇪 JE Jersey
🇯🇲 JM Jamaica
🇯🇴 JO Jordan
🇯🇵 JP Japan
🇰🇪 KE Kenya
🇰🇬 KG Kyrgyzstan
🇰🇭 KH Cambodia
🇰🇮 KI Kiribati
🇰🇲 KM Comoros
🇰🇳 KN St. Kitts & Nevis
🇰🇵 KP North Korea
🇰🇷 KR South Korea
🇰🇼 KW Kuwait
🇰🇾 KY Cayman Islands
🇰🇿 KZ Kazakhstan
🇱🇦 LA Laos
🇱🇧 LB Lebanon
🇱🇨 LC St. Lucia
🇱🇮 LI Liechtenstein
🇱🇰 LK Sri Lanka
🇱🇷 LR Liberia
🇱🇸 LS Lesotho
🇱🇹 LT Lithuania
🇱🇺 LU Luxembourg
🇱🇻 LV Latvia
🇱🇾 LY Libya
🇲🇦 MA Morocco
🇲🇨 MC Monaco
🇲🇩 MD Moldova
🇲🇪 ME Montenegro
🇲🇫 MF St. Martin
🇲🇬 MG Madagascar
🇲🇭 MH Marshall Islands
🇲🇰 MK Macedonia
🇲🇱 ML Mali
🇲🇲 MM Myanmar (Burma)
🇲🇳 MN Mongolia
🇲🇴 MO Macau SAR China
🇲🇵 MP Northern Mariana Islands
🇲🇶 MQ Martinique
🇲🇷 MR Mauritania
🇲🇸 MS Montserrat
🇲🇹 MT Malta
🇲🇺 MU Mauritius
🇲🇻 MV Maldives
🇲🇼 MW Malawi
🇲🇽 MX Mexico
🇲🇾 MY Malaysia
🇲🇿 MZ Mozambique
🇳🇦 NA Namibia
🇳🇨 NC New Caledonia
🇳🇪 NE Niger
🇳🇫 NF Norfolk Island
🇳🇬 NG Nigeria
🇳🇮 NI Nicaragua
🇳🇱 NL Netherlands
🇳🇴 NO Norway
🇳🇵 NP Nepal
🇳🇷 NR Nauru
🇳🇺 NU Niue
🇳🇿 NZ New Zealand
🇴🇲 OM Oman
🇵🇦 PA Panama
🇵🇪 PE Peru
🇵🇫 PF French Polynesia
🇵🇬 PG Papua New Guinea
🇵🇭 PH Philippines
🇵🇰 PK Pakistan
🇵🇱 PL Poland
🇵🇲 PM St. Pierre & Miquelon
🇵🇳 PN Pitcairn Islands
🇵🇷 PR Puerto Rico
🇵🇸 PS Palestinian Territories
🇵🇹 PT Portugal
🇵🇼 PW Palau
🇵🇾 PY Paraguay
🇶🇦 QA Qatar
🇷🇪 RE Réunion
🇷🇴 RO Romania
🇷🇸 RS Serbia
🇷🇺 RU Russia
🇷🇼 RW Rwanda
🇸🇦 SA Saudi Arabia
🇸🇧 SB Solomon Islands
🇸🇨 SC Seychelles
🇸🇩 SD Sudan
🇸🇪 SE Sweden
🇸🇬 SG Singapore
🇸🇭 SH St. Helena
🇸🇮 SI Slovenia
🇸🇯 SJ Svalbard & Jan Mayen
🇸🇰 SK Slovakia
🇸🇱 SL Sierra Leone
🇸🇲 SM San Marino
🇸🇳 SN Senegal
🇸🇴 SO Somalia
🇸🇷 SR Suriname
🇸🇸 SS South Sudan
🇸🇹 ST São Tomé & Príncipe
🇸🇻 SV El Salvador
🇸🇽 SX Sint Maarten
🇸🇾 SY Syria
🇸🇿 SZ Swaziland
🇹🇦 TA Tristan da Cunha
🇹🇨 TC Turks & Caicos Islands
🇹🇩 TD Chad
🇹🇫 TF French Southern Territories
🇹🇬 TG Togo
🇹🇭 TH Thailand
🇹🇯 TJ Tajikistan
🇹🇰 TK Tokelau
🇹🇱 TL Timor-Leste
🇹🇲 TM Turkmenistan
🇹🇳 TN Tunisia
🇹🇴 TO Tonga
🇹🇷 TR Turkey
🇹🇹 TT Trinidad & Tobago
🇹🇻 TV Tuvalu
🇹🇼 TW Taiwan
🇹🇿 TZ Tanzania
🇺🇦 UA Ukraine
🇺🇬 UG Uganda
🇺🇲 UM U.S. Outlying Islands
🇺🇳 UN United Nations
🇺🇸 US United States
🇺🇾 UY Uruguay
🇺🇿 UZ Uzbekistan
🇻🇦 VA Vatican City
🇻🇨 VC St. Vincent & Grenadines
🇻🇪 VE Venezuela
🇻🇬 VG British Virgin Islands
🇻🇮 VI U.S. Virgin Islands
🇻🇳 VN Vietnam
🇻🇺 VU Vanuatu
🇼🇫 WF Wallis & Futuna
🇼🇸 WS Samoa
🇽🇰 XK Kosovo
🇾🇪 YE Yemen
🇾🇹 YT Mayotte
🇿🇦 ZA South Africa
🇿🇲 ZM Zambia
🇿🇼 ZW Zimbabwe

List of deprecated sequences
deprecated replacement[9][10]
code region flag code region
AN Netherlands Antilles 🇨🇼 CW Curaçao
🇸🇽 SX Sint Maarten
🇧🇶 BQ Caribbean Netherlands
BU Burma 🇲🇲 MM Myanmar (Burma)
CS Serbia and Montenegro 🇷🇸 RS Serbia
🇲🇪 ME Montenegro
DD German Democratic Republic 🇩🇪 DE Germany
FX Metropolitan France 🇫🇷 FR France
NT Neutral Zone 🇸🇦 SA Saudi Arabia
🇮🇶 IQ Iraq
QU European Union 🇪🇺 EU European Union
SU Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 🇷🇺 RU Russia
🇦🇲 AM Armenia
🇦🇿 AZ Azerbaijan
🇧🇾 BY Belarus
🇪🇪 EE Estonia
🇬🇪 GE Georgia
🇰🇿 KZ Kazakhstan
🇰🇬 KG Kyrgyzstan
🇱🇻 LV Latvia
🇱🇹 LT Lithuania
🇲🇩 MD Moldova
🇹🇯 TJ Tajikistan
🇹🇲 TM Turkmenistan
🇺🇦 UA Ukraine
🇺🇿 UZ Uzbekistan
TP East Timor 🇹🇱 TL Timor-Leste
YD Democratic Yemen 🇾🇪 YE Yemen
YU Yugoslavia 🇷🇸 RS Serbia
🇲🇪 ME Montenegro
ZR Zaire 🇨🇩 CD Congo - Kinshasa

A separate mechanism (emoji tag sequences) is used for regional flags, such as Scotland or California[11] It uses U+1F3F4 🏴 WAVING BLACK FLAG and formatting tag characters instead of regional indicator symbols.

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+1F100–U+1F1E5 omitted)
U+1F1Ex   🇦     🇧     🇨     🇩     🇪     🇫     🇬     🇭     🇮     🇯  
U+1F1Fx   🇰     🇱     🇲     🇳     🇴     🇵     🇶     🇷     🇸     🇹     🇺     🇻     🇼     🇽     🇾     🇿  
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 11.0

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.[12] The proposed symbols included ten national flags:[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

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"[17] specifically the ten national flags:[18] 🇨🇳, 🇩🇪, 🇪🇸, 🇫🇷, 🇬🇧, 🇮🇹, 🇯🇵, 🇰🇷, 🇷🇺, and 🇺🇸.

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" (PDF). 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" (PDF). Unicode Consortium. 2010. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  5. ^ a b "UTR #51: Unicode Emoji, Annex B: Valid Emoji Flag Sequences". Unicode Consortium. 2018-05-21.
  6. ^ "UTR #35: Unicode Locale Data Markup Language (LDML), Validity Data". Unicode Consortium.
  7. ^ "CLDR v34 Region Validity Data". Unicode Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR). 2018-10-15.
  8. ^ "UCD: Emoji Sequence Data for UTR #51". Unicode Consortium. 2018-05-22.
  9. ^ "UTR #35: Unicode Locale Data Markup Language (LDML), Supplemental Metadata". Unicode Consortium.
  10. ^ "CLDR v34 Supplemental Metadata". Unicode Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR). 2018-10-15.
  11. ^ "UTR #51: Unicode Emoji". Unicode Consortium. 2017-05-18.
  12. ^ Momoi, Kat; Davis, Mark; Scherer, Markus (2007-08-03). "L2/07-257: Working Draft Proposal for Encoding Emoji Symbols". Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  13. ^ "Unicode Mapping for Emoji with Reference to Japanese Carriers, AU/KDDI, DoCoMo, and Softbank" (ZIP archive file format). Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  14. ^ "L2/09-114 N3607: Towards an encoding of symbol characters used as emoji" (PDF). 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  15. ^ "INCITS/L2/09-304: Comments accompanying the U.S. negative vote on PDAM 8 to ISO/IEC 10646:2003 (SC2 N4078)" (PDF). 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  16. ^ Pentzlin, Karl (2008-08-09). "L2/08-305: Some suggestions about the encoding of national flags as requested by the Emoji proposal" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  17. ^ The Unicode Standard, Version 6.2, Chapter 15: Symbols (PDF). Unicode, Inc. September 2012. p. 534. ISBN 978-1-936213-07-8.
  18. ^ "Emoji Sources" (plain text). Unicode, Inc. 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2014-08-18.