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Among the many colorful and increasingly diverse emoji on our phones are a wide assortment of national flags from countries across the globe. The Unicode Consortium, the organization that officially approves and standardizes our emoji libraries, is an international group though, so as of yet, there are no individual U.S. state emoji.
For Texans looking to share their Lone Star pride, however, that’s simply unacceptable.
Many have taken to using the similar-looking Chilean flag on social media and in messages. But regardless of its similarities to the Texas red, white, and blue, the Texas legislature officially wants to put an end to that practice.
In resolution HCR75, Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Houston) proposes that “the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby reject the notion that the Chilean flag, although it is a nice flag, can in any way compare to or be substituted for the official state flag of Texas.”
The full text of the proposal is below.
WHEREAS, Most major electronic messaging applications provide a number of flag emojis, including that of the Republic of Chile, but the official flag of Texas, also known as the Lone Star Flag, is not included in the selection; and
WHEREAS, All too often, the Chilean flag emoji is used as a substitute for the Lone Star Flag in text messaging and on social media platforms; the Chilean flag proudly represents its country but, despite its similarity to the Texas flag, it does not represent the State of Texas; and
WHEREAS, The colors of the Chilean flag depict sky, snow, and blood spilled while fighting for freedom, but the blue, white, and red of the Lone Star Flag stand for the Texan values of loyalty, purity, and bravery; and
WHEREAS, The single star of the Chilean flag, positioned in a blue canton, has been seen by some as a guide to progress and honor, while others have interpreted it to symbolize the powers of Chile’s government; and
WHEREAS, The independent Lone Star of Texas, situated in a blue left panel, represents all of Texas and stands for our unity as one for God, State, and Country, according to Section 3100.152(d), Government Code; additionally, the five points of the Lone Star have been said to represent the characteristics of a good Texas citizen: fortitude, loyalty, righteousness, prudence, and broadmindedness; and
WHEREAS, The Lone Star Flag has a grand history, starting with its adoption as the third flag of the Republic of Texas by President Mirabeau B. Lamar and the Texas Congress in 1839, and just as our flag could never fully embody the country of Chile, neither can the Chilean flag inspire feelings of pride and passion in the heart of a true Texan; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby reject the notion that the Chilean flag, although it is a nice flag, can in any way compare to or be substituted for the official state flag of Texas and urge all Texans not to use the Republic of Chile flag emoji in digital forums when referring to the Lone Star Flag of the great State of Texas.
The flags do look similar. However, Chile’s flag features a more royal blue compared to Texas’ deeper navy hue, and most importantly, Texas’ blue star-emblazoned panel takes up the entire height of the flag, not just the top half.
As Texas Monthly points out, these sorts of resolutions aren’t binding in any way, so you’re not going to find yourself fined, ticketed, or jailed for using the wrong flag on Snapchat or something. It’s more of a reminder not to mess with Texas—and not to muddle its proud heritage and legacy.
Perhaps as an addendum to this resolution, the Texas legislature should also write out a proposal to the Unicode Consortium to get a Texas flag emoji added to the mix. Then this flag-confusion issue would be settled once and for all.
H/T Texas Monthly
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.