Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Icons

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WikiProject Manual of Style
WikiProject icon This page falls within the scope of WikiProject Manual of Style, a drive to identify and address contradictions and redundancies, improve language, and coordinate the pages that form the MoS guidelines.

RfC on a flag-icon-using talkpage banner[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere

Please comment pro or con at WT:Manual of Style#Proposal to deprecate Template:English variant notice.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:09, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

And what does this have to do with icons?Tvx1 12:24, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I know the heading was very unclear on this, but between "RfC on a" and "-using talkpage banner" I secretly hid the words "flag-icon"  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  06:14, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Icon-like templates at TfD[edit]

FYI: Link to relevant discussion elsewhere.

While more the purview of MOS:TM, this multi-template TfD is liable to be of interest to those who care, pro or con, about inline use of graphical and typographical effects: Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2015 June 25#Templates: TeX, LaTeX, LaTeX2e.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:22, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

More decoration worth considering: Military insignia in infoboxes[edit]

So, does it really help the reader to have things like shoulder insignia in infoboxes of military biographical subjects? See, e.g., Vasili Arkhipov. We have much smaller icons for US ranks, e.g. at Douglas MacArthur and Colin Powell, though I'm skeptical these are useful either. I'm sure WP:MILHIST loves them, but I'm skeptical there's any reader-level utility. These are articles on individual human beings, not ranks; we have Vice admiral#Gallery, etc., for a reason. No comment on the military flags used in these infoboxes; that's a worm can that's been opened repeatedly already.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  20:17, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Sport season articles and flag use for club nationality[edit]

In football club season articles such as the Machester City 2015-16 season, flags are being used to denote a country in which a club usually plays there football. This is being done in both friendlies and in European competition sections. In friendly matches clubs are not representing a country so the flags are not indicating nationality or being representative. They are only being used to indicate where a team usually play, in most cases in friendlies these matches aren't even being played in that country. It is my believe this is against the spirit of the mos flag policy. The flag is being used instead of text where text would be sufficient. It is different for the European competitions because the club would be representing that nationality as part of a limited number of places. Flags are widely being misused in sports articles not just football and it's about time sports complied more fully. Blethering Scot 17:03, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't see any flags for matchups in that article, so I don't really understand why you are complaining. Tvx1 17:17, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
The dramah seems to be at 2015–16 Manchester City F.C. season, not the United article to which the OP has, for some reason, provided a link. Bretonbanquet (talk) 17:21, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Ooops. Its not just that article. Its every club season article. Friendlies are non competitive and the club is not representing England in a non competitive friendly, nor is England a club's nationality they just play there. There is nothing that the flag does that text cannot. Competitive international matches are different in that, in those cases the club is representing the country. Sports articles seem to skirt the lines of mos flag on a lot of occasions. This is definitely something that needs proper clairification.Blethering Scot 17:40, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
@Bretonbanquet: Actually no oooops, it wasnt actually me that provided the link [1]. I never provided one.Blethering Scot 17:45, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
So it seems! @Tvx1:, I find you guilty... etc ;) Bretonbanquet (talk) 17:48, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, I agree that no flags are required for friendlies. There are generally too many flags used in football as it is, as far as I can see. Bretonbanquet (talk) 17:56, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Hence why I scratched my comment. I made a mistake. Tvx1 18:03, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree that the use of flags in that instance is not useful and a needless distraction. I would only include flags when there is a link to the club competing and the nation (e.g. having qualified on a national basis, or being a direct representative of that nation. Friendlies don't take that form in any instance. SFB 01:04, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • One question would be... what does the press and official Association football websites do as far as flags? Do they tend to use the national flags or not for friendlies? That's very important per wikipedia guidelines. Fyunck(click) (talk) 06:05, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
This varies across the board, some don't use any identifier, some use the club badge as an identifier and some use a flag, it tends to be consistent by source though, they don't seem to discriminate between friendlies and other matches. See [here] for an example of flags being used by the organising tournament for friendlies in the above manchester city article. Paul  Bradbury 08:28, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Varied use by outside sources makes it a bit more difficult to sort out. One thing for certain though is I searched the articles...those icons have longstanding use in EVERY Manchester City season... and had been in the 2015-2016 season since early on. If in all the others it's logical and correct to have them in the 15/16 season as well. Once @Blethering Scot: removed them and they were put back, Blethering Scot had no business removing them again. That's not the way wikipedia works. Once added back it should have been brought to Talk:2015–16 Manchester City F.C. season or Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football (which it was) or here to discuss, but Blethering Scot's edit should be self-reverted immediately (or I'll do it) and all the projects it's a member of should be formally notified. I see (WikiProject Football) already is, but in the middle. I don't really have a horse in this race so I'll let the other projects know about it. Fyunck(click) (talk) 09:00, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Consensus at the relevant wiki project had always been they shouldn't be used, Pbradbury was under the impression it had changed however it appears it hadn't. So frankly there use was against consensus. On that basis I will not revert back as it's clear in my view flag uses when the subject is neither that nationality or representing that nation is against policy. I don't particularly care for troublemaking. This is the most relevant place to discuss there use and it was me that took it here and to the relevant wiki project. In addition other stuff exists and the argument that all previous seasons use it is nonsense. If it's against policy, which in my view it is and will be clarified shortly here they will all be removed. Reverting back is just making situation worse not better. Blethering Scot 13:46, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Well that is against standard wiki protocol. It is certainly not against policy, nor is it against guidelines if it can be sourced as such. That is yet to be seen. So they may be removed, but also may not. Fyunck(click) (talk) 18:59, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
You've provided the answer to your own question in your post. "In my view flag uses when the subject is neither that nationality or representing that nation is against policy." Well, from what has been presented here so far, I can only make up that those flags are used to denote which nationalities those subjects have. They can be sourced to the relevant football confederations. So there doesn't seem to be a problem here. Tvx1 20:31, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Just been looking about, and I can't find many that use flags for club matches, whether friendly or competitive. Examples:
For clarification, the above two links (ESPN and FoxSports) are for international i.e. national team friendlies, not club friendlies. National team friendlies are not the subject of this RfC. Struway2 (talk) 19:45, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
@Struway2: Is that true? I thought is was for ALL friendlies. Even if it was for all friendlies I would lean towards not having them, but your limiting it to "club friendlies only" is a different beast. The original line "Flags are widely being misused in sports articles" and "This is being done in both friendlies and in European competition sections" seemed to throw it into encompassing more than just club friendlies. Fyunck(click) (talk) 20:42, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
@Fyunck(click): Yes. The initial statement sets context as "In football club season articles such as the Manchester City 2015-16 season": such articles deal only with matches played by clubs. The reference to "European competition" is to contrast the likely acceptability of flags in a section dealing with competitive matches – "It is different for the European competitions because the club would be representing that nationality as part of a limited number of places" – with the likely unacceptability of using flags in lists of friendlies just "to indicate where a team usually play". See e.g. Manchester City's last season's friendlies at 2014–15 Manchester City F.C. season#Non-competitive and their European competitive matches, in the same article, at 2014–15 Manchester City F.C. season#Non-competitive#UEFA Champions League. Hope this clarifies. cheers, Struway2 (talk) 21:07, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
in addition just for comment the Manchester City website uses club badges not flags. Whilst the above is heartening what we also need to look at is does out current flag policy allow there use for friendlies where the club is not representing that country. I can't see how it does. Blethering Scot 13:59, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Firstly, there is no flag policy, only a flag guideline. It doesn't allow or disallow anything. It merely suggests what the best approach is. Secondly, as an example for the other way, UEFA does use flags on their clubs' individual pages. Thirdly, the content of the guideline isn't crystal clear as to such cases. I'm not really sure as to what's the best course of action. Tvx1 15:16, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
This is correct. Nothing against using them in this instance, but as usual it would have to be sourced that it is the preferred way of flag usage. It can be by wikipedia consenses, it can be be outside sourcing. But, since it has been used by many editors for quite awhile, it should remain until it's decided by sources or consensus whether it should be changed. We do not unilaterally change every article. Fyunck(click) (talk) 19:09, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
  • I believe that the flags in articles are used to indicate the football association that the team belongs to rather than the country it is representing. In the case of Manchester City for example that is the English FA. This is relevant because they are governed by its rules even in friendlies (see the last page of [Disciplinary Procedures - The Football Association]). I have not seen any consensus at WP:FOOTY about not using them in friendlies (I have been a member for 7 years or so), I don't edit every day so I am quite willing to accept it may exist but no one has pointed me to any such consensus yet. The only reference I have found is Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football/Flag policy which appears to have been created by @Danish Expert: to document and create a consensus (although this does not appear to be official project documentation). However my opinion is
  • The use of text instead of a flag completely makes sense in prose, but not in a tabular or semi tabular information, where it would add to clutter. Icons have a valuable use in these situations.
  • Since the inclusion of flags is via a template, the spirit of MOS:FLAGS is in tact for use with people who are colour blind or even totally blind. These are WCAG accessable and we work in an interactive medium, which allows us to work in ways that would not work in the printed form.
  • There are many (hundreds I estimate) of articles that use this convention. It seems to me that this may constitute a defacto consensus and also to change them all would be a lot of work, very disruptive to the project and likely result in a few edit wars. While the gains would be minimal, given the information is neither incorrect or contentious and more a preference of style it seems to me to be unwise.

Anyway I'll step back and let others weigh in. Paul  Bradbury 15:31, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

  • For mine the flags do show highly relevant information - in these pre-season friendlies clubs often travel around the world and it is definitely informative to the reader to know where these teams come from. Whether that can be reconciled with the guidelines I'm not sure, but I would say that it doesn't place undue importance on nationality - the nationality of clubs is definitely something of significant interest in this context and having the flag there does inform readers in a way which wouldn't be otherwise possible. Macosal (talk) 12:29, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
ok lets look at mos flag. It states under appropriate use Flag icons may be relevant in some subject areas, where the subject actually represents that country, government, or nationality – such as military units, government officials, or national sports teams. These aren't national teams or representing the country in friendlies. It also states Words as the primary means of communication should be given greater precedence over flags, and flags should not change the expected style or layout of infoboxes or lists to the detriment of words.The Manchester City article has no text at all in this section so greater precedence is given to flags. It also says The name of a flag's political entity should appear adjacent to the first use of the flag, as no reader is familiar with every flag, and many flags differ only in minor details. This doesn't happen in football season articles. Sorry guideline or not I cannot see how there use in this context is permitted. In addition lets look at flags in sources as Struway2 has done and its clear they aren't used. Its pretty clear users are just intent on doing what they wish and ignoring wikipedias manual of styles.Blethering Scot 18:26, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
OK lets look at mos flag, we can all be selective, you missed this bit - In lists or tables, flag icons may be relevant when such representation of different subjects is pertinent to the purpose of the list or table itself. As stated above it is often considered an oversight in mos flags that you should list the country name after the flag and that with the flagicon templates you are adhering to the spirit of the guidline, as this accounts for those issues, such as disability or confusion (mouseover will give country name in pop over similar to references, its an interactive medium we work in). Also there is a strong consensus by editing at the moment and I have not heard any compelling argument to remove, this all seems very WP:BURO and not in keeping with either the spirit of the guidlines or the clarity of the information. Paul  Bradbury 10:12, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
I highlighted the key issues. There is no strong consensus saying they should be used at all and MOS Flag was created by consensus. If editors wish it to be changed then this is the forum. Changing by stealth does not apply. The key is, main independent sources don't use them, neither does the club. They aren't representing the country and there is no substitute for prose which there isn't any so a flag should not be assigned to it. The only part of what I'm stating your acknowledging is accessibility none of the key issues. Im not the only one telling you this but you seem to be determined to ignore it.Blethering Scot 15:10, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Calm down. Discussing the contributors will not produce any result. Like I stated, you're not in fact disputing the use of flags in this case. You're actually disputing that the nationality of teams should be mentioned at all by whatever means. This is not the place to discuss that. This guideline suggests when nationality should be mentioned through flags and when it's better to mention it through other means. Not whether it should be mentioned at all. The arguments above presented by User:Pbradbury are enough to consider it satisfies this guideline. Tvx1 15:38, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately no they are clearly not sufficient. Paul has frequently ignored the points I've raised and his reply was another of those occasions. The flags are serving no purpose that cannot be done by prose or is there sufficient evidence in sources, or reason to use them. He has shown no signs of improving the article to that level. The key points of MOS Flag are not met for inclusion of these flags. As for consensus of the project the truth is there isn't a consensus. Unless he can develop that then all the points raised here are valid. Struway should sources don't use them, I've explained and laid out the issues with using them and other editors have also raised issue. So actually no the argument laid out does not support use.Blethering Scot 15:46, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
@Tvx1: you are also wrong I am disputing use of flags. I am not disputing mentioning the country where they play.Blethering Scot 15:51, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I believe I have outlined how this meets the guideline, both in spirit and to some extent letter. There appear to be editors on both sides of the discussion indicating no consensus. I'll try and summarise.
  • Flag icons may be relevant in some subject areas, where the subject actually represents that country, government, or nationality – such as military units, government officials, or national sports teams. - I explained above why it is pertinent (namely the rules that each team is subject too varies depending on their governing FA which the flag is representing). The guidlines don't say only use in the case of national teams, it simply provides that as an appropriate use, further down it lists inappropriate uses and this is not one that is listed.
  • Words as the primary means of communication should be given greater precedence over flags, and flags should not change the expected style or layout of infoboxes or lists to the detriment of words. - It is appropriate to use icons instead of text in a tabular format, per this guideline, In lists or tables, flag icons may be relevant when such representation of different subjects is pertinent to the purpose of the list or table itself. Again pertinence is addressed in my point above. This is tabular data. The article is a relatively new article stub and does not have much prose yet, however as the season develops so will the article as previous seasons have, but this will still be tabular data.
  • The name of a flag's political entity should appear adjacent to the first use of the flag, as no reader is familiar with every flag, and many flags differ only in minor details - Again, I believe I have covered this point above. However it may be worth adding a key to the article if that makes more sense.
  • You originally stated that there was consensus at WP:FOOTY however have been unable to point to it and no one else has pointed to it either. The only documentation of an effort to reach consensus at the project that I have found is [here] and it runs counter to what you believe is correct.
  • You have yet to explain why removing the flags improves the article (which is the purpose). You simply keep saying it violates MOS:FLAGS and then listing ways you think it does, you are not engaging in discussion about why this is a bad thing, simply that it is a thing and that is WP:BURO which clearly states it should then be ignored.
  • BTW I simply followed the convention that already existed in any edits I made, I did not originate this form of edit (even on this article). I followed the editing consensus (which exists across many articles by multiple editors). Paul  Bradbury 16:53, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Im seriously close to losing it with you. You have a serious case of WP:I didn't hear that.
  • Flag icons may be relevant in some subject areas, where the subject actually represents that country, government, or nationality – such as military units, government officials, or national sports teams. - The rules very by the governing FA does not mean they are representing the country. In Manchester City's case do you have evidence of who's rules they are playing under. Specifically do you have a source thats states this game will be played under that countries rules. Not that it's even relevant the bottom line is it's a friendly and they aren't representing any country not is that club nationalistic of that country.
  • The name of a flag's political entity should appear adjacent to the first use of the flag, as no reader is familiar with every flag, and many flags differ only in minor details - The article doesn't meet the criteria for using flags, although if it did the flags are ambiguous and names should be used.
  • You have yet to explain why removing the flags improves the article (which is the purpose). You simply want the flags because looks good. No other reason. They add clutter, are not clear and simply do not replace prose. They are being used to avoid actually using prose. Do you think people come here to see flags no they don't. They come here for content and prose not for flags.
  • You originally stated that there was consensus at WP:FOOTY however have been unable to point to it and no one else has pointed to it either. The documentation you have found is an editors essay not consensus or even an attempt at consensus. i have nominated for deletion here as it was acknowledged here that is an essay not the football projects flag policy. Im counting six editors here saying they shouldn't be used to two saying they are allowed.
  • As for I simply followed convention. Other Crap exists but it doesn't mean it is correct.
  • Sources clearly show flags are not used for these competitions. Not even the football club the article is about do. This is Wikipedia not a fans site. If you don't like what MOS Flag says then that is your problem.Blethering Scot 17:17, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Not agreeing with you and engaging in discussion with counterpoints is not WP:I didn't hear that.
  • I provided it earlier in the discussion when I made the point originally, here it is again - This is relevant because they are governed by its rules even in friendlies (see the last page of [Disciplinary Procedures - The Football Association]). MOS:FLAGS doesn't say they have to represent a country, it says thats an appropriate use. In this case it is representing (which is why they can receive charges of bringing it into disrepute) a national body (the relevant FA) and as such governed by its rules, which i contend is also an appropriate use.
  • The article doesn't meet the criteria for using flags. You have not made that case, it is your assertion, that is why this discussion is happening, you are not looking at the spirit of the rule just the letter and as I said maybe a key would fix it to the letter of the rule.
  • You still haven't pointed to any consensus. If you look at the bottom of the page for the link provided you can see a comment by another editor in the section dedicated to consensus. Attempting to delete things you don't like or disagree with is not really a constructive way of gaining consensus.
  • It is entirely appropriate to follow a long standing and widely used editing consensus, it is usually disruptive not to.
  • Sources also show them with flags its not consistent, although I would agree it seems most sources use the club badge and not just in the case of friendlies. So if we agree that we should follow that format I would be in favour of applying it across all match report tables. I am fine with what MOS:FLAGS says just not your interpretation of it. Paul  Bradbury 17:49, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
@Pbradbury: six editors are saying they shouldn't be used and only you and one other are saying they should. What part of that do you not understand. You seem to be intent on ignoring all other users and having a go at me because I was the one that removed them initially. For the record the policy is pretty clear and there are enough editors here of a similar view to me. I will continue to remove flags and yes we should be consistent that is why i didn't just remove them from 1 article, you seem to think I was picking on your article. As for i didn't hear you are showing every attribute of it. Blethering Scot 18:08, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
WP:Consensus is not about numbers, it's not a vote. Eventually an uninvolved person will come and assess the consensus based on the arguments. Tvx1 01:57, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
@Blethering Scot: I am not and will not ignore other users, if a consensus is reached from this discussion I will abide by it. I know you edited a bunch of articles but I thought if I reverted them all, that would simply escalate things and I thought it better to await the outcome of this discussion, so I made no further reverts. It honestly isn't personal, I just disagree, I am sorry if I have given the impression this is in anyway related to you or that I have taken offence at you editing the manchester city article, I don't think its special its just the one I noticed first and made the original revert on. I do believe you think you are doing what is best for the project even though I don't agree. Anyway as I said I'll leave this for others now and will only respond to direct questions. Paul  Bradbury 18:26, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I am going to step out of this now completely, I believe I have made my position and points clear, I'll leave it for others to decide, as I am not sure continuing debating will bring us closer to any resolution. Paul  Bradbury 18:01, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
For the record though, if someone can explain how removing the flags is improving the article (other than blindly following a mos guide) I am quite willing to accept that and will help in changing other articles to that consensus. I don't however see a difference between friendlies and other matches in that regard and would recommend if we think its beneficial to not use flags that they not be used in match reports at all. However so far I haven't seen anything explaining how it improves an article by their removal. Paul  Bradbury 10:38, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
At the and of the day though, you're not disputing the use of flags, but the mentioning of nationality of those teams whether that is with flags, with the names of the countries spelled out, with country codes or with a combination of them. That's not within the scope of this guideline. That should be discussed at the project that takes care of those articles. Tvx1 17:18, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
  • If the team is not representing the country, the use of a country flag is inappropriate. It is, however, fine to mention where teams are from in the prose (which seems to largely be lacking in this article). Kaldari (talk) 01:51, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
    Actually it's not IF you can show that outside sources usually use the flag in the same situation. This is why it's fine to use it in infoboxes or charts in Auto Racing, FIFA, Tennis... Those sports are international by nature. Fyunck(click) (talk) 04:38, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
    I think the selection of links above, to websites of various governing bodies and media organisations, shows pretty clearly that outside sources usually don't use flags in the same situation, namely a list of club matches. cheers, Struway2 (talk) 16:12, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
    And that's fine using that criteria. I was just pointing out that it was incorrect to say "if the team is not representing the country, the use of a country flag is inappropriate" since wikipedia does not say that. If official outside sources almost always use no such flag, that's what should be done here. Fyunck(click) (talk) 18:41, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
    The sources don't use it. However I'm fairly certain that they aren't representing country, government, nationality or national sport teams in this case. Also prose has not been considered before a flag, therefore the flag takes precedence over physical text. The flags aren't entirely clear in all cases and in most cases they are decorative more than adding anything. The flag is misleading rather than representative. I can see very little reason to allow flag use in these cases.Blethering Scot 21:17, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
    My understanding is most sources don't use it... some do. In prose we don't usually use the flags, in charts we often do. In infoboxes we often do for sports bios. I agree that flags aren't entirely clear in all cases, so we have to be careful. The decorative illogic has been shown to be against consensus for sports articles. The flag being misleading is also against MoS and consensus and sources. If in international auto racing, where drivers are not actually representing their nation, if sources tend to use flags in players bios, then they absolutely belong in wikipedia articles, per MoS, per consensus, and per sources. Saying otherwise is wrong. If sources tend not to use them for friendlies, that's a good argument. Saying consensus has been to limit them in prose, that's a good argument. If long-standing consensus has been to use them in signifying friendlies, that's a good argument. The rest of that stuff is useless as the train has left the station as far as wikipedia is concerned. Fyunck(click) (talk) 21:51, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
    Well given the key part of my argument is taken directly from mos flag i fail to se how it is useless. Also flags should not be used instead of prose, thats exactly what they are doing in these type of articles where there is no prose at all. MOS Flag may be highly subjective but its key points are not met in these cases. In addition long standing practice is hardly to use for them for friendlies or not it varies widely across articles and I would say more don't than do. This is partly because the football project is really poor with mos. There are tons of different styles of season articles. It may not be worth arguing over however in my mind its pretty clear they shouldn't be used in this way. I would still choose to removed them but I certainly can't be bothered to debate the hell out of it with people again. By the way nice rhyming in the early part of the reply.Blethering Scot 22:33, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
    Because you only take the part of MoS that you like. Overall, and especially for sports, it doesn't say that. As far as prose... if you have 2 paragraphs of prose and there's a person right in the middle of it with a flag, that's not so good. because the flag is in the middle of prose. If you have an article that is a set of charts and tables, and there are flags in those charts, there is no problem at all. Just because an article has little prose doesn't mean you can't have flags. As far as whether it's long-standing practice to include the flags, that's for the appropriate project to determine. I was using it simply as an an example. And MoS is built on what is consensus at wikipedia. If 90% of articles capitalize the word "Galaxy" and our MoS suggests we don't, it's MoS that needs to be rewritten to conform to wiki-consensus. We don't remove every instance of "Galaxy." I'm not expressing an opinion here on whether friendlies should have flags or not. That's a project decision, though it looks like consensus here is to remove them. I'm cool with that. What I'm not cool with are arguments that are factually incorrect or don't jive with consensus. So I weeded out the good arguments from the bad. Fyunck(click) (talk) 23:19, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Fyunck, two points: first, we never use flags in prose. And I mean never; there are multiple MOS provisions on point. We simply don't mix icons and prose in the main body text of our articles, and it is a very good rule.

Second, I also participated in the RfC on this page that was intended to permit the limited use of flag icons for sportspersons in international competition, and I strongly and repeatedly supported the properly limited use of flag icons for the sporting nationality of individual sportspersons, including Formula One drivers, golfers, tennis players and Olympic athletes in international competition. In that RfC, the use of flags for domestic sports teams was never contemplated. The discussion of following sources was limited to individuals in international sporting competition. We are taking that logical rationale, which was intended to apply to the use of flag icons for Formula One drivers, golfers, gymnasts, tennis players and Olympic athletes, and we are now stretching it to the breaking point by saying it was intended to apply to Premier League football teams playing international friendlies, when that was never even remotely contemplated by the RfC participants. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 00:27, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

I 100% agree that we don't use flags for domestic sports teams. If that wasn't clear, sorry. But playing a team from another country is not domestic. It may not be international in nature like the Olympics, but it is not Manchester vs Berkshire, nor Los Angeles vs New York. For two teams that play "internationally" against each other where they use flags, it is no stretch at all for the "friendly" matches between two different nations to also use flags. Nothing against using them at wikipedia EXCEPT you better have sources to back it up. Now, editors here have said that far more sources don't use the flags than use the flags. If that's true that's a big point for the "don't use them for friendlies" side of things. But they are certainly used in some capacity. The first two places I usually check for scores, ESPN and FOXSports used them. So it's no stretch to think they could be used here also. Fyunck(click) (talk) 00:59, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Sport season articles and flag use for club nationality, convenience break no. 1[edit]

Oppose use of flags in club season articles in lists of the club's friendly fixtures, which is what we're meant to be discussing. I've waited a bit to see if anyone could come up with a compelling rationale for such use being MoS-compliant, and they haven't.

  1. I don't think there's any longstanding consensus at WP:WikiProject Football to include nationality of opponents in club season article friendly fixture lists, whether using flags or words; some do, plenty don't;
  2. if it matters what external sources do, it's already been shown above that most independent sources don't use flags in context of club friendlies, nor in this specific instance does the website of the club concerned;
  3. the MoS says "flag icons may be relevant in some subject areas, where the subject actually represents that country, government, or nationality – such as military units, government officials, or national sports teams." A club's opponents in a friendly match aren't representing their country. The flagicons in these lists are just showing what country the club plays its domestic matches in;
  4. These lists typically contain only a few matches: in this specific instance, there are six. A sentence of the form "Manchester City are visiting Australia during pre-season, where they will play local clubs Adelaide United and Melbourne City before facing AS Roma and Real Madrid, runners-up in the Italian and Spanish leagues, in the 2015 International Champions Cup friendly tournament. On their way home they will play matches against the Vietnam national team and German Bundesliga team VfB Stuttgart." That covers the nationality of the opponents concerned, concisely but rather more informatively than do little coloured shapes in footballbox templates. cheers, Struway2 (talk) 14:08, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Oppose - I've been trying to find the time to write a summary of how I think this issue should be addressed. Thanks to Struway's rationale and comments above, I see no reason for me to be repetitive. I endorse his analysis immediately above. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 14:21, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

This is not a vote. Tvx1 14:40, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
It is now: please feel free to register yours, too. Everyone has voiced their opinions, and this thread has become remarkably repetitive. It's time to see if we can draw a conclusion, and if a head count can help do so, that's a good thing. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 15:04, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
No it isn't and per the project's guidelines this is now how we can do this. Consensus is not a vote. Tvx1 15:08, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Tvx1, !voting is a common practice throughout Wikipedia, including AfD, TfD, RfA, RfB, RfC and ANI discussions -- all of which use !voting to help determine consensus. Consensus is not necessarily determined by majority vote, but nothing prohibits !voting. Care to try again? The present MOS:FLAG provision regarding flag icon use in sports articles only exists because of an RfC that was largely determined by an !vote in favor of such usage, an RfC in which you and I both !voted to "support" such change (see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Icons/Archive 14#RfC). You might want to review that RfC. This ain't my first rodeo, buckaroo. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 15:18, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
In that case you clearly need to catch up on some of our guidelines and policies. For instance the instructions on contributing to an AFD literally states "The debate is not a vote; please make recommendations on the course of action to be taken, sustained by arguments.". The instructions on closing an AFD state that Consensus is not based on a tally of votes, but on reasonable, logical, policy-based arguments. And Here again it is stated that consensus is not determined by a headcount. And I could go on and on about that. Discussions like these are not decided by voting. Tvx1 15:32, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Ignoring, of course, your own "support" !vote in the linked RfC? LOL@you You do realize that your entire argument against !voting is a massive mischaracterization of policy and guidelines, right? Yes, consensus is not determined by majority vote, but if you don't believe that the majority opinion influences the determination of consensus, you've missed something in your nearly three years on-wiki. There is absolutely no policy or guideline that prohibits !voting. None. Nada. Zip. And, as I have already noted, you have availed yourself of that !voting privilege on at least one occasion relevant to this discussion. Feel free to link to the policy or guideline that prohibits !voting -- or stop by the currently pending RfA and see how we select administrators, for instance. Plenty of !voting going on there. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 15:44, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Don't drag things into this that don't have anything to do with this. RfAs, RfBs and RfARs are pure votes by nature. They are fundamentally different from these consensus discussions. Of course the majority opinion does matter in such discussions. I never claimed otherwise. However, contrary to what you insist, the majority opinion is not assessed through purely counting the votes but through weighing up the different arguments. Your comment is a pure vote it's a simple oppose without any own arguments (contrary to e.g. --JOJ Hutton's well-reasoned opinion below). Those contributions are likely to be ignored by the uninvolved person who comes to close this discussion. I have already provided the links that explain that. I can't seem to find my "support vote" (please point me to it) mostly because I'm entirely neutral on the matter. I only tried the answer the question whether MOS:FLAGS outright prohibits such flag use. Which I doesn't obviously, it's a mere guideline. Tvx1 16:35, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Tvx1, here is the diff for your !vote in the RfC that led to the new and present consensus language of MOS:ICON: [2]. And I will repeat again for your benefit that while it is axiomatic that consensus is not determined by majority voting, !voting is a common and accepted practice in consensus discussions on-wiki. As for my rationale, I have already commented once above in answer to Fyunck ([3]), and then I expressly adopted the specific rationale and logic of Struway immediately above my !vote ([4]). Struway's rationale is articulate and well reasoned, and I see no reason -- nor do I have any further obligation -- to be even more repetitive in a discussion where the participants have been saying the same things repeatedly for days. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 22:08, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Jojhutton, consensus in AfDs, TfDs, RfAs, RfBs and RfCs isn't determined by majority vote, either, but !voting is certainly one element that may be used to gauge consensus, and in that regard they are no different than MOS or article talk page discussions. In determining that consensus, the closer is expected to weigh weaker and stronger arguments, especially those based on existing policies and guidelines. And, no, I never said that consensus is assessed purely through counting the votes; that is, however, how Tvx1 has mis-characterized what I have said, even as I have attempted to gently correct him and lead him to a better understanding of the accepted and proper use of !voting in discussions to be determined by consensus. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 22:08, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Your "oppose" comment is a pure vote, that is no mis-characterization. You didn't support it with arguments. My "support" comment in the previous RFC is followed by a clear reasoning. That's the fundamental difference which makes my comment a reasoned opinion and not a simple vote. If you have no arguments to add at all it is better no to comment at all. An "oppose" because of what the other bloke wrote comment, is useless to the closer because you don't provide any extra arguments they can weigh in. Tvx1 22:55, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Tvx1, you're not listening, you're either unfamiliar with or in denial about accepted Wikipedia-wide discussion practices, and that is not a credit to your style of argumentation. You also clearly need to get out into the wider project more: there is nothing wrong with explicitly adopting the well-articulated rationale of another editor, and after three years on-wiki, you should already know this. There has already been too much contentious repetition in this discussion, and your answering of every comment with which you disagree with a demand for further elaboration is beginning to take on the character of badgering. You would do well to remember that I -- and most of the other participants in this discussion -- are just as likely to support your position as not in the next flag icon discussion, and stop making scorched-earth arguments that only serve to irritate the other discussion participants. Free and friendly advice: it may be time to let some of the other pro-flag-for-club-level-friendlies participants do more of the talking. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 23:14, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Not my goal at all to irritate anyone. For the record, I'm not a pro-flag-for-club-level-friendlies participant. I'm neutral. Tvx1 01:26, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Oppose Use of icons in any info box. It matters very little if its a sports article, a military article, or a national article. The flag icons are not encyclopedic. The icons were designed to help navigate information. I feel that the only acceptable location for these colorful flag icons are in lists and charts. That is because they help the reader navigate the information quickly. That is not the case with info boxes. I do not think that the flag icon supporters have ever come up with a viable and encyclopedic reason to keep them. They are only there for decoration and they do not convey additional information. And yes, they are distracting. Very distracting.--JOJ Hutton 16:28, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

--JOJ Hutton, this discussion deals with specific flags used in particular lists of football matches. Infoboxes are not involved here. Tvx1 16:37, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Well I'm still opposed to that, and I am opposed to the way in which the flag icons are being used and displayed in the linked article above, although I am less opposed to it than if it was in an info box.--JOJ Hutton 16:46, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
And what's your reasoning for opposing to their use in those lists. We are really interested in your reasoned opinion here. Tvx1 16:51, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Are the players representing their country while playing with these teams? Nope. End of story.--JOJ Hutton 17:00, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
This is not about players, this about clubs. Tvx1 17:11, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm opposed to that as well. JOJ Hutton 17:28, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Again, why? The why is the most important aspect of taking a certain position here. Tvx1 18:07, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
The reason had been stated. Other than that, there is nothing more to elaborate on.--JOJ Hutton 21:05, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't have to hear anything, though. The person who will close this needs the arguments they can weigh. I'm trying to steer you in the direction of give a reasoned opinion to the RFC's actual question whether flags can be used for club soccer teams in a list/table of friendly matches between clubs from different countries. If you refuse to supply your own arguments and wish to stick with a simple "oppose" that's really your problem. I couldn't care less. Tvx1 22:53, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
I think Jojhutton's made it pretty clear that he feels the flags don't bring any useful information to the context. National flags are no more relevant to the interaction of two independent private organisations in a non-national context than the currency of those nations would be. SFB 00:30, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Oppose - since this Rfc was clarified above by editor Struway2 as only being about club friendlies, not national team friendlies, I would oppose the use of national flags in the club friendlies. I'll be watching tonight's LA Galaxy vs Barcelona and espn shows the usual club flags only, as does fox sports. National friendlies are a different conversation. Fyunck(click) (talk) 00:14, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Fyunck, I think the obvious distinction between club-level international friendlies vs. national team friendlies is that the national teams still represent their country, even if the match is not part of a championship tournament. And the same can be said of individual Formula One drivers, golfers and tennis players who, though they are not members of a national team, are still licensed by their national governing bodies and represent their countries in international sports competitions. This is where the "sources" and elements of representation clearly overlap, and, IMO, the case for flag icons is strongest. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 00:37, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
  • The problem with that stance, is that it simply isn't the case that the relevance of a club's nationality is determined black and white by the fact that they play either a championship match or a friendly match. For instance, the contested Manchester City article lists some friendly matches which are part of the International Champions Cup. It's not that simple to claim the clubs' nationalities are completely irrelevant there, even though it's a friendly tournament. Tvx1 01:26, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Not an appropriate use. I don't buy this: I believe that the flags in articles are used to indicate the football association that the team belongs to rather than the country it is representing. In the case of Manchester City for example that is the English FA.. That might be the reasoning someone had, of course, but the flag guideline's being violated even if this were the kind of competition where flags were permissible, since it's just flags alone, and they fail in the intended purpose since they don't link to the club articles, but to the nation-state, and their alt text is the country name not the club, and there's no reason not to replace them with the club name or (if that seems too wide) an abbreviation of it, and ...

    Re: One question would be... what does the press and official Association football websites do as far as flags? Another question could be "is my cat black?" and have as much relevance. We have inclusion standards for flag icons (in addition to standards for how to use them when included). The style guidelines of a newspaper or an association don't change ours.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  06:19, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

    Well that's nice and friendly... and not true in many instances. We can use the "national flag icon of an athlete who competes in competitions where national flags are commonly used as representations of sporting nationality in the particular sport." The way we determine that is by sourcing, and that includes the press and official Association football websites. In this case the sources don't use them, so it's an easy call. But to say "is my cat black" is silly and unhelpful. Fyunck(click) (talk) 07:02, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I wasn't being incivil, was being silly on purpose. But I can see how it wouldn't come across that way (gotta remember that this medium has no facial expression, voice tone ...). Humor backfire. Anyway, the underlying point isn't silly. MOS guidelines don't shift to match those of external publishers, organizations, etc. It's an icons mirror of the same debate about "can we delete diacritics from the names of these tennis players because this particular tennis organization doesn't use them." (Answer: No.) The part you quote (which is grounded in WP:RS usage, not "does the club [or whatever] prefer it?") doesn't relate to sub-national or national season articles, nor international informal competitions like friendlies; it's an apples and oranges comparison. The quoted rule is in place because it's an expected real-world practice in general use by everyone in that context, and is unambiguous, etc., etc. The proposed usage in this case has ambiguity problems, since it doesn't represent official sporting nationality in the event; it's just using a flag to represent what national club the team is usually playing in, and this is not what flags are usually used for in sports article, on or off WP. See the OP's earlier poster's points 2, 3, and 4 (1 can be ignored; wikiprojects don't get to make up their own rules against site-wide guidelines, per WP:CONLEVEL). WP doesn't care what one particular club or league or whatever prefers to do in other kinds of competitions nationally and lower, or even internationally if it's not what the RS do consistently. And even if those criteria were met, it would only be done if it's generally helpful to the reader.

It's a huge can of worms, inside Pandora's box, to try to come up with some new "rule", like "use flag icons if the league or the competition organizers do", because then we'll have flag icons used in some totally random percentage of non-international competition articles, and all the flag fans will start a never-ending stream of demands for flag icons on this article, and that one, and then that one, and then all of them, just to have them. There's always been an element of competitiveness in this: "That wikiproject [or whatever] has these nifty tables, so ours have to be just as nifty-looking." Meanwhile, the profusion of new flag icons on sports articles all over the place would lead to them being added to non-sport articles, and we'll be right back to the "decorate every inch of space you can with tiny pictures" mess that inspired the creation of the guideline in the first place. The quoted exception took a lot of consensus-building to allow at all, and many editors would like to see it deleted. Even that exception alone generates a constant river of dispute, because people see flags on a sportsperson's bio, or in a table of FIFA World Championship results, and they say "ooh, we can use cute flags!" and go add them to composers and to tables of economic data and get reverted, and then get angry that their decorator sensibilities are being "censored" [sigh].  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:35, 24 July 2015 (UTC) Corrected.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:40, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I really think you're being over concerned. Those people taking care of those articles through dedicated WikiProjects are sensible people just like you. For instance in the article used as an example here, there is a list of domestic matches as well which quite rightly does not include flags and no one would ever consider it sensible to use them there. By the way, the person who posted those point 1.–4. is not the OP. Tvx1 09:31, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Didn't say they were not "sensible" (the only appearance of that word in this thread until now if your use of it here). The fact is – see all the archives of this talk page – that some participants in the sport wikiprojects want very, very much more than the rest of Wikipedia to use a lot of flag icons. That doesn't make them "insensible", just arguing for something that consensus doesn't think is encyclopedically useful, and often misleading. I'm not demonizing sport editors. I am a sport editor (co-founder of WP:CUESPORTS). The interest in adding more flag icons isn't even some "local consensus" among sport editors, just a personal preference of some editors.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:40, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Just like the liquidation of flags is a personal preference of other editors. That sports editors seem be more keen to use flags is perfectly logical to me. After all, sports is one of the fields which makes the most considerable use of flags in real life. Flags and nationalities are a vital aspect of coverage of sports on TV, in the newspapers, on websites, etc... Of course nationalities are more important in some sports and/or particular leagues of these sports than in others. At the end of the day, all these editors want to do is to make the wikipedia coverage of certain sports events balanced with the real word coverage of these sports. Yet they have to constantly put up with flag haters who wish to eradicate flags from Wikipedia. Tvx1 11:34, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to deprecate giant quotation marks in mainspace[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Proposal: Disable giant quotation marks in mainspace; deprecate pull quotes in articles. This is directly relevant to MOS:ICONS, because 'For purposes of this guideline, the term "icons" encompasses ... typographic dingbats.'  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:30, 30 July 2015 (UTC)