Talk:Time Person of the Year

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Concept of flags[edit]

Is there a reasoning for using flag icons against each person of the year. We cannot apply a flag against abstract persons of year, e.g. You. If there is a good reasing, why should the geographical flag be used? Gandhi were selected because of his peaceful opposition to the British Raj, it seems asinine to apply the British Raj against his entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:35, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

But, in 1930, Gandhi was a citizen of the British Raj, weather he liked it or not. Flags are used in place of a nationality columnn, and yes it's flawed, but it works. Highfields (talk, contribs) 16:44, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

I get the fact about Gandhi's nationality. We seemed to be in agreement that the flag column is flawed and I don't think it works. The reader will assume Gandhi was connected to the former British Empire instead of leading the opposition of it. Is there is rule stating that we need to represent the person's nationality? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:49, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

There doesn't have to be either a flag or nationality column, but it would be much worse without. Highfields (talk, contribs) 16:42, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

I think that broadly speaking the flag concepts seems to be a good idea, but when you have someone who directly opposed the legitimacy of the natural flag assigned to them (as is the example of Gandhi specifically mentioned here) then the system should be questioned, especially when the example cited resulted in the creation of a new nationality. The national flag (if used) should be directly attributed to what the individual cited would identify. In some cases, this could be arguable, but in the specific case of Gandhi, I don't think it a real stretch to imagine he'd want the flag of India, not the Raj. Manticore55 (talk) 16:30, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

But how could we make that work? If we put the flag of India instead, it would be untrue, but when we put the Raj, it prompts the argument above. Highfields (talk, contribs) 16:42, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
It won't be productive to start organising nationality around our perceptions of an individual's feelings. Gandhi's personal beliefs did not render facts as inaccurate; he was, in 1930, a subject of the British Raj. As that is an indisputable point, it's the one that should guide what flag is associated with him. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:16, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree Highfields (talk, contribs) 17:32, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

What if we could somehow have a flag with a gray background and a question mark in the middle to represent an unknown nationality in this case. It would solve the issue of having to decide a full nationality for this person. --MWOAP (talk) 03:13, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

So, there's no dispute that Gandhi (commenters, please check your spellings) was a subject of the former British Empire. It is unsustainable to tie the person's nationality to the entry. Unlike the Nobel prizes, the Time Magazine does not recognize the person by their nationality. We cannot apply this logic to 'You', 'The Computer', 'The Baby Boomers'. In Gandhi's situation, I am quoting the thoughts of the magazine itself which the article is supposed to reflect. Putting the British Raj would be misleading to the reader. Foreign News: Man of the Year, 1930 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:05, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

No, it is not misleading in the least. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 13:10, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Then, we disagree. Time to seek a third opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:00, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Responding to your third opinion request at WP:3O: This dispute is best resolved by remembering that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia providing basic information. IMHO, the purpose of the flags in this article is merely to give basic information about the nationality of the recipient (which is relevant in some instances and not in others). Readers wishing more detail must look to the specific article about that person. I'm not all that familiar with Gandhi, but I do not recall that, as opposed as he may have been to the Raj, he ever renounced his citizenship. (Indeed, his support of the cause of independence clearly shows that he considered India to be part of the Raj; otherwise independence would not be needed.) Since it appears that the uniform practice in this article has been to use the person's flag of nationality at the time the award was given, it would appear to me to be most appropriate to use the flag of the Raj. To use a flag which was not, in fact, the flag of his nationality would be a form of editorializing or essaying prohibited by WP:NOT#ESSAY and a failure to maintain WP:NPOV. Should the flag of Weimar Germany be used rather than the Nazi national flag to dishonor the ideas and desires of Adolph Hitler? No. Wikipedia does not exist to either honor or disparage the memory of individuals, but only to report the facts about them, and the fact was that Gandhi was a citizen of the Raj when the award was made, even though he did not like and wanted to change that fact (which is, I would further note, clearly set out in the article to which the Raj flag icon is linked). As a secondary matter, I note that someone has added the comment <!-- PLEASE DO NOT ADD AN INDIAN FLAG, IN 1930 GANDHI WAS A CITIZEN OF THE BRITISH RAJ --> to the article text. This hidden comment is inappropriately worded, violates or comes close to violating WP:WikiBullying#Making_.22no-edit.22_orders, and should be rewritten to conform with the "acceptable uses" section of WP:WikiBullying#Use_of_hidden_text. TRANSPORTERMAN (TALK) 05:15, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, the hidden text was me. I placed it there since IPs kept changing it every month. I thought to save having to revert it, just for it to be reinstated was unneccessary. I've read the policy article so I've tried to reword it (and some others I added for a similar reason). Highfields (talk, contribs) 16:30, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
It would seem that, even in the face of the 3rd opinion that he himself requested, the anon feels he's still in the right and continues to insert his personal views into the article. How long should he be permitted to do this before he gets blocked? --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 21:44, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Previously anon poster here. The entry was not my personal view. I am summarizing from the Time magazine itself. Do you disagree with the fact that Gandhi was the leader of the Indian freedom movement and was selected by Time Magazine for the same? If so, please provide citations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tnavenger (talkcontribs) 22:27, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

The article you linked to made no mention of Gandhi being chosen because of the Indian independence movement. It more speaks of his place as an agitator in the British Raj. Serious discussions about Indian independence were still years off; just because they ran a magazine called Time doesn't mean the editors were able to see forward in time. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 22:38, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

If the edit/revert cycle continues, this is an edit war and I recommend making a report to WP:ANEW or WP:RFP. TRANSPORTERMAN (TALK) 05:27, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

For whatever it might be's a fourth (fifth?) opinion. I agree with Highfields, Miesianiacal, and TransporterMan. The flag should be shown as it was at the time of event. Retroactively changing it to the present day flag is basically a "feel good" act of revisionism. However, if this issue of the flags is so troublesome, then perhaps they should be removed altogether. People can click on the hyperlinks if they want to know a person's nationality. Mtminchi08 (talk) 07:09, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

So, the debate is no longer about the flag. This is about my addition in the notes section specifying Gandhi's role as the leader of the Indian independance movement at that time. Miesianiacal refuses to acknowlege that there was indeed a freedom movement inspite of the Time's article quoting the same, "Gandhite Independence Movement" pg 4, "30,000 members of his Independence movement", pg 1. I have to question whether Miesianiacal's deletion of my notes are WP:NPOV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tnavenger (talkcontribs) 04:42, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Firstly, sign your posts. Secondly, indent your responses. And thirdly, please read what I write carefully; I never said there was no Indian independence movement, I said there's no mention in the Time article of Gandhi's leadership of an independence movement being specifically why he was chosen as Time's Person of the Year. If you can point out where exactly in the piece it says otherwise, I'll be happy to re-insert the information. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 07:03, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

To add to the flag discussion: According to the Wikipedia article, Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders was born in Hong Kong. Due we add the British-era HK flag to the section? CR85747 06:48, 11 Feburary 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Policy for notes section[edit]

Some of the notations which people have added or attempted to add are getting overly specific. Noting that Vladimir Putin is "the first Russian chosen since the fall of the Soviet Union" is a case in point. Should Konrad Adenauer receive the notation "first German chosen since the defeat of Nazi Germany"? How about Pope John Paul II as "first Pope chosen since the Vatican II Council"? Barack Obama as "first African-American President of the United States chosen"? David Ho as "first Chinese-American AIDS researcher chosen"? I know everyone has a favorite personality which they wish to boost here but there really needs to be some guidelines.

Mtminchi08 (talk) 19:07, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

The column should probably record why each person was selected. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 19:17, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps this table could be arranged like the one for List of Nobel Peace Prize laureates with a (very) brief quote from Time explaining the specific choice for the year.

Mtminchi08 (talk) 20:02, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Something like that, yes. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 13:12, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

You'll note that I have been deleting overdetailed notes as well, especially regarding Corazin Aquino recently. However, I actually don't see the point in the Notes column at all. Highfields (talk, contribs) 16:20, 25 November 2009 (UTC)


Hi, I was looking at this list and I was wondering whether to improve it we could make it more like List of Nobel laureates in Literature by removing the flags and placing a nationality collumn. This works particuarly well as many of the individuals shown can be satisfactually represented with a flag - see Elizabeth II, monarch of seveal states, Gandhi with a British Raj flag, etc. Also, this list is populated with abstract concepts too, so rather than omit flags for these concepts we could simply put "N/A". Any support? (talk) 17:26, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

As I stated above, that could work but I think it would have the same limitations; Gandhis nationality would still be under dispute, Elizabeth II would still have lots of nationalities. I think it's simpler and better looking to stick with flags. Highfields (talk, contribs) 11:10, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
We could just state that Gandhi was "Indian", and place a note for the Queen stating that as a monarch or multiple states she has no one nationality. I think that's clearer than using political flags, some of which seem a bit innapropriate. (talk) 14:41, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't see a difference between what's there now and what's suggested besides words replacing images; the proposal’s therefore possible, but would probably be visually inferior. I also don't see the need for acrobatics to get around acknowledging that Gandhi lived under the British Raj when he was nominated as Person of the Year. It's an historical fact; get over it. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:36, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry? What acrobatics? I just think the flags distract,l without imparting any particular information. The reasoning for using a flag of the British Raj for Gandhi, and apartheid South Africa for Mandela, seems rather odd when both individuals fought against these states: describing Gandhi as "Indian" and Mandela as "South African" would be much more succinct, and be more "historical factual" and accurate. It would also make the page much more aesthetically pleasing. IMO, Wikipedia over relies on flags. See WP:ICONDECORATION. (talk) 20:33, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I personally still stick to my opinion (and therefore agree with Miesianiacal) Highfields (talk, contribs) 13:20, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

File:Wallis Time.jpg[edit]

File:Wallis Time.jpg has been nominated for deletion. (talk) 06:05, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

The Beatles?[edit]

Why the hell aren't The Beatles on this list in any of the the years of the 60s? They started the British Invasion and have the most covered song of all time (Yesterday - over 3000 versions)! They changed music forever and John Lennon spread peace everywhere he went, and Paul McCartney did the same with vegetarianism. And George Harrison helped create the state of Bangladesh for Christ sake! They deserve to be on here more than Lyndon B. Johnson anyway! —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheWalrusWasPaul (talkcontribs) 02:21, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Apparently Time (magazine) didn't agree.  Frank  |  talk  02:24, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Queen Elizabeth Flag?[edit]

Could the flag of the Commonwealth of Nations be used to represent Elizabeth II's nationality? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Supergeek1694 (talkcontribs) 14:09, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Given that the Queen has nothing legally to do with all but 16 Commonwealth nations: no. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 14:24, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
We could use her personal flag... - Highfields (talk, contribs) 16:21, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
It didn't exist in 1952. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:29, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

The Queen has not real nationality? What a lot of codswallop. Why don't you look it up on her very own website, If that's not a reliable source I don't know what is. Quote: "As a national of the United Kingdom, The Queen is a citizen of the European Union, but that in no way affects her prerogatives and responsibilities as the Sovereign." And just so that you do not get into another spin: everyone who is a national of one or more of the 27 EU states is also a citizen of the (European) Union. So put the (British) Union Jack next to her name and if you want you can mention in the footnote that she was souvereign of other countries in 1952. But she was born British, she was British in 1952 and and she is British now. Note: There are no Birthers in the UK. KathaLu (talk) 09:51, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Well, I accept she's a national of the UK. But we (or I at least), think she was/is also a national of the others - Highfields (talk, contribs)
OK, now that it's established that she is a British national put the British flag next to her name. It's downright stupid not to do so. This is a list of the TIME Persons of the Year, not a scholarly essay on the finer points of the collision between British law, EU law, international law and Commonwealth law, or the differences between British subject, British citizen, British national and all the incarnations of the British Nationality act over the years - there is a pretty good summary here, link to it if you want. I can see why you want to stick to the situation in the year of nomination, you don't want to put the flag of the German Federal Republic next to Hitler's name. A bit more flexibility would make sense, though, for example for Gandhi. Why not establish the rule that you pick the flag that represents the nationality the person had during his or her life time and that best represents why the person was chosen by TIME. Would make more sense than what you have now. So what if Elisabeth II was the national of more than one country in 1952? Add it in a footnote. Did you check all the other TIME Persons of the Year for dual or more nationalities at the time of their nomination? I bet you didn't, nor would it make sense to plaster their flags next to their names in a list of TIME Person of the Year. KathaLu (talk) 22:24, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I get some of your points - although I firmly disagree with you about flexibility regarding flags at the time, regardless of Gandhi-like situations - but some of your points I don't get:
Did you check all the other TIME Persons of the Year for dual or more nationalities at the time of their nomination? I bet you didn't - Not sure what you mean, all the nationalities, including the rare cases of dual nationality, represented are correct, as far as I know anyway
So what if Elisabeth II was the national of more than one country in 1952? Add it in a footnote. - erm, we have. The reason no flags are given is because it looks OK to put 2, or even 3 flags, hence we do. But with 7, it's not so good, hence no single flag is used, as explained in the footnote. - Highfields (talk, contribs) 23:59, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
You got yourselves into quite a muddle here. Just stop and think what your purpose on Wiki is. Is it playing rule games or providing accurate and readable information for the readers? Not putting the British flag next to the name of the Queen of Great Britain in the list is playing pointless rule games and a disservice to any reader. I am only passing through here and noticed this glaring silliness. I wonder whether Churchill didn't have American nationality, whether Wallis Simpson had already British nationality, whether the US scientists all gave up their first or second nationalities when they became Americans - legislation on nationality is very different from country to country and has changed many times over the years in many countries, in fact one country may recognize that a particular person has two nationalities while the other country involved doesn't, so did you check that and if so, which country's laws did you pick, lol ... but frankly, I can't be bothered. Take care and do what you want. KathaLu (talk) 15:32, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Churchill recieved honorary citizenship of the US in 1963, so in 1940 he was British only. Not sure about Wallis Simpson though. As for your point on the American scientists, I don't they were all only US citizens (although I think all were US but just possibly more as well) so I would advocate removing flags for all abstract choices, even the scientists, or, for example, the Hungarian Freedom Fighter - I suppose it doesn't really matter, but I'd get rid of them if that's what you're suggesting. As for the complex issues, it's clearly just a simple guide, which is where the probelms originate between common sense and accuracy - Highfields (talk, contribs) 17:38, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Mightn't Churchill have had dual citizenship through his mother? At any rate, Elizabeth II is not only a British national, but she has lived her entire life in the United Kingdom. Anything but a British flag is pure pedantry, of a sort that only seems to be tolerated on wikipedia. Furthermore, the notion of her separately being "Queen of Canada," etc. is one that had not fully developed in 1952. It is not wikipedia's responsibility to cater to the insecurities of a tiny minority of Canadians (mostly - it never seems to be Australians or New Zealanders, much less Papua New Guineans or Solomon Islanders, who get worked up about this) who can't accept that their head of state is, by all reasonable measures, British. The idea that in 1952 Elizabeth II was no more British than she was Pakistani is risible. john k (talk) 18:53, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
It's also not Wikipedia's responsibility to cater to the insecurities of a tiny minority of Brits who get misty eyed and pine for the days of Empire, when the colonies knew their place below Britannia. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 20:35, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Certainly, which is not what one is doing when one notes that it makes sense to describe a woman who has lived her entire life in the United Kingdom as British. I'm not even British, and don't give a damn about the Empire. It is bizarre that Canadian monarchists are the ones who are calling other people misty-eyed for the British Empire. john k (talk) 20:54, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
It is, though, what one is doing when wilfully ignoring the fact that the woman is a part of - indeed, the very personification of - more nations than just the British one, and has been since the moment of her accession, as evidenced in the multiple proclamations issued the day of and after, and the contents thereof, not to mention her coronation oath, her own words, the assertions of her governments, etc., etc. It is your personal choice to use only where she lives as the sole criteria for deciding for her that she is only of one nation and which one that is. That is fine, for you; but not for guiding the content of this encyclopaedia. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 23:21, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
She's not a citizen of those countries though, and that's what the flag indicates. ðarkuncoll 23:59, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
It is not my personal choice, it is the general perception of most people in the world, and the standard usage of reference works. Britannica, for instance, gives only her UK title, identifies her as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, does not mention "commonwealth realms" in its article, and mentions Canada only in context of the Queen's visits there. You are elevating constitutional theory above practical reality and insisting that this is the only proper way to look at the world. You're free to think whatever you want, but there's no reason for this fetish to infest any wikipedia article that mentions Elizabeth II. The Queen's status in the commonwealth realms is a constitutional oddity, not a practical reality, and oughtn't force us into awkward contortions all the time. It is ridiculously undue weight to have to cater to this minority POV to the extent that it needs to be brought up on any occasion where someone might possibly come to the completely banal conclusion that Elizabeth II is more closely associated with the UK than with the other realms. john k (talk) 00:18, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
It is indeed your personal choice, whether others make the same erroneous personal choice or not. Here, we go by the facts; it is indeed a fact that Elizabeth lives mostly in the United Kingdom, but it is not a universal fact that because she lives in Britain she is only British. You are free to think whatever you want, but consensus was earlier established here to not have a flag next to Elizabeth II, given that to pick one out of all the others would be explicitly counter to Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 00:51, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Not only' British. Primarily British. For a variety of reasons, not just where she lives, but the historical background of the British monarchy and empire. Any consensus based decision that results in a lengthy footnote about the Commonwealth Realms in an article that has nothing to do with them ought to be revisited. It's fairly apparent that there is no particular consensus at the moment - KathaLu, Tharkun, and myself think the British flag should be used, while you and Highfields disagree. john k (talk) 01:43, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'd add that the discussion in 2009 shows no greater evidence of consensus not to use a flag - four or five people seem to prefer just using the British flag. It's absurd that we must waste so much ink at this article over this ridiculous issue. Technical legal questions involving the commonwealth realms are best dealt with in articles about the commonwealth realms and their monarchies. Dragging it into completely unrelated articles is incredibly obnoxious. If we are to choose one national flag, the UK flag obviously makes far the most sense. Why does this pedantry have to be dragged all over wikipedia? There's never been any consensus for it in any article, but you just care about it more than everybody else, so you get your way. It's incredibly obnoxious. john k (talk) 01:52, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Well then, John, feel free to invest your time in this "ridiculous" issue and take this to the next phase of the dispute resolution process. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 04:13, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I suppose that would be the logical next step. Maybe I'll do an rfc. john k (talk) 04:19, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Why are there any flags in the list of persons of the year anyway[edit]

Come to think of it, why put flags next to the names anyway? Does the nationality of the person of the year have anything to do with the reasons they were chosen? Is this to show that Americans are in the majority in the list? I say take the silly flags out of the list. This list is to honour people, not to insult them (like you do with Gandhi).KathaLu (talk) 15:48, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Actually, if you'd read the article fully you'd know it isn't an honour. And I think Gandhi would be more annoyed by people spelling his name wrong. The flags are there to let the reader know the subject's nationality - no more than that. Flags are used because they look better and take up less room than having a seperate text column - Highfields (talk, contribs) 17:25, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Request for Comment re: Elizabeth II[edit]

This one is a bit hard to summarize, because it goes to much larger issues than just this page. But basically, Elizabeth II is best known as Queen of the United Kingdom, but she is also separately queen of a variety of other former British possessions (in 1952, when the Time award was won, these were Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Ceylon). The question is whether, in articles in which these constitutional issues are not germane, it is acceptable to refer to Elizabeth II as British (in this case by putting a British flag beside her name), or whether it is necessary instead to not describe her nationality and instead include a footnote describing the constitutional issue. john k (talk) 04:26, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure I get the question. She has a nationality, and should be treated in that regard just like anyone else. --FormerIP (talk) 04:36, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
She has nationalities. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 04:49, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Leave it as is: Employing no flag next to Elizabeth II is preferable for a number of reasons:
    • Elizabeth II was sovereign - and personification - of more than one independent state in 1952; these countries have been considered equal to one another since 1927. It would be against WP:NPOV for Wikipedia to go overturn that established equality and selectively elevate one state above the others based only on the perception that Elizabeth II is "best known" as Queen of the United Kingdom. (The intent of this encyclopaedia is to educate, not reinforce misconceptions, however popular.)
    • Citizenship is not a factor as there is no evidence that Elizabeth II holds citizenship of any kind; according to the concept of sovereign immunity, the monarch is not bound by legislation that does not specifically say it binds the Crown ("Legislation does not presently bind the Crown unless there is express provision to say that it does."[1] "The general principle in law that statutes do not bind the Crown unless by express provision..."[2]) and none of the citizenship laws in Elizabeth's realms have such a clause.
    • WP:MOSFLAG tells us: "do not use flags when the issue is complex or it is unnecessary to do so." More specifically: "Avoid flag usage, especially to present a point of view that is likely to raise editorial controversy over political or other factual matters about a biography subject." "[A] flag may have limited and highly specific official uses, and an application outside that context can have political (e.g. nationalist or anti-nationalist) implications." "Emphasizing the importance of a person's citizenship or nationality above their other qualities risks violating Wikipedia's 'Neutral point of view' policy..."
    • The current arrangement does not include any constitutional detail, contrary to what John K says.
Different circumstances may require different treatments, so my comments above apply only to this article. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 04:49, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • My position is that we should use the UK flag in this article. It is not only a "perception" that Elizabeth II is "best known" as queen of the UK. She is queen of the United Kingdom and its predecessor states by inheritance going back at least 300 years, and the successor there to monarchs going back far longer. Her status as monarch of the other countries is a constitutional curiosity resulting from the retreat of the British Empire, and it is not incorrect to state that she is the queen of Canada, Tuvalu, and Antigua and Barbuda as a result of her status as Queen of the United Kingdom. Her constitutional role in the United Kingdom is also far greater than her role in the other kingdoms. She exercises her powers directly in the United Kingdom, while in the other realms those powers are exercised virtually all the time by a governor-general in whose appointment she has no real say. She has lived her entire life in the United Kingdom; neither she herself nor any of her predecessors has ever lived in any of the other commonwealth realms. In short, for all practical purposes the "popular perception" is correct. It is not misleading in any way to put a British flag by her name in this article. The constitutional niceties of her status need not clog up every article that mentions Elizabeth II; they should be discussed in articles where it is actually appropriate to do so, like Commonwealth realm, Monarchy of Canada, and the like. I would add that in this particular instance, the case for using the Union Jack is even stronger, because it refers to a distinction awarded in 1952. The idea of the various commonwealth realms as distinct and equal realms with the United Kingdom is one which has developed gradually over time, and was still very incomplete in 1952. The use of separate titles for the individual realms was not instituted until after 1952, and, indeed, the term "commonwealth realms" really only came into existence with Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. It is thus particularly anachronistic to insist on the matter in this particular case. john k (talk) 05:30, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Your last claim isn't true: The position of the Canadian government in 1952 was that "the Queen is Queen of Canada, regardless of her sovereignty over other Commonwealth countries. Our view is in strict accord with the present constitutional position, which is based on the concept of equality of status of all Commonwealth members."[3] At around the same time, the British Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, Patrick Gordon Walker, said "We in this country have to abandon... any sense of property in the Crown. The Queen, now, clearly, explicitly and according to title, belongs equally to all her realms and to the Commonwealth as a whole."[Bogdanor, Vernon (12 February 1998). The Monarchy and the Constitution. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 288. ISBN 978-0198293347.] --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 06:21, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The document you are quoting is discussing the Canadian government's position on the creation of new styles for the monarch. The Canadian government believed that the queen was Queen of Canada, but the title Queen of Canada did not yet exist. john k (talk) 07:07, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Correct; create new titles to reflect the reality that Elzabeth II was queen of all her realms separately and equally, contrary to your claim that in 1952 the equality and distinctness of the realms had not yet been established. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 14:11, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Just an opinion but I would just get rid of all the flags in the article, if the reader doesnt know the nationality then they can click on the subject link rather than guessing what the flag is. We have an assumption that readers recognise all the flags of the world which is not always true. MilborneOne (talk) 19:52, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
This would be reasonable. I'd certainly prefer it to having a tangential footnote about commonwealth realms. john k (talk) 22:02, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The flags are indeed unnecessary and misleading. These people are not members of national sports teams.  Cs32en Talk to me  03:06, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Miesianiacal. Keep it the way it is. I also think we should keep the other flags - Highfields (talk, contribs) 14:27, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Other people have several flags - Albert Einstein has three, for example. Why not just put the seven relevant flags in? There is enough space. This article isn't about citizenship or nationality so it isn't important *exactly* how she is related to those countries; she obviously is in a significant way. Having the footnote looks odd and inconsistent. I think having the flags in general is useful too - e.g. even if you don't recognise the US flag you can see it is a common one and as such click on it to find out more. Now the important question - what order should the seven flags be in? Lessthanideal (talk) 02:27, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

16 flags would be a little weird though. The flags obviously denote nationality, and the nationality of the Queen is obviously British. I don't see any reason to suppose otherwise. The fact that she's head of state in Australia doesn't make her Australian, just as the Prince of Wales isn't Welsh, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma isn't Burmese and the Prince of Orange is only vaguely orange. These things are titles, not nationalities. --FormerIP (talk) 02:52, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
There's precedence for no flag as well as for more than one flag; but, she wasn't queen of 16 countries in 1952. As queen of any country, she's certainly not foreign to it. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 03:16, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Really? Depends on what you mean by "foreign." George I and George II are often called foreign and German, despite being Kings of Great Britain. The fact that George VI was viewed as foreign is one of the main reasons he ceased to be king of India and Ireland before his death, and the same reason helped end his daughter's reigns in Pakistan, South Africa, Ceylon, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Malawi, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Fiji. The perceived foreignness of the Habsburg kings led to the Portuguese revolt of 1640; Norway got its own kings in 1905 in part for similar reasons. These narrow legalistic readings you prefer should not trump common sense and the normal meanings of English words. john k (talk) 06:33, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
BTW, while I'm no expert on this, a look at History of Canadian nationality law gives no indication that Elizabeth II would have been considered either a Canadian citizen or a Canadian national. So far as I can tell, under the 1947 nationality law, there was no understanding of Canadian nationality separate from Canadian citizenship, and Canadian citizenship was only held by people who either lived in Canada or were children of someone who was from Canada. Elizabeth II fit neither of those criteria. Certainly she was not a Canadian national on 1 January 1952; until her father's death, she would pretty clearly have had British nationality and no other. Afterwards, as a sovereign, it's perhaps tricky. It seems to me, though, that the claim that she was obviously a Canadian national by virtue of being Queen of Canada (a title which, btw, did not exist until 1953) is essentially OR in the form of original synthesis, unless someone can present a reliable source which directly says that Elizabeth II is a national of any state of which she is head of state - all we seem to have now are a lot of inferences. john k (talk) 06:44, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
It's you who pulled out citizenship and nationality laws. Even before Elizabeth became queen, such laws didn't make her a definite foreigner to her father's non-British realms; the government of Canada and the Canadian Forces don't consider any members of the Royal Family to be alien; they are always spoken of in official publications without national qualifiers and quite apart from mention of royalty and heads of state explicitly defined as foreign.
After Elizabeth acceded to the thrones (which occurred according to the constitutions of the countries she became queen of, not by virtue of her titles), whatever citizenship and nationality laws that did apply to her before the event ceased to afterwards. Nor is there any indication that because she is queen she is automatically either a citizen or a national of any of her realms. I simply said that, despite whatever anti-royalists choose to say, Elizabeth isn't a foreigner to any of the countries of which she's queen, which seems pretty well established for the UK and Canada, at least. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 15:00, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Go with British as that is the Commonwealth realm she's most associated with & the only realm that doesn't have/need a Governor General, due to the Queen's being a resident of the UK. As for Queen of Canada? that style has the UK in it & before Canada. GoodDay (talk) 13:32, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, now it's residency, titles, and the presence or absence of a governor general that dictates one's nationality. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 13:42, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
That dictates what flag should appear in this article. john k (talk) 07:36, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. GoodDay (talk) 07:40, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. - Highfields (talk, contribs) 15:21, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with your disagreement. john k (talk) 21:24, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
And I disagree with yours. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 23:28, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
A disagreement with which I myself disagree. Shall we continue in this vein? john k (talk) 23:37, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
  • There needs to be a flag of some sort It just doesn't look right her being the only single person without a flag. If you're opposed to using the UK flag (which I'm not), why not use the flag of the Commonwealth of Nations? I think that would fairly represent her global position Purplebackpack89 22:55, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
The Commonwealth flag didn't exist in 1952. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 23:28, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Holy smokers. Does everything British about Elizabeth II, have to be deleted or hidden everywheres on Wikipedia? GoodDay (talk) 02:29, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Does everything not British? --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 02:32, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Not everything non-British is deleted/hidden. Nor am I seeking to hide everything concerning the 15 other realms from Wikipedia. GoodDay (talk) 02:45, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
And not everything British is hidden. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 03:06, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Not yet, thankfully for NPoV's sake. GoodDay (talk) 03:29, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
This is an international article & Elizabeth II is recognized mostly a British, in the international community. GoodDay (talk) 02:38, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
It's unclear what you mean by "mostly as British" and "international community", where you gleaned this information from, or what relevance it has to this page. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 03:06, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
It's certainly how Time magazine recognized her in 1952. GoodDay (talk) 03:11, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
That's not a clarification of your earlier statement and is of questionable source and relevance as well. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 03:14, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
There's no point in trying to reason with you on this topic, anymore. No offense. GoodDay (talk) 03:17, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask you to explain what you mean, your rationale behind it, and what you've based it on. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 03:31, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Time magazine named Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, Woman of the Year in 1952. GoodDay (talk) 03:36, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yes, I read your earlier mention of this. What I don't see is where you've found what TIME said in 1952 or what it matters to the facts and WP policies guiding how we form this article. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 03:39, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Elizabeth II is internationally recognized foremost as British (both then & now). If you wanna treat me like an idiot, by asking me to provide sources for the obvious? then it's best I depart this discussion. GoodDay (talk) 03:42, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I didn't ask you for a citation affirming that Elizabeth II is commonly perceived as British. You said TIME said something and I asked for the source for that. But that's actually irrelevant, anyway. The more important request for clarification I put to you separately was: how does popular perception dictate accuracy? Wikipedia's own policy is that it is not a democracy; i.e. facts aren't affirmed by popularity. The facts, both in 1952 and now, and as already explained by me in detail above, are that Elizabeth II is equally queen of all her countries and foreign to none (for certain the UK and Canada, at least), despite having no citizenship or nationality mandated by law in any, meaning it would be contrary to Wikipedia's own NPOV policy and WORLDVIEW guideline to elevate in this article one state above the others based on no more reasoning than that country is the one she's most commonly associated with by a public and media so unconcerned with factual and nuanced accuracy that they generally think she's Queen of England. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 04:16, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The original Time article is here. It refers to her once as head of the Commonwealth, and mentions Britain 19 times in the context of her rule over it. She is referred to as Queen of Great Britain, British Queen, and such, and the article is pretty much wholly about the importance of her accession to the United Kingdom. The other commonwealth realms are mentioned as a group once, mentioning that she might receive in audience a visiting Commonwealth governor-general. Of the individual commonwealth realms, Canada is mentioned once, in the context of Canadian debutantes finding the Duke of Edinburgh handsome. South Africa is mentioned once, in the context of people there talking about a republic. The other commonwealth realms (Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Ceylon) are not mentioned at all. It is pretty clear that Time viewed her first and foremost as queen of the UK. john k (talk) 05:48, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Very good. Except, TIME's POV doesn't trump that of the law, parliamentarians, and governments of the day. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 08:19, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
You have yet to provide any sources for the idea that any of these institutions did not view Elizabeth II as primarily British, especially in 1952. Certainly the idea that Elizabeth II was as much Ceylonese and Pakistani as British is difficult to credit. Moreover, this is an article about Time magazine. Surely Time's view is relevant? At any rate, I'll just reassert my basic point, which is that what you are asserting as objective truth is actually an agreed upon legal fiction. Elizabeth II is "Canadian" only in the sense that she is Canada's (entirely nominal) head of state. She is "British" in every sense that matters. To insist on the absolute equality of her Britishness and Canadianness in even the most informal contexts is to insist that this legal fiction entirely trumps every other meaning of nationality - and not only that you have yet to prove that Elizabeth II in 1952 was a Canadian (or Ceylonese, or South African) national even in the strictly legal sense. john k (talk) 15:30, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I've proved already that Elizabeth wasn't (and isn't) considered a foreigner to Canada, as well as that the British Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign recognised that the Queen "belonged" equally to all her countries. You've failed to show concrete evidence supporting the belief that she was in 1952 only a British national and was such for any reason besides being Britain's queen; the criteria you say "matters" is both wholly casual and exclusive in favour of your desired outcome. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:20, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
The British nationality law in effect in 1952 made Elizabeth II a citizen of the UK by virtue of her birth there. At any rate, again, strict legal definitions should not be the only factor considered. In any non-legal setting, Elizabeth II, who was born in and had lived her entire life in the United Kingdom, and was the child of parents who had done the same, would be considered British. And it's absolutely undue weight to insist that a technical legal definition (for which you have not even proved your case) is the one that is important. john k (talk) 16:34, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
The British nationality law had, and has, no bearing on the Queen; an Act of Parliament affects the sovereign only if it has a clause saying it does and the nationality law does not. There's no doubt Elizabeth is British; she is Queen of the United Kingdom. The problem is the unwillingness to recognise (as other did and do) that she is, as queen equally of more than just Britain, neither only nor primarily British. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:46, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I should add to the above the words of Elizabeth herself:
  • "It's very good to be home." (Said upon arrival at Halifax in June 2010)
  • "From the moment when I first set foot on Canadian soil the feeling of strangeness went, for I knew myself to be not only amongst friends, but amongst fellow countrymen." (At Ottawa, 1951)
  • "...A warmth of heart that has made us feel how truly we belong to Canada." (1951)
  • "I am going home to Canada tomorrow." (Said to an American reporter before departing California in 1983)
Her British photographer is also on record as saying: "[the Queen] feels Canadian as well as being Queen of Canada..." Philip has also said that, as consort to the Queen, he is Canadian.
I go on about Canada because it's what I know best and that's the information I have in front of me. It doesn't say much about other countries, but it does further demonstrate that Elizabeth's nationality is not a matter that can be bluntly squashed under two or three random criteria like primary place of residence. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:50, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
The 1948 nationality law certainly had bearing on HRH The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and made her a citizen of the United Kingdom. Given that your own argument seems to be that since 1952 she is not technically a national or citizen of any country, I'd think her pre-accession nationality is relevant, in the same way that we'd say that James I's nationality was Scottish, or George I's was German. Beyond that, the big problem I have is that you continue to act as though "place of birth and almost exclusive place of residence" is "two or three random criteria". It is not; it is the normal way of determining nationality in a non-legal context. john k (talk) 14:51, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Her pre-accession citizenship is irrelevant because, firstly, it didn't necessarily mean she was only of British nationality; I've already pointed out that none in the Royal Family are considered foreigners to Canada, despite their lack of Canadian citizenship. Secondly, we're talking about Queen Elizabeth II, not Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh; upon accession, she ceased to be a British citizen and has since never been a citizen of any country. However, as was the case when she was princess, her lack of citizenship, place of birth, and place of primary residence have never caused her to be regarded as a foreigner in any of the countries of which she's queen (well, in the UK Canada, and perhaps Australia, anyway; I'm assuming the rest take the same stance). Only you've chosen the latter two criteria as the sole means by which nationality can be applied to the Queen. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:41, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I doubt Liz would've said, "I'm a foreigner & I enjoy visiting this foreign country". Good public relations is a part of her station. GoodDay (talk) 17:03, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
That's essentially what she does when she visits foreign countries. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:06, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
She doesn't dare say it in Canada, Australia, New Zealand & the other 12 commonwealth realms, less she turn un-decideds into republicans. GoodDay (talk) 17:15, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Certainly her statements about being Canadian should be viewed as political statements, not as simple indications of the Queen's personal views. Does the Queen also feel Papua New Guinean as well as being Queen of Papua New Guinea? The Queen's supposed Canadianness is a political stance designed to preserve the monarchy in Canada. I strongly suspect that in realms where the population isn't largely of European descent, this game is played a lot less, although I'd be interested to see how it plays out. john k (talk) 14:51, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Philip's, the Queen's photographer’s, and one of the Queen's comments quoted above were unofficial; otherwise, the Queen reviews and approves all her speeches. Thus, you're accusing these three people (as well as the government and the armed forces) of all acting in bad faith for the preservation of the Canadian Crown. I imagine you must be joking. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:52, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Goodness, a political figure might make insincere statements for political reasons? Who'd think it possible? At any rate, even if we posit that the queen is being completely sincere about feeling Canadian, can you find any similar statements about feeling Tuvaluan or feeling Jamaican? If not, then obviously the Queen's feeling of being Canadian is not some sort of inevitable result of her role as monarch, but rather a personal feeling engendered by a long association with Canada. She feels more strongly about Canada than about Tuvalu because she's spent a fair amount of time in Canada, and feels a personal connection to it. That may or may not really be the case (and I don't think that being polite to Canadians and saying nice things about her feelings about them constitutes "acting in bad faith," even if she is exaggerating her feeling of connection to the country), but it certainly doesn't support the argument that we cannot distinguish between the commonwealth realms. Such statements, in fact, show that there is a stronger connection between the monarch and Canada than there is between the monarch and the post-WWII commonewalth realms, about which we will almost certainly not find any such royal statements. Once we accept that, can't we also accept that there is a still closer connection between the monarch and the United Kingdom? john k (talk) 08:17, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
I put the words here only to further illustrate how the Queen's nationality is a more complex matter than simply saying, oh, she's only British beacuse she was born and lives mostly in the UK. But, I do suppose none of us knows whether she, Philip, or her photographer were lying or not. Perhaps everyone's lying and Elizabeth is actually Norwegian. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 02:48, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
oh, she's only British beacuse she was born and lives mostly in the UK. I have never said that, and I do not believe that. I believe she is more British than any other nationality because she was born and lives almost entirely in the UK, and because she is the effective head of state of the UK, and only the nominal head of state of the other fifteen realms. In some technical legal sense, it is true that she belongs to all sixteen realms. In addition to those legal bonds, though, she has stronger connections to some realms than to others, and it seems quite clear that by far the strongest are to the United Kingdom. john k (talk) 05:13, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
You've persistently (for years, now) shunted the non-British realms off as immature nations whose head of state is a "nominal" and unresolved "constitutional oddity". That old and misguided attitude shows just how strong you think Elizabeth's connections are to her non-British realms: essentially nil. For you, monarchs have grades of kingliness and nationality that rely solely on place of birth and geographical proximity. That, though, is merely a personal theory of yours that wasn't the position of officials in the 1950s and isn't the position of governments and armed forces today, nor of historians. From them, the theme has always been equality: "the Queen is Queen of Canada, regardless of her sovereignty over other Commonwealth countries. Our view is in strict accord with the present constitutional position, which is based on the concept of equality of status of all Commonwealth members"; "The Queen, now, clearly, explicitly and according to title, belongs equally to all her realms and to the Commonwealth as a whole"; "Elizabeth II was equally Queen of Canada and the United Kingdom... Britain had to reconcile itself to the fact that it no longer had elevated status within the Commonwealth and that their queen was now equally, officially, and explicitly queen of separate, autonomous realms;"[4] "[T]he other members of the Commonwealth were full and equal members with the United Kingdom, so that the Queen was equally Queen of each of her various realms";[5] "The royal titles adopted in each of the fifteen realms, of which she was equally Queen, would require the assent of the Parliaments of each";[6] "Thus Elizabeth II embodies in her own person many monarchies: she is Queen of Great Britain, but she is equally Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Ceylon."[7] That is sourced, your opinion is not. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 06:51, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Fine. But surely for the purposes of this article, the opinion of Time magazine is what matters. HM wasn't named Person of the Year because she was Queen of Canada, in fact Time probably weren't even aware she was Queen of Canada. The article makes quite clear that the reason she was Person of the Year was because she was Queen of the United Kingdom; the whole of the rest of the Commonwealth and Empire is only mentioned in passing. Opera hat (talk) 12:36, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
I think Mies' argument is very convincing, but I'm starting to agree that maybe a simpler compromise should be sought - HIGHFIELDS (TALKCONTRIBUTIONS) 14:13, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
TIME didn't name her person of the year because she was queen of anywhere: "It was not the fact of her being Queen that made Elizabeth II the Woman of 1952." It also didn't give her the distinction because she's British. Even if we were to disregard both those facts and put a Union Flag next to her name in this list because the TIME article speaks more about her role in the UK than in any other country, we'd still require a footnote to explain why that flag was chosen, which is hardly better, if not worse, than what we've got now. Which brings me to ask Highfields: what possible compromise could there be that's simpler than what was earlier settled upon? I'm open to ideas, but draw a blank when I try to come up with any myself. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:23, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Once again, this has nothing to do with personal theories of mine. You are expressing the official constitutional position, fine. Your claim that "historians" agree with you is complete nonsense - this issue is not the sort of thing that historians even write about, but whatever. My point throughout this is that the official constitutional position is a single POV, and not the dominant one. Because it is official, it deserves recognition in articles about the monarchy and the constitutional arrangements of the different commonwealth realms. But it mustn't swallow up every article that mentions Elizabeth II, because from virtually every other perspective (including, as Opera Hat and I have noted, that of Time magazine), her primary role is as queen of the United Kingdom. Even the Canadian government acknowledges the primacy of her role in the United Kingdom. The Department of Canadian Heritage says that her role in Canada is "a role independent of that as Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms." That is a phrase that you would not allow on Wikipedia because it unduly emphasizes the United Kingdom. Similarly, her official title in Canada is "Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, and her other realms and territories." Her titles in Australia and New Zealand were analogous in 1953, if our article is to be trusted. In Pakistan, "Queen of Pakistan" was not even used - she was just Queen of the United Kingdom there. Only South Africa and Ceylon did not mention the UK. Again, there are other considerations than pure constitutional ones, and virtually every reliable source takes that into account. If you look at other encyclopedias, they tend to simply refer to Elizabeth II as queen of the United Kingdom even in articles about her - Britannica does that, for instance. Even Canadian sources are perfectly fine with this - Here's Canada's leading national paper republishing an Associated Press video that refers to "Britain's Queen Elizabeth", a phrase that the Globe and Mail itself seems to use with some regularity in photo captions. Referring to the British monarchy, or to Elizabeth II as British, either because she is seen as mostly belonging to the UK, or because this is an easy simplification, is standard in all but official sources, and was even more common in 1952, when the present day titles like "Queen of Canada" and so forth had not even been created. To oppose this on the grounds you do is pure pedantry with no higher purpose. john k (talk) 16:02, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, john. The media knows best. Popularity dictates accuracy. Titles matter more than constitutions. We've heard your tired and hackneyed theories already. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:15, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
The Globe and Mail is a reliable source. Informal usage is not necessarily incorrect just because it does not match formal usage. My argument is not that constitutions don't matter. It's that they're not the only thing that matters. Your argument is that making clear a formal constitutional situation that has few practical ramifications is more important than clearness and conciseness in articles that have nothing to do with that formal constitutional situation. This is ridiculous. john k (talk) 18:14, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
A republication of an American video by The Globe and Mail does not trump law. It can be used to illustrate that Elizabeth is commonly perceived as British. But, informal usage is not necessarily correct. Accurate is the long established concept of equality amongst the Commonwealth realms - already demonstrated - and adhering to it is no more difficult than holding to a misconceived belief in the UK's superiority; we're talking about no flag with a footnote vs. a flag with a footnote. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 18:25, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Sigh. I am talking about a flag with no footnote. There is no reason for the words "commonwealth realms" to appear anywhere in this article. And believing that a person who has spent their entire life in Britain, whose principal public activity is as queen of the UK, and who is, as you admit, "commonly perceived" as British, is, in fact, British has nothing to do with the "UK's superiority," nor does it imply that the commonwealth realms are not equal. john k (talk) 20:25, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────One wonders why you conjure up red herrings to argue against - nobody said the Queen isn't British, or that the words "Commonwealth realm" must appear in every article. Also mystifying is your ability to argue that there are degrees of kingship and nationality and Elizabeth is more of a queen in the UK and more a national of Britain than anywhere else (following on your other comment about her place in the non-British realms being a mere "oddity") while, in the same breath, saying this isn't about the UK's superiority or the inequality of the realms.

You are, of course, free to hold whatever personal opinions you wish, for whatever reason. But, in order to write this encyclopædia, we must go by the sourced facts. Some of those are: Elizabeth was born in the UK, lives there mostly, and is popularly perceived by the masses as being only either a Brit or English. Ok, nobody's denied that. But, so what? While laws may use some of those criteria to settle what citizenship or nationality any regular individual holds, none of them define the Queen's nationality, let alone which one she's more of than any other: Nationality certainly isn't dictated for anyone by popular survey and sound sources tell us Elizabeth has been, since at least her accession, considered by legislators and governments - the people who actually make the rules - to be a part of all her realms, not a foreigner to any, and a part of all equally. This despite the Queen not being subject to her own citizenship and nationality laws, and without any regard for where she was born and spends most of her time. Placing a British flag next to Elizabeth's name in this list is thus an imposition of a POV, however popular, that doesn't reflect factual reality. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 04:31, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Why not simply 'no flags for anybody?
See this material on flagcruft here and here. - Flags might look cute and pretty to some, but to others they are annoying and provoke timewasting debates like this one.
If it is of any help, according to research conducted by the [Australian Government|], Queen Elizabeth I is not an Australian citizen Kransky (talk) 13:45, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I've already said that it would be fine with me to remove all flags. There was some resistance to this. john k (talk) 15:30, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
From whom? I'm willing to support this if it will help avoid future disputes. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:21, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Highfield opposed it. We could do a poll, although I'd suggest approval or ranked preference between a) the status quo; b) all seven 1952 commonwealth realm flags; c) just the British flag; and d) removing all flags. john k (talk) 16:34, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I see. Well, some feel polls are evil, but I don't see the harm in conducting one here and now. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:46, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Tough one, but what did she win the award for. THE SOURCE must cite somewhere that she won uit as Queen of England/Britain/Commonwealth, etc. Cite that.(Lihaas (talk) 18:14, 29 December 2010 (UTC)).
I linked to the article above. It refers to her almost exclusive as Queen of the UK, only mentioning the rest of the Commonwealth a few times in passing. john k (talk) 18:41, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I just encountered this discussion and can't believe this has gone on for so long. Elizabeth II may have been/was of several nationalities in 1952, including British. Time award their "person of the year". How did Time view the recipient? As British. What flag should be next to her name? The British one. Opera hat (talk) 22:39, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
The reason I opposed removing all flags was because I think they give, most of the time, an easy and accurate guide as to the person's nationality. I think removing that guide would be a regressive step. Although clearly, it's far from perfect. In terms of compromise, I don't mind keeping it the same, or even going for options b or c in John K's poll, but I think the flags should stay - Highfields (talk, contribs) 14:18, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Put the Union Jack in. GoodDay (talk) 16:50, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Highfield, why is nationality so important? Why don't we include their university qualifications or shoe size? The whole point of these awards are to distinguish what people did, not who they were. And part of a good article is knowing what information to exclude, just as much as knowing what to include. Kransky (talk) 12:06, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
You're quite right, except your talking about the 'award'. The fact is, this list is designed to distinguish who the recipients were/are, and one of the, if not the, most important factors after their name is their nationality. I just think it gives a good guide. I'm perfectly willing to back down, or go for simpler things, like just primary nationality or a more relevant other nationality, even though I disagree, if we agree that's what's best. But my personal opinion is that nationality is important and the easiest, simplest and least intrusive method of conveying that is through flags. If you disagree, feel free... - HIGHFIELDS (TALKCONTRIBUTIONS) 16:14, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
I do think that, given that most Time persons of the year are political figures, nationality is generally fairly important to mention. Of course, some of the recipients aren't political figures, in which case nationality is less important - e.g. Zuckerberg, "the Good Samaritans", Bezos, Grove, Ho, Turner, Curtice, Chrysler. john k (talk) 19:40, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Good. Then it would seem we agree on something then. Which is a good start for compromising on the other matter. As I say, I would be willing to concede on Elizabeth, or even people like Gandhi, if we can agree on the terms... - HIGHFIELDS (TALKCONTRIBUTIONS) 22:27, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps instead of flags, we could have brief text explanations of who each winner is. Of course, that wouldn't remove the problem, as Miesianiacal will continue to insist on unnecessary references to commonwealth realms and their absolute equality in the Elizabeth II entry, which is the basic problem here. john k (talk) 20:29, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Funny how you see resistance to your outdated, unsubstantiated POV as a problem. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 04:40, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Has anybody considered using Liz's Royal Standard? GoodDay (talk) 04:58, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It was suggested by Highfields before. But, as he noted at the time, the existence of a separate standard for Scotland presents a problem. I'd also add to that the issue of the standard being a personal flag and not a national one. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 05:09, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I assume that reaching a consensus for deleting all flags, will be a very difficult feat. GoodDay (talk) 05:15, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Would anybody object to using the Queen's personal flag? The one with the big E in the middle? GoodDay (talk) 05:20, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't think that would be useful to most readers, who would not know what it is. There is no reason for the article to draw attention to Elizabeth II at all in this context. She won as queen of the United Kingdom and she is British. We should have the Union Jack for her or no flags for any of the winners. john k (talk) 06:53, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I've no probs with eliminating all flags. As for adding the British flag, Mies will never agree to it & right now, there's basically just a tiny handful of editors interested in this topic. Kinda like in Canada, not enough people care about or are aware about the monarchy, to be monarchists or republicans. GoodDay (talk) 06:57, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) x2 She won as queen of the United Kingdom From the TIME article, once again: "It was not the fact of her being Queen that made Elizabeth II the Woman of 1952." She is not just British; ergo, the British flag is inappropriate. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 07:01, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
If being a monarch wasn't the reason, then what was? GoodDay (talk) 07:09, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Are we gonna end this foolishness & add the Union Jack, now? It's not good to argue about such things with what can be seen as a SPA. GoodDay (talk) 15:53, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Agree, I cannot belive that half this page and hours of peoples time have been wasted because some people think the Queen of the United Kingdom should not have the United Kingdom flag next to her. I've been involved in some heated discussions over the years but this is crazy. -- Chuq (talk) 01:41, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't seem like you read the right half of the page. The question is more: why should the Queen of Australia (or of Canada, or Jamaica, or New Zealand) have the United Kingdom flag next to her? --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 01:44, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Why does that matter? The flag represents the nation of which the person is a citizen/resident. For example: Bill Gates, Bono, Jeff Bezos, Ted Turner - they do not hold positions in the government of the nations represented by the flags next to their names. If the flag is to represent this then those four should not have flags at all. Queen Elizabeth II is clearly a resident and citizen of the United Kingdom, and is not a resident or citizen of Australia, Jamaica, and so on. -- Chuq (talk) 05:36, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Elizabeth II isn't a citizen of the United Kingdom. Again, you haven't read the preceeding discussion. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 05:40, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I can see why this discussion took so much space now. Ok, so you have found a technicality to highlight, thanks for that, but I don't think it really adds to the discussion. If it helps, just read references to 'being a citizen' as 'being of a certain nationality'. Now, about the rest of the paragraph - the part that contains the point I was trying to make - did you not read it, or choose to ignore it? -- Chuq (talk) 11:16, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Here's a thought - how about someone get hold of that issue of Time and see how they describe her? LukeSurl t c 02:09, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
It's here, though it looks like you have to be a paid-up Time subscriber to read the content. If, as I suspect, they describe her as British, perhaps we can have a Union Flag with a footnote "The accompanying Time article described Queen Elizabeth II as British though in 1952 Elizabeth II was also sovereign of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, Pakistan and South Africa. LukeSurl t c 02:24, 17 December 2011 (UTC)


I don't really see the need for the notes section in it's current form. I personally think the contents of the column are unnecessary, and I would advocate removing it - Highfields (talk, contribs) 14:27, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Notes for 2010 Person of the Year[edit]

There is a long note for 2010 Person of the Year whereas other notes for Person of the Year only include significant changes in the list such as Roosevelt's "first triple winner" or The American Fighting-Man's "first abstract chosen". The lengthy and seemingly unimportant note for 2010 seems out of place. (talk) 18:31, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree, it should be removed. I'll get onto it. But as I said above, I still think we should get rid of the column completely - Highfields (talk, contribs) 22:12, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Flag icons[edit]

Why are the flag icons insisted upon? I removed them and created a separate column, which was immediately reverted, the reason given being "restoring longstanding format". What could the rationale possibly be for keeping these unsightly flags? Not only would removing the flags improve the look of the table, it would also increase readability, as many (myself included) did not know what all the flags represent without hovering over them to see what article they link to. I would like to ask all the editors that follow this article to seriously reconsider their rationale for keeping them, besides the fact that it's been like that for a long time.-RHM22 (talk) 04:05, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

The idea of removing the flags was discussed above and was rejected by some editors. Per WP:BRD, I thus returned the page to the format it's been in for years until any consensus favouring change is established.
Personally, I found edit troubling as, to me, the winners' nationalities are far more relevant than their places of residency. Further, calling the flags unsightly just falls into the WP:IDONTLIKEIT category. You raise a good point about readers not necessarily knowing the world's flags, though. That, however, can be remedied by using the {{flag|}} template, instead of {{flagicon|}}.
Firstly, please don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing or condemning you personally, as I understand that everyone has their own opinion. I just disagree entirely with your rationale. Secondly, it seems like the discussions above are mostly about removing the British Raj flag for Gandhi and what flag to include for Elizabeth II. There was some discussion about removing them altogether (with no column for residency or nationality at all), but there seems to be only one mention of creating a new column and doing away with the flag, that being the one directly above our current discussion. Highfields seems to be the only person who has actually spoken out against the new column. Thirdly, I really don't think my disapproval of the flag icons falls under the category of IDLI. It's my understanding that that particular policy is reserved for a certain fact that one finds personally disagreeable, which is not the case here at all. I have no problem with displaying the flags other than their unsightliness. While that is an opinion, it seems to be favored in other areas on Wikipedia. For instance, it is discouraged to use flag icons when discussing the birthplace or place of death of a person, because it implies citizenship. The same case could be made here, because many of those people were not always citizens of those nations, and no notice is given to alert readers that the flag represents their citizenship during the time of the distinction from Time Magazine. It would be impossible to alert readers of such without adding a note to the top or bottom, due to the current arrangement. In the tables I proposed, the header could even be changed to something like "citizenship at time of distinction". Further, the flags are likely to present a serious problem to non-sighted users who might happen to come across this page. I've recently learned that certain programs that convert text to spoken word can be confused when images are used in place of text. As for your comment about "residency" vs. "citizenship", I agree completely. The header of "residency" was chosen by me simply because I was unsure if all the people were actually legal citizens of their respective countries. If they are, then that could easily have been changed. All that said, I understand that something like this requires consensus, so I'm glad to wait until one is reached to implement some or all of these changes. If one is not reached, then it really isn't a huge deal, because readers will probably be able to figure out the table. It just seems to me that the ease of access for the table should addressed here.-RHM22 (talk) 04:50, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, where to start. I'm glad you've restarted the discussion on this topic, I think we need to come to some sort of lasting consensus. I can certainly see why you think a seperate column would be preferable, and I think you put your argument very well. Sadly, I'm not sure I fully agree. I just think that a seperate column would be no improvement on the current layout - it would be just as controvercial (if not more so with the residency aspect), and have the same flaws. And actually, I think a seperate column is more intrusive and more unsightly. I see your point about people not recognising flags, but I think Meis has provided a solution for that one - HIGHFIELDS (TALKCONTRIBUTIONS) 14:42, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I believe RHM22's right about needing to have at least the country names. To add those, though, would require an additional column. I don't, however, see that as being a problem. It could be done thusly: --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 18:07, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Year Choice Lifetime Notes
1986 Corazon C. Aquino  Philippines 1933–2009

Let's not forget to add United Kingdom to the 1952 induction (Elizabeth II) & United Kingdom. GoodDay (talk) 20:48, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

For now, can we please keep that seperate. Lets decide how to convey nationality or whatever, then decide what it should be for each individual - HIGHFIELDS (TALKCONTRIBUTIONS) 20:55, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. GoodDay's comment is irrelevant to this discussion. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 20:58, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

BTW, I prefer Mies' illustrated example to the version in RHM22's edit. Maybe it could be made to work... - HIGHFIELDS (TALKCONTRIBUTIONS) 20:57, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

My illustration illustrates precisely how it could be made to work. I believe it addresses RHM22's concerns, except for the inclusion of the flags, which he finds "unsightly". I don't know how we can compromise on the latter, though; the flags are either there or they aren't. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 21:01, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I have no objection to the flags, as long as they are accompanied by the name of the country. Though what has been suggested above isn't perfect (the double header is maybe slightly confusing), I would definitely support it's use in this article. By the way, it's not really the flags themselves that are unsightly, it's the way they're just thrown in there next to the names without any clarification as to what they are or why they're being displayed.-RHM22 (talk) 02:55, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Also, though it isn't relevant here, I agree that there should be no flag or country of residence/nationality for Queen Elizabeth II or any of the other ambiguous winners. I would also probably not add nations for the winners who were groops of people, even if those groups are country-specific. One example would be Hungary freedom fighters. While I understand that the event commemorated took place in Hungary, it's likely that not all those taking part were Hungarians. Something like that is really minor, though, and I don't think we should try to address that until everything else is sorted out.-RHM22 (talk) 02:58, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Julian Assange vs Mark Zuckerberg in History section[edit]

Regarding the last paragraph of the history section...

In 2010, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg came in at 10th place in the popular vote. Wikileaks director Julian Assange came first with more than 20 times as many votes as Zuckerberg, and an average rating of 92 compared to Zuckerberg's average of 52.[8][9] Despite this, Zuckerberg was selected. TIME later announced Assange was the "Readers' Choice for TIME's Person of the Year 2010".

This paragraph seems, to me, to be rather pointless and does not belong in the article. It is irrelevant where anybody placed in a poll, as Time does not make their selections based on polling. Moreover, it does not consider the possible skewed results of a poll, which would result from a CEO versus a celebrity; Julian Assange is a popular figure among some groups but Mark Zuckerberg is simply the head of a successful corporation. By the nature of anonymous voting, it would be quite strange if a poll option with an organised support group didn't win. This is just one example of why online polls are not regarded as scientific.

For these reasons, I think this paragraph should be deleted. MatttK (talk) 15:37, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

There was definitely controversy about Zuckerberg's selection, not just because of Time ignoring the results of their own poll (begging the question of why they even conducted the poll) but because Assange is widely seen as a more legitimate choice given the stated criteria of Person of the Year. And because of suspicion that the choice was motivated by improving The Social Network's Oscar chances and DVD sales, as the movie was in part bankrolled by Time-Warner. (talk) 08:40, 3 August 2011 (UTC)


Somebody has added a column of images. I'm not sure it'll work, however, with all of the multiple/abstract choices. I've been bold and made some changes to it, but overall I just don't think it'll work. What does anyone else think? - HIGHFIELDS (TALKCONTRIBUTIONS) 13:11, 18 June 2011 (UTC)


This was the first year time ran internet polls, if I remember correctly. The winner was guaranteed the title of 'man of the year'. Mick Foley won. Why isn't this mentioned in the article? --IronMaidenRocks (talk) 19:09, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

File:Portrait of Imam Khomeini.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]


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Template RfC[edit]

For anyone who is interested in POTY, there is an RfC ongoing at Template talk:Time Persons of the Year 1951–1975 about the entries for 1960 & 1975. Feel free to join in - HIGHFIELDS (TALKUPLOADS) 21:09, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Ebola fighters description controversy[edit]

As the person who wrote the subsection about the Ebola fighters, I noticed it was deleted recently. Since there are lengthy descriptions of the winners like "The Peacemakers" (Mandela, De Klerk, Arafat, etc.) "The Good Samaritans" (Mr. and Mrs. Gates, Bono) and "American Women" (too many to count) who were featured on the cover, where the descriptions also include referencing said people and WHY they were featured on the cover, I believe this same policy should be applied when talking about the Ebola fighters. Thank you.Fireflyfanboy (talk) 03:02, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Was it "for better or for worse" already in '27?[edit]

   We cite which has written

But first let’s review how they select “Person of the Year.” When this started in 1927 as “Man of the Year” it was described as the person who “for better or for worse, …has done the most to influence the events of the year.”

(Ellipsis is not mine, but IMO presumably that of CV.o ... or possibly of one of their sources?)
   This activist group (IMO presumably less-than-impartial, and arguably rendered suspect by the Great Priestly Buggery Coverup) is not an ideal source, but the 9-decade-old 1927 issue itself is (and a reliable source's image or OCR-scan of the page is just as good). Anyone up for finding that?
--Jerzyt 22:35, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Elizabeth II[edit]

I feel it's time we re-visit Elizabeth II's entry at this article. Per WP:WEIGHT, Elizabeth II is identified first & foremost (most times, exclusively) as Queen of the United Kingdom. Time Magazine's story on her, would easily reflect this. I recommend that we have the United Kingdom United Kingdom shown in her 'country' column, with a footenote explaining the other Commonwealth realms. GoodDay (talk) 11:53, 6 February 2016 (UTC)