Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Flag Template/Archive 3

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Civil Ensigns?

While we already have naval ensigns, we seem to lack civil ensigns for countries other then the United Kingdom. Can the admins please help add those shown in the civil ensign article to the respective templates? And while we are at it, how about adding the few Civil air ensigns as well? Thank you!--Huaiwei (talk) 22:19, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

May I ask why? Looking at usage of those flag images, I see no instances where they are used in icon form. Therefore, unless you have something new in mind, there is no benefit to adding more images to these templates, especially as some of them are getting quite large already and I've seen some articles run into WP:template limits because they transclude lots of flag icons. These templates are not intended to be a gallery or directory of all possible flag variants, duplicating the work found in mainspace Wikipedia articles. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 22:43, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
On second thought, I see that many of the flags in the civil ensign article are already included as variants in the appropriate country data template, usually (if not always) with the civil selector label. I can work on adding the missing ones. My question still stands for the civil air ensigns. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 22:58, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
See Flag of convenience for an example, an article I was working on where I encountered this problem. If civil ensigns are absolutely unneccesary, I would be questioning their existance in the United Kingdom template. Since the trouble is being made to add maritime civil ensigns, is there any major issue to add civil air ensigns at the same time, especially when it only involves a small number of entries anyway?--Huaiwei (talk) 00:08, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
OK, well, that's a far more reasonable request to make — "please add these five specific images to the flag icon templates for a page I am working on" — than a broad and vague request to add images to a much larger set of templates. As for the presence of the civil variant in Template:Country data United Kingdom, that's because someone is actually using it. See List of ship commissionings in 2006 for one specific article. I think that's the key point here: we only want to expand these templates if there is an actual need for specific images to be used in icon form. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 00:33, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Then the inevitable request to add all civil ensigns will come. Please see List of merchant marine capacity by country. I hope all remaining civil ensigns will be added before I overhaul that list. Thank you.--Huaiwei (talk) 08:35, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Might I ask that you precisely request specific images to be added to specific templates (when you need them) instead of such a general request? — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:00, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I am a little amused. Here I am, a normal wikipedia contributor, finding my editing career being hindered by one administrator due to this lethagy in basically doing something I would have loved to do myself if not for the fact that the templates were blocked. I have made it quite clear that my request is to have all civil ensigns listed in the civil ensign article to be added to the templates. I have specified where I intend to use the templates, which is List of merchant marine capacity by country. Kindly burn the red tape or retire from this job if you are unable to expend time to do it.--Huaiwei (talk) 18:12, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I am greatly offended by your statement of my "lethargy". Seriously! I have very quickly added images to all templates where I see that they are needed, but only because you provided hints through two article links that you are working on. I still had to go through the source of those two articles and extract the image names myself, because you still fail to ask what you want! I am not going to do your work for you. If you want an image added to a template, please provide the image name and the template name. If you want the attention of someone else, as I am probably the only active admin who follows this WikiProject closely, please follow the directions on the template pages themselves. That is, add {{editprotected}} on the talk pages of individual country data templates with precise instructions on what you want an admin to do. That will get the attention of admins who monitor Category:Wikipedia protected edit requests. But to claim I am "lethargic" because I'm not following your broad, vague directions is an insult. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 18:23, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
If my comment has stirred you up enough to reslise there is simply too much red tape involved here, then the purpose of my previous comment has been probably met. Admittedly, I was not aware that individual requests has to be made to each individual template just to add a series of flags, for then, I would have been even more scathing in my remarks. If I am going to actually use all civil ensigns, and I have shown you a page which already contains links to all these images, I am left wondering just what is hindering you from proceeding as requested. Is a request to add all flag images in a page to their respective templates too vague to be understood? If so, perhaps you would like me to paste the entire listing of that flags from that article here? This is not about me not wanting to do any work, for I have said quite plainly that I would certainly love to edit all those templates myself. I certainly hope that you are not hesitating to follow through with the above request for reasons such as me not following "proper procedures". While I respect you for your work and your willingness to volunteer your time in this project, I hope you are also aware that any top-down approach in handling this matter will not be appreciated. An admin serves the community. Nothing more. Thank you.--Huaiwei (talk) 19:30, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Also, may I check if it is normal for the rollover to still show "Flag of the Bahamas" when it is actually the "Civil ensign of the Bahamas"?--Huaiwei (talk) 08:43, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
There is no way to have variable versions of the alt attribute for country data templates. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:00, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for trying thou.--Huaiwei (talk) 18:14, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Template:Country data Dutch Guiana

Hello, I noticed a mistake originating from the template Template:Country data Dutch Guiana. Since it is a protected template I cannot correct it myself so I hope some people reading this page know how to fix it and have the necessary rights to do so. I previously put my request on the talk page of the admin who protected it, but he/she seems to be on a wikibreak and I was informed to put the request here.

As can be seen on the article Flag of Suriname the flag shown in Image:Flag of Dutch Guyana.svg became the official flag of Suriname (or 'Dutch Guiana') in 1959 (or to be more precise December 8th, 1959). Before that date the Dutch flag (Image:Flag of the Netherlands.svg) was in use in that Dutch colony. On pages like 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification the wrong flag is shown as result of this mistake in the template. On the page List of countries by population in 1907 a similar problem occurs which might be solved by fixing the same template. If not, I hope you can find out where that problem comes from. Best regards, Robotje (talk) 19:07, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, I wouldn't necessarily say the template has a mistake. There is no possible way that these templates can "know" the context in which they are used, such as using the right flag depending on whether or not the page it is transcluded onto is 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification or 1962 FIFA World Cup qualification. Editors of those articles have to take care to choose the correct historical flag variant if that is what they want. We could add a variant to Template:Country data Dutch Guiana with the Dutch flag, but unless those articles are edited to use it, nothing would change. I think the simplest solution is to edit those articles directly to use {{flagicon|Netherlands}}. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 21:06, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Hello Andrwsc, I noticed you already changed the two articles in the workaround you proposed. Thanks. I'm still not sure that's the best way since templates like Template:Country data Canada and Template:Country data Egypt have a year-dependency for showing the right flag. So technically those templates can be modified to handle that kind of situations. Anyway, the two pages I mentioned having the wrong flag now show the right flag, so that problem is solved. Best Regards, Robotje (talk) 07:24, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, not exactly. Country data templates that include historical flag variants still require editors to actually choose the variant. There is no automatic "year-dependency". For example, editors have to put {{flag|Canada|1921}} in their articles to get that particular variant. Editors have to decide the context of the article and pick the correct variant (if any) themselves — it isn't going to happen automatically. You'll see that List of countries by population in 1907 includes wikicode such as {{flag|Canada|1868}}, {{flag|United States|1896}}, and so on. That was a conscious decision by an editor to pick the right flag for 1907. There are also dozens of instances where {{flagicon|UK}} or {{flagicon|France}} was used for their respective colonies, so putting {{flagicon|Netherlands}} in front of Dutch Guiana makes similar sense. Hope this helps, — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:58, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Template:Country data Zululand's flag

Template:Country data Zululand should not carry the flag image Image:KwaZulu flag 1985.svg. This flag was not the flag of Zululand. It was the flag of the KwaZulu Bantustan from 1985 to 1994 (as the KwaZulu article points out). And the contemporary province, KwaZulu-Natal, does not yet have an official flag. Since there is no attested flag of Zululand (that I know of) and this template is unused anyway, is there any issue with removing this flag? — AjaxSmack 00:35, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

 Done The template was completely unused anyway, so I just deleted it. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:56, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. — AjaxSmack 02:44, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Option: no border

Would it be possible to add a "no-border" option? For example,    Nepal looks pretty silly with the border around the flag. While there are very few cases where a border should not be used, it would be worthwhile. - 52 Pickup (deal) 06:05, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

There has been some discussion about this before. It's not a simple fix, but perhaps it's worth investing the time to find a solution. You mention "very few cases", and Nepal is certainly obvious, but what are the others? Are you thinking of just flags that are not rectangles? Or are you thinking of a more general solution for flags that do not have white areas along any of the edges and therefore might not need borders? — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:45, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
No, just non-quadrilateral flags. Another example I can think of is  Ohio. I haven't had that much experience with these particular templates, so I don't know if you deal with naval flags too, some of which are also non-quadrilateral (some examples at Swallowtail (flag)). There's probably others, but not many. I can imagine that this is not a simple fix - these templates are so nested that it appears very complicated to make any significant changes. If someone could tell me where the border is actually created in this code, I could have a look at it and try come up with a solution. - 52 Pickup (deal) 18:12, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
As it turns out, there is a relatively easy fix (that I've already sandbox-tested), so I can have that done shortly. Because it removes two pixels from the width of the icon, there will be some minor alignment issues in vertical lists or tables, so I would certainly limit this fix to the relatively small number of flags that are non-rectangular (quadrilaterals w/ right angles). — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 19:05, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
 Working Well, I thought it was easy, and made all the changes, but found what might be a MediaWiki bug. See WP:Village pump (technical)‎#Image syntax interacts with wiki table syntax for details. I have reverted the changes to Template:Country data Nepal et. al. in the meantime until that is resolved. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:12, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Fixed Just add border = to a country data template to turn off the border for the flag (e.g. as I've done to Template:Country data Nepal and Template:Country data Ohio) or border-naval = for naval ensign variants (e.g. as I've done to Template:Country data Germany). — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:49, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
That's much better. Good job! 52 Pickup (deal) 07:25, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

This is a great feature. Would it be possible to implement it as an option for the flagicon image template so we could remove the borders around oddly shaped flags that don't have country data? Orange Tuesday (talk) 16:25, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

 Done. For example, {{flagicon image|ICS Pennant Eight.svg|border=}} produces . — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 21:59, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I think this change might have affected all the flagicon image templates, regardless of whether or not they include border=. Example: Do you think you could fix this? Thanks again. Orange Tuesday (talk) 16:48, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I was a little sloppy there! Should work properly now. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 20:04, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
So it does. Lovely. Thanks! Orange Tuesday (talk) 20:44, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Ignorant question

I would like to ask has any one ever proposed a simple inline flag template for US states using their postal abbreviations? So {{MA}} or {{USA-MA}} would produce  Massachusetts. Just a thought.--Jeremy ( Blah blah...) 08:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

There has been some discussion way back, but we decided not to do that. In general, we're trying to use the standard {{flag}} template and avoid the "shortcut" country code templates. Obviously, some of those country code templates (e.g. {{USA}}) are widely recognizable and provide editor convenience, but many of them are obscure (e.g {{DZA}}). Wikicode is far clearer for editors when the nation/state/province etc. is spelled out in full (e.g. {{flag|Algeria}}). We have a consensus of sorts to only maintain the "shortcut" templates for existing country codes (ISO 3166-1 alpha-3, IOC, FIFA, etc.) and not to invent new codes for other entities.
With respect to US states, I think a lot of Americans would recognize the two letter codes, but I also think many non-US editors would have difficulty remembering which is which (especially MI, MN, MO, MS, etc.). I think it would also set a precedent for similar "code" templates to be created for many other nations, and to be honest, I think there is more pain than gain here. There are already about two thousand templates managed by this WikiProject, and I don't think we want to add another few hundred to a thousand more to accomodate all the subnational codes. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:01, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
If subnational divisions start working; something I would like; please, try to follow ISO 3166-2. For example, ISO 3166-2:US lists Massachusetts as US-MA. They always start with the nation's ISO 3166-1 alpha-2, which is usually the ccTLD, anyway. I know we have a tradition here of using ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 more, for easy recognition, but we are on the web, where ccTLDs are part of everday life. I am not advocating the total abandonment of ISO 3166-1 alpha-3, but it merely did not make it on to ISO 3166-2, which already has a decade of implementation. Unfortunately, if we do universally implement ISO 3166-2, we will find that some country subdivisions have no flags, but only coats of arms and that gets sticky. Is it current general consensus that coats of arms are to be deprecated, even when a corresponding flag does not exist? :)--Thecurran (talk) 09:43, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
As far as MOS:FLAG#Inventing_new_flags_and_using_non-flag_stand-ins is concerned, it seems neither the appropriateness nor utility of workarounds like coats of arms, has been determined and community consensus-building is required. I will open a new topic at the bottom to that effect. :)--Thecurran (talk) 10:38, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Problem when countries change flags

I have recently been editing some cricket articles on wikipedia (such as Wikipedia:WikiProject Cricket/Team templates), and have noticed a potential problem in various flag templates. I notice that for the "Cr" templates (Template:Cr), there is an option to specify a historical national flag rather than the current flag, such as here:

This is an extremely good idea, but I believe it may contain a flaw. It seems to assume that a country's current flag will remain its flag forever. However, if (for example) South Africa's flag was to change again in a few years time, then all pages which hadn't inserted the optional parameter would then start displaying the new South African flag, rather than the 2008 flag which they should display. I have no idea of the feasability of such a suggestion, but is it possible to make the variant parameter mandatory to fill in, even for pages showing current national flags, to avoid this problem occurring in the future? Juwe (talk) 18:32, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Huge issue, yes. I don't know about making the variant parameter mandatory though, as it would drop a terribly large portion of the usefulness of these templates. Most of the time, I use them for contemporary flags, and I don't want to keep in mind the correct variant parameter for every country in the world. Of course, that could probably be solved if we could pass a year instead of the actual variant and let the template itself figure out which variant to use (is that doable, template gurus?). That way, only flags used about events during the switchover year would cause problems. Another way would be to let users add flags without variant (as now) but have a bot check for all these transclusions and add the current correct variant to them, much like SmackBot and SineBot work (is that doable, bot gurus?). -- Jao (talk) 22:27, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
The first of my suggestions has actually already been discussed. -- Jao (talk) 22:31, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I really like the first suggestion about having a "year" parameter. To avoid ambiguity as to which flag is used during changeover years, we could make it the flag that was in use at the start of 1 January on that year. Of course, this isn't a perfect solution, but it would solve the problem in the vast majority of cases. In the years where a flag is changing, I suspect that people will notice the problem of the wrong flag coming up anyway. For example, if a flag changes in mid-2010, and a flag template is used by someone in late-2010 to mark some event of the day, they (or someone else) will probably notice that the old 2010 flag has come up and seek to change it by adding the appropriate variant.
Some flags might only be used, or have been used, during the middle of one year and so not be accessible by the insertion of any year, but in these cases some additional variant would have to be added anyway in order to distinguish the flag from the other flags of that year. If there is a comprehensive list of the dates between which particular flags were in use and their variants on the pages of particular "national flag" templates, then people should be able to determine the correct variant to use when adding historical information about a country.
Finally, I'm not too sure about the "bot" suggestion. I'm not that knowledgable about the workings of bots, but I suspect that certain situations might prove too sophisticated for them. Maybe they could be used to do a "quick and crude" change to all flags being used in the relevant templates, before the errors are cleaned up, but I foresee situations where "bots" make incorrect changes. In particular, I am thinking of cases where the flag used is supposed to change, as the intention is to show the current flag of a country, whatever flag that is.
Juwe (talk) 04:11, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
This also raises the point that there should be an option for the "year" to be marked something like "floating" to indicate that the flag shown should change with time.
Juwe (talk) 04:25, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

What changes to the flag template system are you actually proposing (i.e. implementation details)? — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:52, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

None so far. I think we need input from more than two editors before we can decide which solution would be best. But if indeed we should decide on the year parameter, then we would need:
  • The ability to use any year number in place of variant. If the template can unambiguously decide which flag to use for that year, it should do so. If it cannot (as will be the case if the country did not exist at the time, did not have a flag, changed flags during the year, or the year is in the future), this needs to be addressed in some way, e.g. by displaying an error message instead of the flag.
  • A current variant which will apply to all countries and display the flag that is in use at the time of viewing the article.
  • Not needed, but highly appreciated: the ability to specify a default flag year (or current) for an entire article (much like {{DEFAULTSORT}}).
  • Some way of handling the cases where no year (or current) has been given for a flag (neither specifically or by default). This must be done keeping in mind that we can't break all the existing transclusions (which are now treated as current although very few of them probably are intended to), while still discouraging editors from adding more of these ambiguous transclusions.
I have no idea if this is actually implementable – it sounds like quite a load of work, at least. -- Jao (talk) 18:25, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not really sure about the practicalities of this suggestion, but how about this:
  • It would be useful to have the year (eg 2008) specified in every flag template (or current as Jao says). As such, 1st make a "2008" variant for every country (or rather make the insertion of "2008" as a variant in the code, link to the current flag of the relevant country). Then, make a Bot that automatically goes through all code that implements a flag template but doesn't already include a variant, and have the bot add a variant which says "2008". If there is no variant listed, we can assume that it is meant to be the present flag (and it will already be displaying this anyway, so we haven't altered the appearance of anything).
  • Create similar year variants for 2007, 2006 etc, which link to appropriate flags. Make variants of "2005-1", "2005-2" (eg) if there are 2 flags for a particular country for the year 2005. If just "2005" is inserted as a variant for that country, display an error message which links to a page with the appropriate list of flags and corresponding code to use.
  • Next, recode the templates to make the variant parameter mandatory, so that no new templates will work without the insertion of "2008" (or some other variant).
  • Simultaneously, make a new parameter which is really the new variant (as the old variant is now a mandatory parameter). Get a bot to go through and change code which had already implemented an old variant, and if the old variant is something other than just the year of an old national flag (a current military flag for example), change its old variant to "2008" (or whatever year is appropriate), and move its old variant to the new variant parameter. If the old variant parameter was just an old national flag, leave its old variant as it was (if it was a year number) or change it as appropriate (eg from "1928" to "1928-2"). There is no need for it to have a new variant parameter inserted in these cases.
I know that all of this would involve a fair amount of work (assuming it is implementable), but (in my ignorance I say) it seems like a managable amount, and such changes would result in an absolute minimum of disruption to wikipedia pages using flag templates. I also think that such an improvement would have much more than just a "marginal benefit" (as suggested on Andrewsc's talk page) for reasons I have given on said talk page.
Thoughts are appreciated,
Juwe (talk) 20:24, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it's certainly more than a marginal benefit. If the United States should accept Puerto Rico as a state in, say, 2014, then suddenly the appearance of {{flag|United States}} (and related templates) will in all likelihood change, and under the current system this will mean that every flaglet in every article about sporting events (for instance) between 1959 and 2014 will suddenly incorrectly show 51 stars. Of course it would be preferrable that this situation was taken care of pre-emptively rather than after such a fact. -- Jao (talk) 20:36, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Exactly right. The magnitude of future problems could be extremely great and the longer the issue is left, the worse any future situation will be in terms of wikipages showing incorrect flags. It will also be much easier to comprehensively fix all the templates now, rather than letting the number of templates grow with this issue unresolved (there is already "flag", "flagicon", "flagcountry", various sport templates like "cr" and "cr-rt" etc...)
Juwe (talk) 23:34, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure if countries change flags often enough to make such a huge change to the template worthwhile. It's quite simple to change incorrect flags on historical pages, even if it's a bit tedious. I'm sure a bot could make short work of it. Orange Tuesday (talk) 01:07, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

With respect, since I know these are good-faith suggestions, I still assert that these proposed changes are of "marginal benefit". Let's look at the problem and solution from different angles:

  • I think it is highly undesirable to force editors to use something like {{flagicon|USA|2008}} or {{flagicon|USA|current}} every time, instead of the familiar and simpler {{flagicon|USA}}. I think you would get a large amount of resistance for this, if posted to WP:Village pump (proposals), for example.
  • We should be very reluctant to consider any change that would dramatically increase the size of each country data template, and I fear these suggestions would have that effect. We would have to add conditional logic to parse the year, and that isn't terse. There are already some pages that have run into WP:Template limits because they use too many flag icons, and I think the barrier would be much lower if these were all expanded in size by significant amounts.
  • Is this really a "global" problem, or one that can be handled for individual flags? Within the past decade—a time period longer than the lifetime of Wikipedia itself—the only nations I can think of that have updated their national flags are Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Iraq, Lesotho, Lithuania, Rwanda, and Venezuela. In each of those cases, it was relatively easy to update Wikipedia to change all the time-specific references to use the older flag instead of the new current one. Conversely, the flag of France has been unchanged for over 218 years. Is there any reason to think that it will change? Is there any good reason to add complexity for editors who simply want to use {{flag|France}}?

I guess the question I am really asking here is: Do we really want to add significant template complexity and increased editor burden for about a thousand flag templates, transcluded on a couple of hundred thousand pages, in order to pre-emptively deal with a situation that occurs less than once a year?Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 00:47, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Andrwsc,
Thanks for your comments on this matter. I can see that this proposal is highly unlikely to be implemented, but I will respond to the points you have raised anyway. The essential motivation for the proposed changes was the desire to have flag templates which:
  • were simple to use;
  • were comprehensive in enabling the use of all relevant flags; and
  • would not (potentially) need "fixing" once they had already been applied correctly.
The templates, as they stand, seem to satisfy the first 2 points but not the third. I will now respond specifically to the points you have made:
1) When I considered the difficulties of implementing the change, it is true that I had not really considered the political difficulties of such a change. On an issue like this, where many editors are affected in some way and where there are various legitimate arguments in both directions, I suspect that you are correct when you say "I think you would get a large amount of resistance for this, if posted to WP:Village pump (proposals)", regardless of whether the argument for a change is more meritorious than that against. On the other issue in your 1st dot point, you make the point that {{flagicon|USA}} is significantly more familiar and simpler than {{flagicon|USA|2008}} (eg). I do not believe that this is a strong argument.
To take the simplicity point first, it is obviously true that the 1st form has one fewer parameter than the second. However, both are so simple that this shouldn't be a factor in the argument at all. For the second template, all you need to remember is "flagicon", "name of country", "relevant year". In some instances the second template could even be considered simpler than the first. For example, if editing an article on the 1972 Olympics, you don't need to look up whether the flag of a country was the same then as it is now. Nor do you need find the name of the appropriate variant in that case. All you need do is insert "1972", which surely doesn't need any looking up at all!
Actually, using the "relevant year" is insufficient with your proposal. Flag changes don't always occur on 31 December/1 January; the USA changes are made on 4 July, for example. Therefore, editors need to look up the relevant year selector for the flag template in question, which is pretty much the situation we have now. When I rewrote the Olympic flag templates, which use a different system, the problem was solved because the specific dates for each Games are clearly known, so the decision of which flag variant to use can be hardcoded into the templates. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:32, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Regarding the familiarity issue, it is again obviously true that the version currently used is more familiar than the proposed alternative. There is therefore some small cost in switching over. However, in my experience, such familiarity issues are extremely fleeting, and when the new version is something that would remain in place for (I would think) as long as wikipedia exists in anything like its current form, I consider the familiarity argument a weak one.
2) On matters raised in your 2nd dot point, I am unfortunately largely ignorant. Regarding your point about "dramatically [increasing] the size of each country data template" and problems with WP:Template limits, I was not aware of this issue at all. As such, I may have to defer to your better judgment and concede that a change might be infeasible. This does seem to be a potentially temporary problem however, and if template limits were raised in the future due to technology improving and consequently people's quality of access to the internet throughout the world improving, this might cease to be an issue. Part of my proposal would be to have the exact dates of operation for each national flag in each "country data template" listed in the table of flags (eg here, where for example, a column would show the exact dates of the 1958-1962 flag's operation). This would help when (for this example) someone wants to use the Algerian national flag for 1962, but isn't sure which one to use. This feature can still be implemented and I believe would be useful.
This is a good idea. It would be relatively simple to add extra documentation to each flag template, and since the documentation would be inside <noinclude>...</noinclude> tags, it would not affect template size. The only downside I see is that there is still a lot of "churn" for some flags, and there would be constant editing to keep the dates accurate, let alone the flags themselves. For example, I still think that the flags of Hungary and Iran are not yet properly described. But I like the idea. It is better than having to follow the link to the "Flag of X" article that you now see for each country data template page. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:32, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
3) Regarding your 3rd dot point, I take your point that the rate of change of national flags is not particularly high. (Maybe it is a lot higher for sub-national flags though, which I notice are included in your "country data templates"?). I also acknowledge your assertion that "it was relatively easy to update Wikipedia to change all the time-specific references to use the older flag instead of the new current one." I see no reason to disagree with this. However, there are 2 points I would make about this. Are you sure you managed to change all time-specific references and that none "slipped through the net"? (BTW, this is meant as a question rather than a challenge of your integrity or competence). Secondly, as I have mentioned, the proposed change to the templates would be relevant to all flag changes of the past as well as the future. As far as I can see, there are no situations where the new template would be significantly more difficult to use than the old template, but there are some situations where it might be far easier to use (such as the 1972 Olympics example).
I agree that there are some inaccuracies still remaining; I often find the incorrect Venezuelan flag used. This problem also exists for much older historical flags too. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:32, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
The final issue, which I have yet to mention in this post, is that it is, of course, less work to keep the flag templates the way they are now than to change them. This is a perfectly valid consideration, but I would hope that if feasible, and if the proposal was accepted as a good idea, then this would not prove to be a stumbling block.
Juwe (talk) 07:54, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
The amount of work is clearly a major consideration here. For example, is it really worth it to update 22,613 pages that transclude Template:Country data France, just in case the French flag changes? I admit that there is a non-zero possibility that the US flag will change, but I doubt it would happen in the next decade or two. (I've lived in the US for 5 years of my life, and I can tell you that the "movement" for DC statehood, let alone Puerto Rico, is not terribly strong.) It would be trivially easy to add a 1960 variant to Template:Country data United States (since 4 July 1960 was when the 50 star flag was introduced), but to manually edit 113,519 articles to decide whether or not the flag icons were time-specific or "current", well that is a monumental task to say the least. I don't think any bot could make that decision automatically. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:32, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Let me put on my template thinking hat and think of a way in which this might be implemented in a non-obtrusive way. If you really want to pursue this, it is imperative that you solicit opinion at the Village Pump, I believe. Posting a message to Wikipedia talk:Manual of style (flags) might also be a good idea. But I'll tell you now that I would personally oppose any change that requires an extra parameter to the flag templates. I really think it needs to be an editor option. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:32, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi Andrewsc,
Thanks for replying again. Although I clearly favour the modifications I have proposed (if they are feasible), I do not intend to pursue it further for a variety of reasons already mentioned. I will however clear up a couple of loose ends from this conversation.
  • You said, "using the "relevant year" is insufficient with your proposal. Flag changes don't always occur on 31 December/1 January..." I did attempt to deal with this problem in my proposal when I said:
Make variants of "2005-1", "2005-2" (eg) if there are 2 flags for a particular country for the year 2005. If just "2005" is inserted as a variant for that country, display an error message which links to a page with the appropriate list of flags and corresponding code to use.
[By variant, I meant what is currently the variant parameter and what would become my mandatory year parameter. That is, the eventual code for the 2nd national flag of 2005 might look like this: {{flagicon|USA|2005|2005-2}} (assuming the US had a flag change in 2005).] The editor would initially only put in {{flagicon|USA|2005}} when editing an article about the USA in 2005, as this would not require any looking up of contry data template information. When they previewed or saved the changes however, this code would create an error message where the flag should have been, linking the editor directly to the relevant country data template.
  • Regarding dates columns for the "country data templates", you said that as a downside "there would be constant editing to keep the dates accurate, let alone the flags themselves." I don't quite understand what you are saying. If you are suggesting that at the moment, the database of historical national flags is incomplete, this is a problem, but it is a problem that seems independent of the proposal for dates columns. If there 'is a complete database of such flags with the dates of their use known, then once this information is added to the relevant columns, it need never be adjusted again. You yourself said that the rate of change of national flags into the future is likely to remain low, so this shouldn't be an issue for new flags either.
  • Finally, with your example about the 1960 variant for the USA, and deciding if flag-icons were meant to be time-specific or current, this goes to one of the core reasons for having a template change. If (eg) the US flag was to change, this would be one of the issues that would arise and need to be "cleaned up". In my proposal, any current USA flags would be treated as if they are time-specific to 2008 (alternatively you could choose them all to be labeled as current...that is what the flags are effectively labeled now anyway). The problems of cleaning up the code already in existance would still exist upon a switching of flags. However, any future use of the templates which put either the present year (for now 2008), some past year (eg 1950) or current as a year parameter would not need any correction. In addition, it is not only about changing templates "just in case" a flag might change, as the modifications to templates would also make life simpler for editing pages about events already in the past (eg my 1972 Olympics example).
In essence, the main question I see is this: If we could automatically switch templates from the current templates to the proposed modified templates with no costs in the process, should we do it? For me the answer is an emphatic yes, as I actually think the new template would make everyday use a lot simpler in some cases and negligibly harder in other cases. In addition, it would automatically solve the problems that arise whenever a country changes its national flag. Only then, once I have decided that making a change would indeed be beneficial, do I consider the potential problems with implementation. Problems such as:
  • The time, effort, risk of failure and risk of detrimental compromises to the planned changes, required to get the idea accepted for implementation on wikipedia.
  • Technical barriers, such as your "template data limits" consideration
  • The short-term costs associated with the familiarity with the old system
  • The time and effort to actually implement the idea once it has been accepted
Weighing all this up, although I advocate a change occurring (if indeed it is technically feasible, which you suggest it might not be), I do not think it is a worthwhile exercise for me to vigourously pursue this issue.
Juwe (talk) 18:20, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Changing link for {{flag|Palestine}}

There's been discussion here where they want the link produced by {{flag|Palestine}} to be changed (with a hack, if necessary) from Palestinian territories to Palestinian National Authority. I have told them that the problem, if it exists, should be fixed within the template to 'correct' it on all 700-some articles using this branch of the flag system, and asked them to propose it here. They have no apparent inclination to fix the 'problem' outside that particular article, which seems to me a rather narrow-minded perspective, but one to which they are entitled, so I have brought the issue here. Comments on the applicability of the two possible targets (Palestinian Territories vs Palestinian National Authority) would be welcome. Happymelon 14:15, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

PNA refers to the country itself and includes the Government; Population; GDP; capita; ect. However PT refers to the geographical area. So the Flag of Palestine should link to the country not the Geographical area.

Currently the Flag directs to Palestinian territories,  Palestine.
However it should link to Palestinian National Authority.
Like so "State of PalestinePalestine" See how ive done it. Thats how it should be. Ijanderson977 (talk) 20:22, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't support doing this because we have a better solution in the context of this particular article, see my comments here. Changing Palestinian territories => Palestinian National Authority across the board is likely to open yet another can of worms... It is sure to offend the political sensibilities of someone on one side or the other, probably both. --SJK (talk) 08:19, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I note that editors have long been able to use {{flag|Palestinian Authority}} for  Palestinian Authority (or {{flag|Palestinian Authority|name=Palestine}} for  Palestine if they prefer), so this option is already available for International reaction to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence and other articles. I would strongly oppose changing Template:Country data Palestine, as I think there are equally valid situations where wikilinks to Palestinian National Authority and Palestinian territories are respectively applicable, depending on the context (e.g. political or geographical). Editors need to choose for themselves which template to use for each specific context; it would be inapproproiate to remove one of those choices by modifying one of these two templates. I also note that Template:Country data Palestine is also used for many sport-related articles, using templates such as {{fb|Palestine}} for  Palestine, and the links to Palestine national football team would break if this template was changed. (i.e. it's not the Palestinian National Authority national football team) — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:51, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I do not understand the last comment. How would changing the link {{flag|Palestine}}, which goes to Palestinian territories, break {{fb|Palestine}}, which goes to Palestine national football team? If the football link was based on the flag target and the proposed change would therefore take {{fb|Palestine}} to Palestinian National Authority national football team, would it not already be going to Palestinian territories national football team? It seems that the football target is dependent on the input text and independent of the flag target; or am I missing something? :)--Thecurran (talk) 09:02, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

British subnational divisions

I do not understand why we use a haphazard admixture of national flags. I understand that sometimes the flags of unrecognized countries, UN designated non-self-governing territories, and UN permanent observers need to be used alongside those of UN members for the sake of clarity and NPOV. The constituent countries (or home nations) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, however, are none of these. In international arenas where two or more of those constituent countries compete against one another and non-British nations, like FIFA, such usage may find justification. Otherwise, it seems akin to listing an ISO 3166-2 in an otherwise ISO 3166-1 context.

If, say, we flag a 20th century composer as English rather than British like we do for Gavin Bryars, it suggests that we should list everyone by their country subdivisions or dependent areas, rather than their nation, to maintain NPOV; which would be an unclear extreme. I'm happy with saying his birthplace was Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom, even though England is redundant as GB-ERY is more specific than GB-ENG, because some readers will find it helpful, but I do not agree with eliminating any British reference in order to have English references. If we have to flag the nationality or citizenship of non-British subjects over their country subdivisions, British subjects should be treated equally.

In order to maintain consistency, I want to limit the editor's choice to flag something or someone that is British by its constituent country as listed in MOS:FLAG#Use_of_flags_for_non-sovereign_states_and_nations instead to a few specific cases, like those listed in Home Nations#Sporting_events or Template:Northern_Ireland_topics. I hope I did not offend anyone too deeply. :)--Thecurran (talk) 08:41, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Coats of Arms

As intimated above in Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Flag Template, I seek the general community opinion on the validity of using a first-order subnational administrative division's coat of arms as a workaround when its flag is unknown or non-existent. The case I am interested in is the propinsi-propinsi of Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, after PRC, India, and USA. I am trying to make icons for each of the ISO 3166-2:ID, and all I can find is coats of arms. Consider the following:

ID-AC: Coat of Arms of AcehAceh
ID-BA: Coat of Arms of BaliBali
ID-BB: Coat of Arms of Bangka-BelitungBangka-Belitung
ID-BT: Coat of Arms of BantenBanten
ID-BE: Coat of Arms of BengkuluBengkulu
ID-GO: Coat of Arms of GorontaloGorontalo
ID-JA: Coat of Arms of JambiJambi
ID-JR: Coat of Arms of West JavaWest Java
ID-JT: Coat of Arms of Central JavaCentral Java
ID-JI: Coat of Arms of East JavaEast Java
ID-KB: Coat of Arms of West KalimantanWest Kalimantan
ID-KS: Coat of Arms of South KalimantanSouth Kalimantan
ID-KT: Coat of Arms of Central KalimantanCentral Kalimantan
ID-KI: Coat of Arms of East KalimantanEast Kalimantan
ID-KR: Coat of Arms of Riau IslandsRiau Islands
ID-LA: Coat of Arms of LampungLampung
ID-MA: Coat of Arms of MalukuMaluku
ID-MU: Coat of Arms of North MalukuNorth Maluku
ID-NB: Coat of Arms of West Nusa TenggaraWest Nusa Tenggara
ID-NT: East Nusa Tenggara Coat of ArmsEast Nusa Tenggara
ID-PA: Coat of Arms of PapuaPapua
ID-RI: Coat of Arms of RiauRiau
ID-SR: Coat of Arms of West SulawesiWest Sulawesi
ID-SN: Coat of Arms of South SulawesiSouth Sulawesi
ID-ST: Coat of Arms of Central SulawesiCentral Sulawesi
ID-SG: Coat of Arms of Southeast SulawesiSoutheast Sulawesi
ID-SA: Coat of Arms of North SulawesiNorth Sulawesi
ID-SB: Coat of Arms of West SumatraWest Sumatra
ID-SL: Coat of Arms of South SumatraSouth Sumatra
ID-SU: Coat of Arms of North SumatraNorth Sumatra
ID-JK: 15px|Coat of Arms of JakartaJakarta
ID-YO: Coat of Arms of YogyakartaYogyakarta

or the newer

ID-PB?: Coat of Arms of West PapuaWest Papua

Well, does it look okay? I know I need to figure out a way to automate it. :)--Thecurran (talk) 17:24, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

I would oppose using coats-of-arms as icon images, mostly because it would conflict with two key points in Wikipedia:Manual of style (flags). First, flag icons should Help the reader rather than decorate. I cannot imagine how coats-of-arms are anything but decorational. They are not readily recognized, and therefore, have negligible value as a navigation aid. Second, the guideline states Do not use subnational flags without direct relevance. I'm not sure what purpose you have in mind for these, but the only two usage examples for subnational flags that I can think of that conform with the MOS are when a province/state/etc. represents a team in a sporting competition (examples: 2007 Little League World Series, 2008 Tim Hortons Brier) or in the infobox of a location within the state/etc. (e.g. West Palm Beach, Florida). — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 04:02, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
When talking about the regional extent of a culture, language, tradition, religion, species, or geographical feature, national boundaries are at once too general and representing of divisions where none exist. Take Kurdistan for example. It crosses the borders a few different nations, but at the same time is confined to only a few subdivisions within those nations. Its extent can be better defined through the use of those subdivisions. The same follows for other human groupings and the ranges of non-human species. :)--Thecurran (talk) 12:00, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
I still don't know what you are trying to do. Can you cite specific examples instead of writing in generalities? What infobox/list/table/etc. do you need these extra subnational icons for? — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:12, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
By the way, how can I make the arrangement above look better? If such coats of arms were acceptable, would the display style above be nearly acceptable? :)--Thecurran (talk) 12:03, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
I've posted a link to this discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (flags) to get some more comments. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:12, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
I raised Kurdistan before as a reason to use subnational flags. I have already mentioned that Indonesian subnational coats of arms seem to be used in place of flags. Just to be clear, I add that Indonesia has some very important dividing lines like the Northern Hemisphere / Southern Hemisphere Equator, the Placental Mammal / Marsupial Wallace line, the continental Asia / Oceania, the racial Malayo-Polynesia / Melanesia, the linguistic Malay / Papanese, the Indian Ocean / Pacific Ocean Ring of Fire, and the internationally shared islands of Borneo / Kalimantan, Timor, and New Guinea, to name a few. I tend to believe that Relativity, Meteorology, Evolution, Geography, Genetics, Culture, Language, Hydrology, Geology, History, Politics, and War when combined have as much importance as Sport, if not more.
I am a little surprised though that Kurdistan alone did not pique your interest, as it was involved in almost every war this century and last, and its oil continues to dominate Economics, which is difficult for anyone to escape. I hope we we can pass the relevance threshold together now and deal with applicability. Someone above already suggested using subnational flags, raising its pertinence in the US.
I understand that you have contributed greatly to Wikipedia and surpass my fondness for the Olympics, but please remember that we already use quite a few subnational flags:
 Alberta,  Aruba,  Anguilla,  Åland Islands,  Netherlands Antilles,  Australasia,  American Samoa,  French Southern and Antarctic Lands,  British Columbia,  Brussels-Capital Region, German-speaking Community,  Saint Barthélemy,  Bermuda,  Cocos (Keeling) Islands,  China (PRC),  China,  Congo-Brazzaville,  Congo-Kinshasa,  Cook Islands,  Curaçao,  Christmas Island,  Cayman Islands,  North Korea,  England,  Western Sahara,  East Timor,  Falkland Islands,  Yugoslavia,  West Germany,  Faroe Islands,  Federated States of Micronesia,  Great Britain,  East Germany,  Guernsey,  Gibraltar,  Guadeloupe,  Greenland,  French Guiana,  Hong Kong,  Hong Kong, China,  Hong Kong, People's Republic of China,  Isle of Man,  British Indian Ocean Territory,  Jersey,  South Korea,  Kosovo,  Macau,  Macau, China,  Macau, People's Republic of China,  Saint Martin,  Manitoba,  Federated States of Micronesia,  Myanmar,  Northern Mariana Islands,  Montserrat,  Martinique,  Mayotte,  New Brunswick,  New Caledonia,  Norfolk Island,  Northern Ireland,  Newfoundland and Labrador,  Nova Scotia,  Northwest Territories,  Nunavut, Template:Navy-USCG,  Ontario,  Pitcairn Islands,  Prince Edward Island,  Palestine,  People's Republic of China,  People's Republic of China (mainland only),  Puerto Rico,  Palestine,  French Polynesia,  Quebec,  Réunion,  Republic of China,  Republic of China (Taiwan),  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic,  Scotland,  South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands,  Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha,  Svalbard and Jan Mayen,  Saskatchewan,  Saint Pierre and Miquelon,  Sint Maarten,  Tahiti,  Turks and Caicos Islands,  Tokelau,  Chinese Taipei,  Northern Cyprus,  Taiwan,  United Kingdom,  United States Minor Outlying Islands,  Holy See,   Vatican City,  British Virgin Islands,  United States Virgin Islands,  Wales,  Yukon,  Yugoslavia,  Zaire.
as well as supernational flags:
 Arab League,  Antarctica,  Czechoslovakia,  European Union,  Europe,  United Nations,  Soviet Union,  Soviet Union.
Some of these are merely old; some are for non-self-governing territories; and some are just replicates but many are included as subnational divisions of wealthy countries, excluding those of less developed countries. Why do we not just change those to where they belong in ISO 3166-2, exclude anything outside of ISO 3166, demote replicates by making them redirects or time-based subsections of their appropriate sovereign UN member states. BTW, if we include EU and AL, we have to make room for CIS and every other IGO that has a mission in the UN?
I also like the idea of starting to make ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 more prominent, because of how the ISO labels languages and ccTLD's. For example a Québécois wikipedia could be listed clearly as , a Scottish one (that is one in Scottish English) could be , and a Liverpudlian one could have . A lot of people worked very hard for very long to make ISO 3166-2 acceptable to the governments that are accountable to most of the people on Earth. When a clean, neat way exists, why must we be so messy and exclusive of other peoples?
As far as coats of arms go, in many cases they have a very intimate relationship with their relevant flags and sometimes they can represent a palce better than its flag can. As long as a flag exists for an area and it is the one recognised by its government and its neighbours, I do not see why a coat of arms should replace it, but when such flags do not exist and such coats of arms do (especially when we already use those coats of arms in place of flags on the subject's own pages in Wikipedia), it seems quite logical to use them at least as an interim symbol. :)--Thecurran (talk) 06:16, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry to be so dense, but I still do not understand what problem(s) you are trying to solve. Let me try and sort out your points; please tell me if I have not got it right:
  1. It seems like you object to the existence and/or usage of some of the templates in Category:Flag templates. Fair enough, but there are guidelines that can help. To pick a template at random, you listed {{ABW}}. "ABW" is the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 code point for Aruba, so that's why that particular template name is used. If you look at its usage (Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:ABW), I see some pages that may or may not conform to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (flags), but I don't see any action required on the part of this WikiProject. Edits should be made to the article(s) in question, but {{ABW}} is fine as-is.
  2. Also on that list are some non-standard template names, such as {{CHN-PRC}} or {{CNG-Bra}}. Those are simple convenience shortcuts to produce alternate display links than the standard templates. If you want to go ahead and replace their transclusions with the {{flag}}-based equivalent and nominate the shortcuts at WP:TFD, then I would support that. Otherwise, I'm not sure what action you are suggesting.
  3. You've listed the Canadian province shortcut templates (e.g. {{AB}}), but those templates are older than the current flag template system and have not been fully deprecated yet. I certainly do not think they should serve as a precedent for the creation of more second-level flag templates with shortcut names (such as Template:USA-CA for California, perhaps) but instead should be replaced and deleted, in my opinion. Again, if you want to proceed with that effort, feel free to be bold and make the replacements (e.g. {{AB}} → {{flag|Alberta}}. The same statements apply to {{BE-BRU}} et. al.
  4. Your proposal for alternate wikis using ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codepoints is better discussed at WP:Village pump (proposals), perhaps, but not here.
Again, I ask you what is actionable by this WikiProject and not just something handled by enforcing MOS guidelines on individual pages, or something outside the scope of flag template development and maintenance? — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 18:22, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
What is actionable is to accept Indonesian provincial coats of arms as flag icons or suggest a better viable alternative. We accept Aruba even though it is neither one of the United Nations member states nor on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. It, like England, should either be removed (which I do not think Wikipedians would accept) or it should be subsumed into a part of the Netherlands to reflect reality, allowing by NPOV, the addition of ID provinces JP prefectures, DE lands, AU states, etc. I wish someone could just tell me one place to discuss this. You keep bringing up different ones. This section is getting a little too big; is it not? Oops, out of time. :)--Thecurran (talk) 23:37, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
You seem to be mixing several concepts. There is no consensus for using non-flag images (like coats-of-arms) where flag icons are typically used. If a particular nation does not have flags for its subnational entities, then so be it. As per the MOS, there are very few instances where a subnational flag icon is acceptable anyway. As for Aruba and England, if you have an issue with their flags being shown as icons on certain individual pages, then take it to those pages. You have the MOS guideline as justification for removal for many instances. However, the MOS certainly allows the flag of England to be used to identify the England national football team, which it does on thousands of articles. Finally, the reason I keep bringing up alternate pages for discussion is because you keep bringing up unrelated ideas. How can this particular WikiProject, concerned only with flag template implementation, help with the creation of a fr-CN-QC wiki? — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:49, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

If it helps, here is a direct, specific question that can help me understand what you are trying to do. As of 04:14, 29 May 2008 (UTC), there are 337 articles in main space that link to Central Java. In which of those articles, or under which circumstances, do you wish to preface that wikilink with an icon image of Image:Central Java-coa.PNG? — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 04:14, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I tried to read the MOS surrounding two points:
  1. The validity of using flag icons for subnational divisons (like Alberta, Aruba, Central Java, England, or Massachusetts).
  2. The use of non-flag images in place of flags for icons.
From the MOS, it seemed that both of these were neither totally prohibited nor totally accepted, but that room was allowed for community consensus. I wanted to seek community consensus. It seems that consensus is that subnational divisions are acceptable (as in Alberta, Aruba, England, etc.), so my first point seems concluded. My second point has been available here for comment and user:Andrwsc even posted it elsewhere, but Andrwsc is the only one to respond so far. All I can conclude from our discussion is that for the moment coats of arms are acceptable in terms of Indonesian provinces, until better permanent flags become available.
Specifically, I would like to have templates created that would allow me to attach the appropriate provincial coats of arms, or flags when they are available, as icons to the pages on the Malay Archipelago, Melanesia and Polynesia in their sections on geographical distribution. This would also require templates made for Papua New Guinean provinces as well as Australian and Filipino national subdivisions. I propose that the titles used for these conform to ISO 3166-2. I do not know the ISO 3166-2 code for West Papua (Papua Barat), because it is relatively new. I would really like to learn how to make these icons by myself.
Generally, I would like to see all pages linked to Central Java have the Central Java icon link on them. Thank you for all your work to improve Wikipedia. :)--Thecurran (talk) 04:19, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
With respect Thecurran, you seem to be concluding only what you want to conclude, not what any of the discussion or links (eg MOS) would logically lead anyone to conclude. For a start you say about your discussion with Andrwsc: "All I can conclude from our discussion is that for the moment coats of arms are acceptable in terms of Indonesian provinces, until better permanent flags become available." However to quote Andrwsc directly from this page: "There is no consensus for using non-flag images (like coats-of-arms) where flag icons are typically used. If a particular nation does not have flags for its subnational entities, then so be it." Another Andrwsc quote is from Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (flags), where he says "There is a proposal at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Flag Template#Coats of Arms to support coat-of-arms images in flagicon-like size. I have replied there to my opposition to such an idea, but am also posting here to solicit more discussion as I don't think that WikiProject is on too many watchlists."
You have employed strange reasoning to suggest that the MOS says that subnational divisions are generally acceptable, when you say it is "neither totally prohibited nor totally accepted" and then, almost in the same breath, say "It seems that consensus is that subnational divisions are acceptable (as in Alberta, Aruba, England, etc.), so my first point seems concluded", despite the fact that the only opinion you have encountered so far is one that contradicted your own position. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (flags)#Do not use subnational flags without direct relevance actually cautions against using subnational flags (it doesn't even mention coats of arms, which presumably should be used even more sparingly if at all as flagicons) except in very specific circumstances. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (flags)#Use of flags for non-sovereign states and nations makes various points about how Sovereignty itself can be a somewhat nebulous concept, and that for various purposes entities not usually considered nations might be considered so (as with England or with various overseas territories of colonial powers). Alberta might be a valid comparison to Central Java, but England certainly is not.
As Andrwsc has pointed out, the MOS says that "flag icons should Help the reader rather than decorate. I cannot imagine how coats-of-arms are anything but decorational. They are not readily recognized, and therefore, have negligible value as a navigation aid." He also asked you a specific question about where in particular a flagicon link to Central Java would be useful, and you eventually said "Generally, I would like to see all pages linked to Central Java have the Central Java icon link on them." I find it difficult to overstate how terrible this would look. Imagine putting flagicons of coats of arms in the middle of every paragraph on wikipedia that mentions and links to Central Java. Flags are only useful and only look good in certain circumstances, such as on this page 2006 FIFA World Cup, or this one United Nations member states.
I personally agree with every point Andrwsc has made in this discussion so far. I also think that your coat of arms flagicons, which you have obviously done a good job of compiling, would seem to be generally distracting rather than illuminating for wikipedia articles. As for attaching flagicons to Indonesian provinces to be added to (eg) this list: Polynesia#Island groups, it would make more sense to use the more recognisable (and more flag-like) flag of Indonesia, in the same way that the PNG flag has been used for the relevant regions of PNG in the list. Juwe (talk) 08:56, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I meant that the rules are inconclusive, but that general consensus allows Alberta, Aruba, and England, etc. Why is England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales more important than Al Baḩr al Aḩmar, California, Central Java, Massachusetts, or Western Australia? As far as the UN and associated bodies like the ISO, IPU, and ITU are concerned, there is no difference. The biggest difference England has over Central Java is more money, more English speakers, and more European people and more famous sports teams. If these are valid pre-requisites and they should not be, California is still more important than England. It has its own legislative branch, too. Just because many users on here support the English teams in the Commonwealth Games, the FIFA World Cup, Rugby, and cricket does not mean enough to give it this special status. There are Californian teams that are famous in NFL, NHL, NBA, and Baseball, yet we have no icon for them. If it is based on places that used to be separate independent nations, why is Texas not represented, nor the flag of the Haudenosaunee, or so many more former sovereign nations? I fear our pro-British double standards breach NPOV. I am glad to hear your opinions but why is what is good for the goose not good for the gander? :)--Thecurran (talk) 10:57, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
My point isn't whether England is "more important" than California or not. This is something that is highly subjective and depends on the particular context. It is also completely irrelevant. What is relevant is what is useful to wikipedia articles. For example, the 2006 FIFA World Cup is clearly a notable topic that is within the scope of wikipedia. England was a competing team, its flag is recognisable and the use of the flag templates for competeing countries is useful to readers of the page. By contrast, I'm not convinced that the the use of a rather less recognisable US State flag to represent a sports team from one of the cities within that State (ie not even the State itself) would be quite so useful to a wikipedia user. Nonetheless, it might be demonstrated that such US State flag icons might be useful in some context for some particular wikipedia page, in which case their use would be valid. I have yet to see an example where your coat of arms icons would be useful rather than distracting (for reasons already given) hence my reservations about the creation of a coat of arms template. Juwe (talk) 12:42, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I'll repeat a point I made earlier. Thecurran's category of subnational entities compares apples and oranges. For example, Aruba and England compete internationally in several sports and other events, but Alberta, California and Central Java do not. Therefore, there are many more instances where the flags of Aruba and England are used on Wikipedia—in compliance with the MOS, of course. The only two instances where I have seen {{flagicon|Alberta}}, {{flagicon|Florida}}, or {{flagicon|Western Australia}} used in a MOS-compliant way is for sporting events such as the Tim Hortons Brier or the Little League World Series, or the Pacific Cup, or in infoboxes for articles like Daytona Beach, Florida and Drumheller, Alberta. It's not a question of "status" or "wealth" at all—it's a question of utility. You'll also find {{flagicon|Sandaun}} on articles like Lido, Papua New Guinea, so it's not like there is some conspiracy against certain nations.
I asked you before to name some specific instances of where you'd like to see an icon before a wikilink to Central Java. Your reply mentioned three articles:
  1. Malay Archipelago—to be honest, I don't think this article needs any more icons than the seven inside the infobox. the article looks fine as is.
  2. Melanesia—this article needs some significant cleanup. The use of icons (both flags and coats-of-arms) is non-compliant with several points in Wikipedia:Manual of Style (flags). They are used as a replacement for prose text, which is terrible style.
  3. Polynesia—used now in the "Island groups" section, but I don't see any necessary changes. The article looks fine.
You also said I would like to see all pages linked to Central Java have the Central Java icon link on them, but as Juwe pointed out, that will never happen. We don't put an icon in front of the hundreds of thousands of wikilinks to United States either—for very good reason. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:56, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I am not asking that the icon for something like Papua Barat be shown on the top of every page where it is mentioned and next to every single mention but in the context of its disputed creation, and its importance in all those divides I mentioned before, do you still think it does not even warrant a single flag icon near its first mention in body text?
Why do you think the flag of England is so instantly recognizable? I know many people with English parents living in an Australian suburb called "Little England" who lived for decades without knowing what it was. It receives even less recognition in the United States, Japan, Singapore, or Mexico, and yet in all of these countries there are popular television programs that refer to "the Bear Flag State" and that may come across the "Six Flags" amusement park and theme park chain, the world's largest based on quantity of properties..
How many times has a different home country won the World Cup or other international events where they compete? It seems that in sports that started their international level in England, that most of the best players from the other "home countries" and even other nations end up working for England to the point that as one gets further away from the UK, one finds the terms England and GB or UK become ambiguous in a parallel to how many English-speakers and others refer to the Netherlands as, "Holland". Even within England, it caused waves when Christopher Eccleston was the first "Doctor Who" from Northern England because Southern England had been so successful at exporting its imortance.
We must strip away the importance of linguistics, biology, geology, geography, economy, history of independence, population, land area, and democratic legislative assemblies (which, according to Government of England, England does not have; unlike Scotland) and boost the importance of international sporting events that started in the UK before we can regard England as more important than other states and provinces, etc. .
Wikipedia happens to have a wealth of fantastic editors from the UK but that does not mean we all have to support the microcosmic view that England is on par with all UN members and that other subnational entities are beneath it, in effect calling apples, "oranges". In fact it seems that Wikipedia is increasing global recognition of the English flag, but not others like states or provinces that do have their own democratic legislative assemblies. This in itself is an example of Wikipedia promoting a particular political view, which is against its own policy. If we do not have the stomach to remove the flag of England, then we must have grounds that are applicable outside of English culture (FIFA, Rugby, Cricket, Commonwealth Games, etc.), that would allow us to add other subnational entities that, for example, might also have a history of independence. Thank you for reading:)--Thecurran (talk) 05:27, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, for your question "do you still think it does not even warrant a single flag icon near its first mention in body text?" The answer is "It does not warrant this". One of the points being made by both Andrwsc and myself is that it is simply bad style to insert flagicons in main text. It doesn't matter if it is  United States,  Aruba,  England, or whatever. (note: I only did it here for the purposes of debate on a talk page). It doesn't even matter if it is in the first mention of the subject in the article - a simple United States (eg) is what should be used.
Secondly, it is only you who are debating the political, economic, (etc...) significance of particular places and flags. What other wikipedians (like Andrwsc and myself) are doing has nothing to do with "increasing global recognition of the English flag" or any such political motive. The English flag (eg) should only be used, as Andrwsc has stated, where it provides utility for the navigation of a particular wikipedia page. For the 2006 FIFA World Cup example, I think that this is pretty clearly, not only a notable topic (and therefore properly within the scope of wikipedia's coverage), but also a global phenomenon and so not just pertaining to English culture (not that an event is required to be a global phenomenon for it to be notable). The question is then, "Are flag templates useful for the navigation of this page?" The answer is an emphatic "yes". This doesn't require that the English flag, or for that matter all the other 31 flags be "instantly recognizable". In fact, I doubt that many people would recognise all 32 flags (including eg  Togo) if you randomly tested them. However, these flags do add utility to the page, and, even if you didn't know the Togalese flag before visiting this page, when looking at the Group G section, a reader can glean what the Togalese flag looks like from the table, and instantly spot the matches in which Togo played, demonstrating one way in which the flag has been useful.
As far as your point about England and Great Britain being almost synonymous. In the context of football they are clearly not. There are distinct  England,  Scotland,  Wales,  Northern Ireland and  Republic of Ireland teams, and Scots (eg) wouldn't take too kindly to you equating England with the home countries. Your assertion that all the best players "end up working for England" is also unfounded. England would have loved to have had George Best or Ryan Giggs playing for them, and of all the home nations' campaigns to qualify for Euro 2008, the most impressive was Scotland's, including twice beating the 2006 World Cup finalists France. In any case, the fact that England generally performs better than Scotland is not relevant. What is relevant is that they are distinct teams, and it would be misleading to represent "England" as "Great Britain" or "the United Kingdom" in football pages.
In essence, what I am saying is this:
  • Flag icons simply shouldn't be used inside paragraphs of text.
  • Whether a flag is used or not should only be dependant on whether that flag has utility in the context of the page it is on.
  • Flag icons shouldn't used to promote the use of the flag, or because the flag is an "important" flag which deserves more recognition, or any other reason like that. It should only be used because it is useful for that particular wikipedia page. The flag should help the page, not the other way around.
  • You might think that there are notable subjects that don't have adequate coverage on wikipedia. This is no doubt true. However, we can't force people to edit and create pages which we consider important, and there are probably not too many people that edit the English version of wikipedia from (eg) Indonesia. This is not evidence of "political bias" but rather a practical reality that there are limited editing resources in certain areas.
  • You still haven't given an example of a page that would be enhanced by the use of your "coat of arms flagicons". You may disagree (eg with your Melanesia example), but Andrwsc and I (and by the looks of it other editors on that page) clearly think that the flagicons, however well-intentioned, merely cluttered up the page and made it look worse.
I'm sorry for sounding so negative, but it is only proper for me to give an honest assessment of the situation. Juwe (talk) 10:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
The edit page has reached 33 kib in length. Please see the continued section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thecurran (talkcontribs) 21:55, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Coats of Arms (Continued)

How about using Australian state flags as icons for State of Origin Rugby or Indonesian coats of arms for its ISO 3166:2 page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thecurran (talkcontribs) 22:00, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

What do you mean? There is no State of Origin Rugby article, and ISO 3166-2:ID shouldn't have icons because none of the other articles in Category:ISO 3166 have them (or need them). Really, the only article that would benefit from a "gallery" of Indonesian coats-of-arms images would be something like Coats of arms of Indonesian states (comparable to Coats of arms of Brazilian states), and those most certainly are not icon sized! — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 22:21, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

When I type in State of Origin, I get a DAB link at the top to Rugby League State of Origin. Does this page fit your utility requirement; now that we have stripped away the rest? :)--Thecurran (talk) 02:15, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Ok, you've asked a lot of questions here, but to be honest, I think they are better suited to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (flags) instead of here. This project is about the template implementation of flag icons; that page is about the usage guidelines for them. In any case, I'll respond here as best I can. Thanks for finally including some wikilinks to specific articles, but I'm afraid I still don't understand what point you are trying to make in many cases.
Now, for the Rugby League State of Origin article, yes I think you could add flag icons in a MOS-compliant way, but I'm not sure what it would accomplish. Only two state teams are involved in that competition, and the editors whove worked on that page have used two colours (Maroon and blue) in the table to identify which team won in each year. That is undoubedtly more effective than two flags that are barely distinguishable at icon size (Queensland and New South Wales)—and especially since the team names are Maroons and Blues!

Interstate matches in Australian rules football alone should elicit calls for icons of Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia. Now that we are back in the realm of football for these last two, and we have utility, is your threshold not met?

Well, it's not my "threshold", it's consensus from many editors. And yes, I suppose flag icons could be added to that article is a MOS-compliant way, but they certainly aren't required, or even necessary. Feel free to make those article edits if you feel strongly about it.

By the way, if we have so many historical flags and utility is what you truly desire, it would seem pertinent to add different iterations of the US flag as six states were added to the union since the foundation year of International Olympic Committee. Each of these state inceptions was represented by the addition of one star on to the Union Jack as shown in List of U.S. states by date of statehood; this is why the Athens 1896 Summer Olympics#Participating_nations shows the 44 star iteration as the 50 star one had not yet existed. Should not this flag count as a regular icon, on your basis that accepts the Soviet Union flag?

I have no idea what you are asking here. What does "count as a regular icon" mean? Historical flag variants are widely used for flag icons—are you asking why this isn't done more often, or why it is done this way at all, or what?

In fact, if you look closely at the list of states article referred to two sentences ago, you might notice that the flags of US states have been used in an icon format for some time and have been accepted by the community. It only follows that such an article should be present for Indonesia. :)--Thecurran (talk) 02:46, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

If you want to add coats of arms to the Provinces of Indonesia article per similar style for other countries, then do it. You don't need templates to do that, and in fact, it's better not to, since icons are too small to be useful in that context.

Furthermore, our pages on the NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, show these sports as international and having earlier iterations that had one team per state or less. Do we allow icons only for those states that competed in the one team era, or to make it modern, do we include icons for every single team or city, so that the pages may be made clearer? It would seem easier to cut things down to a state level, but your system would seem to apply the one icon per team/city method. Back in the cherished realm of football, we also have the CFL and NFL that have similar histories. :)--Thecurran (talk) 03:20, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Again, I have no idea what you are asking. None of those pages use flag icons to represent individual franchises, and for good reason—the teams do not represent states or provinces.

It would seem that all of the ISO 3166:2 pages would benefit from the addition of pertinent icons, if you really only wanted to talk about utility. As shown on the list of states above, it can help in the areas of ordering subnational divisions by date of entry, population, land size, geography, etc. It can be especially helpful in the participants section of a civil war page.

I disagree. The purpose of pages like ISO 3166-2:ID is not to duplicate the content of pages like Provinces of Indonesia. The ISO pages focus completely on the code values and nothing else, which makes perfect sense. Articles in Category:First-level administrative country subdivisions often include flags, maps, statistics on population and area, and so on. This makes perfect sense, so I don't know why you want to make the ISO articles do the same thing.

It would also help to have a state of origin icon in the birthplace section of a person's biography infobox. If we do not do so, then those boxes which show England, etc. as a birthplace for dates after the unification, would have to be changed. :)--Thecurran (talk) 03:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

One of the items that has strongest consensus in the MOS is that flags should not be used at all to represent birthplace locations in biography infoboxes, so those should all be removed.

Brazil is not in absence of state flags, so it would seem nice if we could make the state flags on States of Brazil actually be icons. :)--Thecurran (talk) 03:32, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Why? At an image size 400% bigger than icon size, you can actually see the flags. What value is there in shrinking them? Articles like U.S. state don't use icon sized images either.

As far as Melanesia goes, removing the provincial coats of arms of Indonesia implies that Indonesia is Melanesian and it primarily is not, and the version before I edited it counted Norfolk Island like a nation. However, a user removed all flags and coats of arms without grouping the archipelagoes into their national boundaries, saying it made sense with WP:FLAGS, which as I have said before does not explicitly prohibit their usage. This is why I want to make a rule that is more explicit, like that a coat of arms may be used as an icon for a place only if a flag is not available. :)--Thecurran (talk) 03:45, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The problem with your edit was that you were using icon images as a substitute for prose text. If you feel that the current version is still misleading, the right way to fix it is with copy editing, not with the addition of miniature coats of arms.

By the way, why do you say stuff like, "those most certainly are not icon sized!"? It is a simple matter of good markup (wikification) to change the size of a picture that I managed to teach myself. That is how Wikipedia's icons were created in the first place. :)--Thecurran (talk) 03:49, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand this point. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 19:07, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Making flags imagemaps

There is a solution to the problem of how to make the flags clickable:

default [[{{{2}}}]]
desc none

--Samuel 69105 (talk) 20:09, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, we know. I sandboxed that back in January (at User talk:Andrwsc/imagemaptest), but haven't implemented anything "official" yet. I think a change that dramatic ought to be proposed at the Village Pump first, but I haven't written anything yet. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 20:32, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Template:Country data San Francisco

I'm adding Template:Infobox Election on election pages, and arrived at the San Francisco mayoral election pages. However, it seems like the infobox needs this template, which was deleted four months ago. So I'm asking here if I can restore it so that it can be used in the infobox. —Kurykh 23:43, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

 DoneAndrwsc (talk · contribs) 00:56, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! —Kurykh 06:03, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Chaning the size of some flag icons

I've been noticing that a lot of icons are really blurry at 22px, but look a whole lot better at 24px. For example,

However, there are also a few flags that look crisp at 22px but blurry at 24px, like these:

So what I'm wondering is, do you think it would be possible/desirable to make some (but not all) flagicons display at 24px instead of 22px? I realize this would be a big change that affected a lot of pages and templates, but I think it would make the flags look nicer and make them a bit easier for readers to identify. Orange Tuesday (talk) 16:53, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

I think it would be a really bad idea to have a variable icon size, as most usage of flagicons is for lists and tables, and they really look sloppy if the images don't line up evenly. Perhaps a better discussion for now is to find an alternate default pixel size as a "best fit" compromise....?
Whoops. I hadn't considered what this would do to all the neatly-aligned lists out there right now. In that case, the best compromise would probably be to just stick with 22px. It fits in nicest with the text, and you couldn't change the entire set without making some icons worse and some icons better. Orange Tuesday (talk) 18:30, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
On the other hand, we also stick a border on every flag, although not every flag needs it. In effect, we have a "one size fits all" image rendering algorithm, but perhaps the logic ought to be moved into the per-flag templates so that they can individually decide the best size, borders, etc. For example:
This, of course, would necessitate a total re-write of the flag template system, but maybe it is worth it? And if we were going to re-write these, then I would seriously consider the use of imagemaps to make the icon images link to the target articles rather than the image pages. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:24, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Hmm... Okay, if we're talking about a rewrite of the flag template, then how about something like this? Have the maximum size of an image be 24px wide or 20px high, either with or without a border. Align the right sides of the images, but leave a buffer margin of one pixel to make room for possible borders. So a list would look like this:
Or if the template was "left-aligned", like this:
Either way, the flags and text appear to be in a neat line even though some of them have borders and some of them are different sizes. Now compare that to the current flag template:
The icons are mostly consistent, but the text isn't quite lined up because of Switzerland, the flags aren't quite lined up because of Nepal, there are borders around flags that don't need them, and some of the icons are blurry. I don't know anything about templates, so I don't have any idea how difficult something like this would be to implement, but I do think it could look better if it was done properly. Orange Tuesday (talk) 18:30, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I think I would want the icons centered, but certainly the text must be left-aligned. Note that I have previously hacked {{CHE}} (also can be written as {{SUI}} for Switzerland, so it bypasses the flag template system altogether. (I should probably do the same thing for {{NPL}}/{{NEP}}.)
In any case, it sounds like you and I think there is some merit in re-vamping the flag template system yet again, but it is a herculean task so it might take some time... — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 20:56, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Accessibility disaster

I think you guys are all bananas. Do you know what this stuff looks like in text browsers? Fruit#Production:

Flag of India India                 1,052,766...
Flag of Vietnam Vietnam             438,652
Flag of the People's Republic of    271,167
China People's Republic of China
Flag of Indonesia Indonesia         255,216
Flag of Nigeria Nigeria             223,314
Flag of Iran Iran                   223,314
Flag of Burma Myanmar               183,436
Flag of Papua New Guinea Papua New  129,203
Flag of Nepal Nepal                 82,945

I have an idea, just set the HTML ALT="", or else the ALT is very much a hindrance to accessibility than a help. Why don't you allow us to just see (or hear):

India                      1,052,766...
Vietnam                      438,652
People's Republic of China   271,167

And no, this has nothing to do with CSS as text browsers don't necessarily use that. Also is that gobbledygook what you want search engines to see? Jidanni (talk) 10:43, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

The alt text is added per the Wikipedia:Alternative text for images guideline, but I see that guideline now has a "The best alternative text is often nothing" section that might be applicable here. I think that the alt text is still appropriate for {{flagicon}}, where the image appears alone, but should be blank for {{flag}} and {{flagcountry}}, where the country name is attached. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 18:33, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree, and have written a fix. Please see #Fix for accessibility disaster below. Eubulides (talk) 07:31, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Using the template structure to recall country name

It has been determined that use of flag icons at {{Infobox School}} was too superfluous and did not comply with WP:MOSFLAG, but the load of articles using the infobox now variably supply the name of the country either as the spelled-out name or the three-letter ISO code. Would there be a way, using the template structure (or otherwise) to provide only the alias of the country, when the input parameters are either the country alias itself or the ISO code? --Paul_012 (talk) 09:44, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

I have created {{Countryname}} for said use. Thank you anyway. --Paul_012 (talk) 09:53, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
There is already an existing template to extract full names out of country data templates. See {{getalias}}. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 18:16, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Problem with the fb template

Hey I was wondering if anyone can help me out with a problem I'm having. Here is the copy from WT:FOOTY:

How can we make it so that when you do  United States, instead of getting "USA," you get "United States?" I don't think that it is right that the default name be "USA," especially since the article is located at United States men's national football team and not USA men's national football team. I think the same thing could also be done for the "fbw" template as well. Most Americans refer to the team as the "U.S. (men's) national team" or the "United States," not as the "USA" or "USA (men's) national team," and I think that should be respected and/or reflected by the template. -- Grant.Alpaugh 00:11, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

We can't easily, as the fb template uses the templates made by Wikipedia:WikiProject Flag Template to display the correct flags. The actual data setting is held in Template:Country data United States with the following lines -
| name alias-football = USA
| link alias-football = United States {{{mw|men's}}} national soccer team

You may find that asking there for an addition to be made along the lines of the following might be useful to you -

| name alias-footballalt = United States
| link alias-footballalt = United States {{{mw|men's}}} national soccer team

Please note that I only glanced over the template so have no idea if this will really work. Also note that if you do change the default, this may impact on a number of tables with respect to width etc. Nanonic (talk) 02:24, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

No, this is wrong. This is changed to "United States" by removing the name alias-football line, not adding anything extra. However, note that when I created this to replace the old {{USAf}} and {{USAf2}}, those templates used "USA" (by consensus) because FIFA uses just "USA". Has consensus changed? Either way, this is trivial to fix. Just let me know. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 20:33, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

non-breaking space wanted between flag and country

I might be missing something, but if I wanted the space between a flag and a country to be a &nbsp;, it appears I have to use {{flagicon|name}}&nbsp;[[name]] instead of {{flag|name}}, correct? If that's true, IMHO I think the default behavior for {{flag}} should be to use &nbsp;, or barring that, to have {{flag}} support an optional argument which would reverse the default behavior. Thanks. (talk) 02:51, 15 November 2008 (UTC).

You are indeed missing something. The default behaviour for {{flag}} is the non-breaking space, per the rendering code at Template:Country flag2. That's one of several reasons why this project strongly recommends using {{flag|Placename}}instead of {{flagicon|Placename}} [[Placename]] when possible. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 04:23, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Western Sahara has no flag as it's not a sovereign country

I would like to draw your attention about the Western Sahara case. There is no official flag in Western Sahara as it's a territory and not a sovereign country. The UN statute of Western Sahara is non-self-governing territory. The flag you mention here is the one of the "Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic" backed in Tindouf south Algeria. Actually, there is no republic administrating the Western Sahara. Please see 'list of countries' page. We need consistency in relating Western Sahara in Wikipedia pages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Moroccansahraoui (talkcontribs) 13:25, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Template:Country data Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Could someone please add a three letter code to this flag so it generates like this Flag of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953–1963).svg RAN. As currently there is no provision for this, whereas on other flags there is. Cheers NapHit (talk) 21:57, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

"RAN" is not a known ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 country code, so no three letter shortcut template should be created. Use {{flag|Rhodesia and Nyasaland|name=RAN}} for  RAN. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:42, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Template:Country data Italy

Currently this template is missing a flag variant. The civil ensign used by Italian merchant ships is not supported. The flag in question is File:Civil Ensign of Italy.svg. Can the template be amended to support this one please? Mjroots (talk) 18:15, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Also, there is no way to use the {{navy}} template to generate a link to the Regia Marina, the 1861–1946 Italian Royal Navy. Can this be added? — Bellhalla (talk) 05:40, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
It's not (easily) possible from a single country data template. You could create Template:Country data Kingdom of Italy so that {{navy|Kingdom of Italy}} produced the desired output. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 07:05, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I can't, because I can't figure out all of the arcana necessary to create a template and get it to work. Is there anyone who can do this without having to learn all of the ins and outs of this complex system? — Bellhalla (talk) 19:00, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Alternately, it looks like {{Country data Kingdom of Italy}} existed at one point and was deleted in 2007. Maybe it was already setup for this? — Bellhalla (talk) 19:02, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I had hoped that the detailed documentation on the project page was sufficient to help editors develop new templates, but in either case, I've created it for you. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 19:14, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your help. — Bellhalla (talk) 21:35, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Template:Country data NATO

A template for NATO is missing, the EU has one and many articles attempt to show flagicon nato. PRODUCER (TALK) 20:04, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Image:Flag of NATO.svg is a non-free image, therefore no template can be created as this would violate the Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria policy. For the same reason, the image itself can only be shown on a "minimal" number of articles (currently 3) for which a valid fair-use rationale has been written. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:25, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Considering A TFD nom for {{Country data World}}

I am considering a Template for Deletion nom for {{Country data World}} as per WP:OR and Wikipedia:ICONDECORATION#Inventing_new_icons, what would members of this projects opinion be ? Gnevin (talk) 21:02, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

I would prefer you got rid of {{Country data Earth}} first... — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 21:13, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

TFD nom Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion/Log/2009_January_28#Template:Country_data_Earth Gnevin (talk) 22:47, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Civil Ensigns

Can all appropriate Country data templates please be enabled to show the civil ensign where this is different to the National flag in question please? Mjroots (talk) 11:45, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Many already do. For example, {{flagicon|UK|civil}}United Kingdom. It would be more helpful if you would create a list of what is missing. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:55, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Template:Country data Nazi Germany

Can there be a variant/option made so that it still wiki-links to Nazi Germany but the name Germany is shown? -- Phoenix (talk) 19:08, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

The name parameter can be used to do that, as {{flag|Nazi Germany|name=Germany}} for  Germany. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 20:30, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Thats simple. And since that option is available in the flagcountry template, can that be added to the templates doc file? {{flagcountry|Nazi Germany|name=Germany}}  Germany
How about adding a link option into the template so one can link the template to the intended article {{flagcountry|France|link=French Third Republic}} Flag of France.svg France -- (talk) 06:57, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Netherlands New Guinea

This flag: West Papua (province) links to the "Republic of West Papua", a proposed country that almost existed. However there was a country that did exist that did use the morning star flag, Netherlands New Guinea. This has led to some errors in articles, for example: United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories (scroll all the way to the bottom) As you can see the flag links to the proposed state but the article is refering to the former dutch colony. Now the problem here is that Netherlands New Guinea is commonly referred to as West Papua, so I request that the West Papua (province) link to the Netherlands New Guinea article and a new template be created for the Republic of West Papua. --SelfQ (talk) 22:27, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Why ESP?

This is English Wikipedia. We don't use SUO for Finland, MAG for Hungary, or AOR for New Zealand. Why do we have ESP for Spain? It might have high recognition, but it is still inappropriate to have foreign language abbreviations. Kevin McE (talk) 06:59, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I think the templates allow, when possible (there are some possible conflicts), the use of whatever is in actual use in the international standard ISO 3166-1 alpha-3, as an IOC country code or as a FIFA trigramme. For Spain, all three of them happen to be ESP. For other countries, some might be English-based and some foreign-based (like GER and DEU for Germany), and then both work (see this comparison). But the point is that we don't simply allow abbreviations, only actual country codes. If you find an organization that officially uses SPA or SPN as a country code for Spain, and you think it's important enough, you should try to get that organization added to that comparison of country codes, and the code will probably show up in the templates too (although I've noticed {{SPA}} is currently taken). —JAOTC 08:56, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I know that some of the ISO/IOC/FIFA/etc. codes can be obscure, but I think "ESP" is fairly well-known. You will always see it next to Rafael Nadal's name for (English language) tennis broadcasts on TV, for Sergio García on golf broadcasts, etc. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:25, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

A Request: Flag for Rally Ireland

Hi, I am a member of Wikiproject World Rally and I need some help. If you look here, at the calendar section, you will see that we currently use Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to represent the cross-border Rally Ireland. I would like to be able to use the official flag used by the WRC and Rally Ireland which is a green shamrock on a purple background. A version of this is at [1]. This would allow us to use one all-inclusive flag to represent the event like we do with all the other events. I recognise that there may be copyright problems with using the exact version I have linked here. If this is a problem, I suggest we could get round it by either calling it a logo representing an event (which technically it is) or could we not draw our own version? (As a fairly new member of Wikipedia, I am not yet too familiar with its copyright policy.) If anyone can help me that would be much appreciated. I would love it if you could respond on my talk page-Thanks Petera93 (talk) 17:27, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

If it's a copyrighted image, it cannot be used in a flag template, per WP:NFCC. You cannot draw your own version, as that would be derivative work.
The same problem exists for Ireland at rugby and cricket, where Image:IRFU Flag of Ireland.svg and Image:Flag of the Irish cricket team.svg (deleted from Commons) are both copyrighted and therefore cannot be used in a flag template. Links to Ireland national rugby union team and Ireland cricket team are therefore "unflagged" in results articles such as 2007 Rugby World Cup and 2007 Cricket World Cup, for example. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 18:44, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

World Health Organization

A flag icon for the WHO needs to be created for placement in 2009 swine flu outbreak timeline as soon as possible. Many thanks! kencf0618 (talk) 02:47, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

I think I made them correctly  WHO,  World Health Organization chandler ··· 03:13, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
The templates are correctly constructed, but I question the usage in that article. That would seem to be a "decorative only" use per WP:MOSFLAG, as opposed to a navigational/browsing aid. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:13, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Air Force roundels

Is there a template, like {{Navy}} for air force rondels? (talk) 07:39, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

There isn't, but I'm not sure they should be. Roundels are not flags, and WP:MOSFLAG discourages the use of non-flag icons. What existing usage of roundel icons do you have in mind that need templates? Perhaps we should make something that is independent of the flag template system. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:12, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I don't see why Wikipedia is biased in favour navies, so usage should be similar to navies but for air forces. (talk) 08:13, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
There is no bias in favour of navies versus air forces. There is a only a bias (manual of style) against using non-flags as little icon images. But regardless, my question still stands: what existing usage of roundel icons do you have in mind that need templates? If we're going to go through a lot of effort to create a set of templates, it is necessary to see if that effort is well-spent. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:09, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

{{Flagicon}}-style regional icons

Is it possible to use this template to icon a map of a region (North America, Asia, etc...)? It would be better to me to use enveloping regions instead of list off each flag involved.  æron phone home  21:35, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (icons) specifically discourages using non-flag images (including tiny maps) as icons where flags would normally be used, so that is one reason why maps are not used with the flag template system. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:25, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Except regions like North America doesn't have a flag (does it?). So what would I use as a single icon to represent North America in a list where there are flags representing individual countries and regions with flags?  æron phone home  17:32, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I would say, use nothing. Use Template:Noflag for alignment if necessary (i.e. {{noflag|[[North America]]}}. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:48, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Template:Country data Washington, D.C.

On User talk:East718#Template:Country_data_Washington.2C_D.C., I recently suggested that we make {{flagcountry|Washington, D.C.}} →  Columbia, which would still link straight to Washington, D.C.. User:MZMcBride suggested I post that here. What are your opinions? :)--Thecurran (talk) 09:12, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Just use {{flag|Washington, D.C.|name=Columbia}}. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 14:43, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks User:Andrwsc, I did that in my example but I was kind of scared it would not be to your liking. You have helped boost my confidence and I appreciate it. :)--Thecurran (talk) 00:41, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Flag templates without... flags

Can anyone create a template using the country templates without flags, but instead we'd use the country's TLAs in smaller text and inside a parenthesis? Like this: (GBR) or (LIB). This can be helpful in instances where a shortcut is needed but the flag is not needed or is frowned upon by policy or by any other circumstances. –Howard the Duck 16:55, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

 Done. Check out template:cc3. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:14, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Wow, that was fast. Thanks. I wonder what "cc3" means, though... –Howard the Duck 03:24, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd prefer "SUI" for Switzerland, though. I suggest we'd use the IOC codes since a great deal of their use will come from sporting events. –Howard the Duck 03:38, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
I chose "cc3" because I thought we needed a template name that was very short (the whole idea is compact wikicode in these instances, I think) and so "cc3" stands for "country code 3 (letters)". Feel free to move to another name if you want! And most every IOC code works with this template (e.g. {{tlx|cc3|SUI} → (SUI)) so that concern is addressed. The only conflicts are ANT (IOC: Antigua and Barbuda; ISO: Netherlands Antilles) and BRN (IOC: Bahrain; ISO: Brunei). In those cases, you could also use Template:map country code to convert from IOC to ISO. Hope this helps — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 04:56, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes shorter templates is better, I was just wondering where "cc3" came from.
As for "SUI" it turns out that the TLA used was "CHE" so it displayed as "CHE". –Howard the Duck 05:10, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Ireland cricket team flag

This inquiry was originally from another user. Currently there is no usable Ireland cricket team flag, and I was wondering how we would go about adding the new flag? It's specifically for this article. The current flag is {{cr|IRL}} which is incorrect. Thanks.  Fyyer  03:52, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

This has been discussed before, at Template talk:Country data Ireland and WT:WikiProject Cricket. The image is a copyrighted logo, and therefore can only be shown on the single Ireland cricket team article per its fair-use rationale. It is against policy (WP:Non-free content criteria) to render the image by a flag template. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 04:01, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Thanks.  Fyyer  04:12, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Edit protection?

Just out of curiosity, why are all of the templates in Category:Flag templates edit protected?
Ω (talk) 04:54, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Per Wikipedia:High-risk templates, these are widely used and are very infrequently changed. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 18:26, 22 June 2009 (UTC)


Someone apparently made the mistake (again) to put all state (i.e. state service) flags into the flag templates of the German states. The official "Landesflaggen" for common use do not show the respective coat of arms in most states, the complete flag with coat of arms are for state authorities only. Examples are Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony, North-Rhine-Westphalia, etc. Can someone please correct this? The file names of the respective flags are somewhat ambiguous with their ...(state) appendix, but that's probably a rather direct attempt of translating the German "Landesdienstflagge", state service flag. De728631 (talk) 21:01, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Could you provide specific template and image names that need updating? I can look at the ones you've listed here, but need help. I'm not sure what you mean by "again" since the original creation of Template:Country data Schleswig-Holstein (for example) used the "state" flag and has not been changed in the two years since then. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 21:18, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Well for example that was not the case when I used to edit some articles about North Frisia some months ago, the Schleswig-Holstein flag was displayed correctly back then. The same goes for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and few others. That's why I was wondering about the whole thing, so thanks for fixing that. All flags as displayed in the last section of Country data Germany are correct. I just went through the state articles and corrected the flags there. De728631 (talk) 21:38, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Fix for accessibility disaster

In #Accessibility disaster above, Jidanni describes a problem with the use of {{flag}} and {{flagcountry}}, which create articles that are unnecessarily hard for visually impaired Wikipedians to read. I recently ran into this problem independently when reviewing a potential Featured Article for WP:ACCESSIBILITY, and came up with a simple fix: add "|link=" to the flag images, as suggested in WP:ALT #When to specify. I have tested the fix in {{flag/sandbox}} and {{flagcountry/sandbox}}, using test cases I created in {{flag/testcases}} and {{flagcountry/testcases}}. I suggest we install the changes, as follows:

Eubulides (talk) 07:31, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, I suppose you are on the right track, but if you are trying to demonstrate what you are doing, I recommend you take e.g., part of the fruit table above, and make a single page with "Before my miracle fix" and "After", and run it thru
w3m -dump, lynx -dump, etc.
Jidanni (talk) 19:26, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
The change is not about text-mode browsers, and as far as I know won't affect w3m or Lynx. The change is about screen readers such as JAWS and Orca, which are used by visually impaired people, and which read a browser window out loud to the user. Without the change, a screen reader might see " PRC" and say "Flag of the People's Republic of China dot S V G link P R C link". WIth the change, the screen reader will say "P R C link" instead; this is much better. If you use a screen reader you can check out the effect by visiting the fruit table that I just appended to Template:Flag/testcases. Eubulides (talk) 08:02, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
OK thanks, over my head. See you later. Jidanni (talk) 12:01, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


OK. Since the fix addresses the accessibility problem, I'll add an {{editprotected}}. To repeat: an admin is requested to install this trivial fix into {{country flag2}}, and to install this trivial fix into {{country flagcountry2}}. Eubulides (talk) 16:45, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
 Done. I had done something like this for {{flagicon}} a few months ago, but had left {{flag}} and {{flagcountry}} unchanged, so this is a good fix. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:28, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Navy, FlagIOCathlete and FlagIOCmedalist too

{{editprotected}} In another featured article candidate I ran across the same issue for {{FlagIOCathlete}}. It needs a similar fix. And I then noticed that {{FlagIOCmedalist}} was similar. To fix this, please:

Thanks. Eubulides (talk) 09:25, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

And in yet another featured article candidate I ran across the same issue for {{Navy}}. To fix this, please:

Thanks again. Eubulides (talk) 08:08, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

    •  Done. But you don't need to create sandbox pages to illustrate such simple edits. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 20:51, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I hope you don't mind that I'm reeeally cautious about this sort of thing. I've had to do so many of these changes recently that they tend to blur together, and I feel better if I do some sandbox testing first. It would save me time, though, if I could install these edits into the templates directly. Is there some way that I could be given the right to do that, without being made an administrator? That would save time for you and me both. Eubulides (talk) 22:34, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
  • No, you need "the bit" for edits to protected pages. I don't mind making those edits on your behalf, and I'm glad you want to be cautious, but I didn't want you to think that you had to create sandbox pages for each editprotected request to demonstrate that your suggestion changes work properly. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:25, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

FlagIOCteam too

{{editprotected}} I ran across the same issue for {{FlagIOCteam}}. Please install this obvious sandbox patch. Thanks. Eubulides (talk) 22:04, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Not done: {{edit semi-protected}} is not required for edits to semi-protected, unprotected pages, or pending changes protected pages. — DeontalkI'm BACK! 06:18, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Cr too

Another user pointed out a similar issue for {{cr}}. I will follow up at Template talk:Country flaglink. Eubulides (talk) 05:52, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Naval variant for Template:Country data Russian Empire

Can someone more knowledgeable than me please add a naval variation to Template:Country data Russian Empire? As of now, using this:

  • {{navy|Russian Empire}}

gives the less-than-satisfactory:

when one might more properly expect something like this:

Many thanks in advance. — Bellhalla (talk) 12:40, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

 DoneAndrwsc (talk · contribs) 04:39, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Looks great! Many thanks! — Bellhalla (talk) 12:51, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

How about a "Navyflag" template?

In the many thousands of WikiProject Ships articles on naval ships using the project's standardized infobox, a great many display a naval flag of some sort (one example). The preferred usage is to use the country's naval ensign (just like Template:Navy does), but a great many use naval jacks instead (or even in addition to). And, although the recommended size for ship infobox flags is 100x35px, there is a considerable variation in sizes. Would it be possible to create a Template:Navyflag as a shortcut of sorts so that an editor can, for example, type

  • {{navyflag|Brazil}}

and receive output that's the equivalent of

  • {{flagicon|Brazil|naval|size=100x35px}}

which would display as:

  • Brazil

and, ideally, link to the navy's article (unless there's a consensus against that). Although the same output could come from using Template:Flagicon, I'm hoping to make it as easy as possible for editors to use the preferred flag and size. Many thanks in advance. — Bellhalla (talk)

I think an even simpler solution would be to enhance {{Infobox Ship Career}} (and others..?) so that a new parameter could be used instead of Ship flag=[[Image:Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg|60px|Royal Navy Ensign]] etc. For example, I see that there is already a Ship country parameter that could be used to automatically generate the image if the Ship flag wiki markup is left blank. The infobox template could directly call flagicon to generate the naval variant. Alternatively, new parameter(s) could be used in place of Ship flag for instances where more than one image is rendered in that table cell (I have seen several cases like that). — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 16:08, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
One problem with that idea is that the same box is used for non-naval ships, where the consensus is to not have the flag display in the box's title bar (even though editors sometimes place flags there anyway). In those cases, the preferred method is to use the flag of the port of registry—as was done with HMT Royal Edward, for example—because ships often have owners from one country, and registration in another country. — Bellhalla (talk) 16:36, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Ah, ok. I guess the problem I have with your suggestion is that with these flag templates, the default size (icon size) is 22x20px, and the size parameter is explicitly used to override that. Your suggestion uses a non-default size, but that would not be evident from the wiki markup. That would be an inconsistent design. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:25, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Then how about a different name for the template, like Template:Shipboxflag (or any other name) that conveys what it's for and that it's not necessarily in the same family (i.e. size) as all of the other flag/country templates? — Bellhalla (talk) 18:58, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I suppose. I'm sandboxing something now, but there is no easy way to make the image link to the desired article. Would it be ok if the image didn't link to anything at all? Per WP:Alternative text for images, these are purely decorative images and shouldn't have alt text or links anyway, I think. Presumably the links to nation or navy articles would be elsewhere in the infobox. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 19:30, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I seemed to remember that the link thing was a no-no, so no problems there. The template looks great, by the way. Thanks! — Bellhalla (talk) 14:30, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

←I've come across several naval, civil, and government ensigns that are not linked from the appropriate 'Country data' templates. I've compiled a table with the entity, a suggested variant name, a link to, and an image of each flag. I think may suggested variant names match the system in place, but please feel free to correct them to better match the system. Some of these are, no doubt, little used, but that may be as a result of them not being available from the country data templates. — Bellhalla (talk) 12:55, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Naval ensigns

entity variant flag
Australia naval-1913 File:Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Austria-Hungary naval-1915 File:Austria-Hungary War Ensign1918.gif (1915–1918) Austria-Hungary War Ensign1918.png
Bulgaria coast guard File:Coastguard Ensign of Bulgaria.svg Coastguard Ensign of Bulgaria.svg
Canada naval-1911 File:Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Canada naval-1965 File:Flag of Canada.svg Flag of Canada.svg
Guyana naval File:Naval Ensign of Guyana.svg Naval Ensign of Guyana.svg
New Zealand naval-1941 File:Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
North Korea naval File:Flag of the Korean People's Navy.svg Flag of the Korean People's Navy.svg
Peru naval File:Flag of Peru (state).svg Flag of Peru (state).svg
Poland border defence File:PRL Ensign Border Defence Army v2.svg PRL Ensign Border Defence Army v2.svg
Poland naval auxiliary File:Bandera pjp.PNG Bandera pjp.PNG
Poland naval auxiliary-1955 File:POL Bandera pjp PRL v1.svg POL Bandera pjp PRL v1.svg
Poland naval-1919 File:Naval Ensign of IIRP v1.svg Naval Ensign of Poland (1919-1928).svg
Poland naval-1946 File:Naval Ensign of PRL v1.svg Naval Ensign of Poland (1980-1993).svg
SFR Yugoslavia naval File:Naval Ensign of Yugoslavia (1949-1993).svg Naval Ensign of Yugoslavia (1949-1993).svg
South Africa naval-1922 File:Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
South Africa naval-1952 File:Naval Ensign of South Africa (1952-1981).svg Naval Ensign of South Africa (1959–1981).svg
South Africa naval-1981 File:Naval Ensign of South Africa (1981-1994).png Naval ensign of South Africa (1981–1994).png
Soviet Union naval-1924 File:Naval Ensign of the Soviet Union 1924.svg Naval Ensign of the Soviet Union (1924-1935).svg
Soviet Union naval-1935 File:Naval Ensign of the Soviet Union 1935.svg Naval Ensign of the Soviet Union (1935-1950).svg
Ukraine naval-1918 File:Naval Ensign of Ukraine (dress, 1918).PNG Naval Ensign of Ukraine 1918 July.png
United Kingdom army-ensign File:Army-major.svg Army-major.svg
United Kingdom royal fleet auxiliary File:British-Royal-Fleet-Auxiliary-Ensign.svg British-Royal-Fleet-Auxiliary-Ensign.svg
United Kingdom royal maritime auxiliary File:British Royal Maritime Auxiliary Ensign.svg British Royal Maritime Auxiliary Ensign.svg
United Kingdom royal naval auxiliary service File:British RNXS ensign.png British RNXS ensign.png
United States coast guard File:Ensign of the United States Coast Guard.svg Ensign of the United States Coast Guard.svg

Civil ensigns

entity variant flag
Andorra civil File:Flag of Andorra (civil).svg Flag of Andorra (civil).svg
Croatia civil File:Civil Ensign of Croatia.svg Civil Ensign of Croatia.svg
El Salvador civil File:Civil Flag of El Salvador.png Civil Flag of El Salvador.png
Falkland Islands civil File:Civil Ensign of the Falkland Islands (1948-1999).svg Civil Ensign of the Falkland Islands (1948-1999).svg
Fiji civil File:Civil Ensign of Fiji.svg Civil Ensign of Fiji.svg
France civil File:Civil and Naval Ensign of France.svg Civil and Naval Ensign of France.svg
Ghana civil File:Civil Ensign of Ghana.svg Civil Ensign of Ghana.svg
Grenada civil File:Civil Ensign of Grenada.svg Civil Ensign of Grenada.svg
Guatemala civil File:Civil Ensign of Guatemala.svg Civil Ensign of Guatemala.svg
Guernsey civil File:Civil Ensign of Guernsey.svg Civil Ensign of Guernsey.svg
Guyana civil File:Naval Ensign of Guyana.svg (which is also the civil ensign) Naval Ensign of Guyana.svg
India civil File:Civil Ensign of India.svg Civil Ensign of India.svg
Isle of Man civil File:Civil Ensign of the Isle of Man.svg Civil Ensign of the Isle of Man.svg
Luxembourg civil File:Civil Ensign of Luxembourg.svg Civil Ensign of Luxembourg.svg
Malaysia civil File:Civil Ensign of Malaysia.svg Civil Ensign of Malaysia.svg
Morocco civil File:Civil Ensign of Morocco.svg Civil Ensign of Morocco.svg
Pakistan civil File:Civil Ensign of Pakistan.svg Civil Ensign of Pakistan.svg
Poland civil-1919 File:State Flag of IIRP v1.svg 30px
Poland civil-1945 File:State Flag of PRL v1.svg Flag of Poland (with coat of arms, 1980-1990).svg
Republic of China civil File:Civil Ensign of the Republic of China.svg Civil Ensign of the Republic of China.svg
Saudi Arabia civil File:Civil Ensign of Saudi Arabia.svg Civil Ensign of Saudi Arabia.svg
SFR Yugoslavia civil File:Civil Ensign of Yugoslavia (1950-1992).svg Civil Ensign of Yugoslavia (1950-1992).svg
Slovenia civil File:Civil Ensign of Slovenia.svg Civil Ensign of Slovenia.svg
Solomon Islands civil File:Civil Ensign of the Solomon Islands.svg Civil Ensign of the Solomon Islands.svg
Trinidad and Tobago civil File:Civil Ensign of Trinidad and Tobago.svg Civil Ensign of Trinidad and Tobago.svg
Turks and Caicos Islands civil File:Civil Ensign of the Turks and Caicos Islands.svg Civil Ensign of the Turks and Caicos Islands.svg

Government ensigns

entity variant flag
Belgium government File:Government Ensign of Belgium.svg Government Ensign of Belgium.svg
Bermuda government File:Government Ensign of Bermuda.svg Government Ensign of Bermuda.svg
Fiji government File:Government Ensign of Fiji.svg Government Ensign of Fiji.svg
Jersey government File:Government Ensign of Jersey.svg Government Ensign of Jersey.svg
Kazakhstan government File:Government Ensign of Kazakhstan.svg Government Ensign of Kazakhstan.svg
Mauritius government File:Government Ensign of Mauritius.svg Government Ensign of Mauritius.svg
Singapore government File:Government Ensign of Singapore.svg Government Ensign of Singapore.svg

Flags with non-rectilinear shapes

There are several naval flags that should have a blank "border-[variant]" appended to the "country data" templates to avoid a rectangular border around non-rectilinear flags. Some that I've found are:

  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Poland (in addition to three of the above listed variants)

Bellhalla (talk) 12:55, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

I've updated Denmark and Norway, but I think it is better to leave Estonia, Finland, and Poland as-is. The problem is that those flags have significant white sections at the edges, so removing the border altogether looks worse. (e.g. Naval Ensign of Poland.svg versus Naval Ensign of Poland.svg ) — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 19:10, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Military Flag of Finland.svgFinland
Notes: Some text to set typical proportions in the infobox
Military Flag of Finland.svgFinland
Used in the context of a ship infobox, however, it ends up looking like this: →
One might easily conclude that the flag has two shades of blue in it. Is there anyway to set up a parameter just for ship box borders? — Bellhalla (talk) 05:57, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, good point. I think if the only issue is with {{shipboxflag}} usage, then I can remove all borders altogether from that template. The blue background serves the same purpose as a border, so we don't need both. But {{navy}} would still use the border-naval etc. as it does now. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:29, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
That sounds like the easiest solution. Thanks. — Bellhalla (talk) 20:23, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Moving forward

What needs to happen to get these changes made? Do I have to put an {{editprotected}} on each "country data" template? — Bellhalla (talk) 17:24, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

In general, yes, but I took a look through many of these flags, and very few of them are used in icon form on Wikipedia. Most only appear as larger images on "Gallery of ... flags" or "List of ... flags" articles. Our consensus here is to only add flags to flag templates if they are actually needed. The project intent is not to create some "flags of the world database", but to provide efficient templates to render icon images where appropriate. I will go through the list and make the updates where they are actually necessary. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 19:31, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
I can appreciate the work involved in updating these templates; from my quick scan of this page, you seem to be one of the major contributors to this effort, and I appreciate the time you have taken to help me with several questions and requests I have had. Were I an admin, I would gladly help. With that said, I understand your concerns, but could it be that some of these flags are under-utilized because they are not in the county data templates? In any case, what real harm is there in adding these flags to these templates? I wouldn't think that they would slow template parsing down in any significant fashion. And it's not like anyone is being asked to create these flags: the flags I listed are all already uploaded to Wikipedia and/or Commons. — Bellhalla (talk) 04:40, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
I have seen pages (admittedly heavy on flag template usage) that ran into WP:template limits and could not render completely, so that is one reason why I try to keep the "bloat" on these templates to a minimum. For obscure historical flags, changes are not uncommon (e.g. gif/jpg/png to svg or filename changes) and updates to the corresponding flag template can make a big hit to the job queue. And lastly, you are correct, I do the majority of maintenance work on these templates, and I am trying to minimize my own workload. ;) But I'm more than happy to add variants if they are needed, and you can simply drop a note on my talk page if you want to avoid the burden of {{editprotected}} etc. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 18:15, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Other military branches

Apologies in advance if I'm just missing them... but given that templates exist for various Army, Navy and Air Force flags, are there or will there be equivalents for Marine, National Guard or other military branches? - Jonathon A H (talk) 21:41, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I wouldn't think that any templates are necessary. For most countries, marines are a branch of the navy, so there is no separate flag. I don't see very many flags of this type (browsing through commons:Category:Military flags and its subcategories), and for the ones I could find. there doesn't seem to be any need for a flag template. For example, File:Marine corps flag.svg seems to be rendered in icon form only in a single instance—on the title bar of Template:US Marine Corps navbox. Am I missing something? Where do you need a new template? — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 22:42, 11 September 2009 (UTC)