Scots denied Saltire emoji

Unicode Consortium ignores cries for flag emancipation

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 7th June 2016 15:02 GMT

The Scottish former First Minister Alex Salmond has bemoaned the absence of a Saltire emoji from the forthcoming Unicode 9.0 release.

Salmond told north of the border publication The Courier: "Last year, I wrote to both Apple and the Unicode Consortium, asking them to consider including the Saltire in their next update. However, I am disappointed that that once again Scotland has been left out, along with our neighbours in England and in also in Wales."

He added: "Admittedly, they have half completed the job with the inclusion of our national animal, the unicorn, on the emoji list, but I am sure I speak for all Scottish users when I say that we would appreciate the ability to add St Andrew's Cross to our correspondence."

Indeed, The Courier notes that "Scots are expected to use the Union flag instead when texting – a proposition that does not sit well with nationalists".

To address this outrage, Salmond will again write to the Unicode Consortium making the case for the Saltire. Whether or not he'll be calling on Mel Gibson for heavyweight support remains to be seen.

Scotland does in fact have a legitimate case, as do England and Wales, if they can be arsed to make a fuss about it. Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge explained: "Every internationally recognised country in the world has an emoji flag in the current set.

"While Scotland is part of the UK, which has its own emoji flag, there are precedents where other countries have multiple flags available as emojis.

"For example Martinique is a region of France for which the official flag is the French flag, yet they also have a local emoji flag available."

While the Unicode 9.0 emoji roster is a bit light on flags, it does feature British dietary mainstays bacon and the doner kebab, but sadly no deep-fried Mars bar. ®

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