It might seem odd that the Chilean flag emoji (??) would find itself the target of a political debate in Texas, of all places, but that’s exactly what happened. Texas doesn’t have an emoji for its own state flag, leading many people to use the visibly similar Chilean flag when sending messages about Texas. For Texans, this improper use of the emoji (??) has been a source of irritation for quite a while. Now, a Texas lawmaker has filed a resolution asking fellow Texans to stop using the Chilean flag emoji as a Texas flag.
Texans aren’t afraid to voice their anger over the Chilean flag ?? emoji usage.
Biggest Emoji pet peeve – CHILE flag is not the Texas flag. It's not "close enough"
— DM (@dheenamae) September 3, 2016
The flags are very similar, but that hasn’t stopped people from using the emoji incorrectly.
I don't understand why all these #TXHSFB players are leaving the state of Texas. ?
Which state raised you? ??
Where's your pride?#Bye
— Evan West (@TV_Evan) February 2, 2017
So here’s what the ?? Chilean flag looks like.
For Chile, the white represents the snow on the Andes mountains, and the red represents the blood spilled fighting for freedom. The blue represents the sky and the star is a “guide to progress and honor.”
And here’s a Texas flag in the wild.
For the Texas flag, red represents bravery, white represents purity, and blue represents loyalty. The star represents unity.
The two flags share a very similar design, leading to confusion among emoji users.
Kimberly Vardeman / Oscar Maltez / FLICKR
????? vs. ?????
To combat this problem, Texas State Representative Tom Oliverson recently introduced his resolution asking Texans to stop using Chile’s flag emoji.
This state pic.twitter.com/qCVjSfCgG9
— Elizabeth Findell (@efindell) February 16, 2017
In the resolution, Oliverson urges “Texans not to use the flag emoji of the Republic of Chile when referring to the Texas flag.” Oliverson told Reuters, “I designed [the resolution] to be educational, kind of like a public service announcement.”
The resolution, which is not a law, makes several distinctions between the flags of Texas and Chile.
— Tom Oliverson (@TomOliverson) February 16, 2017
Rep. Oliverson’s resolution states that while both flags represent proud cultures with rich heritages, one major distinction remains.
Though they are similar, the resolution states that Chile’s flag does not “compare” to the flag of Texas.
— Justice Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) February 17, 2017
The language in the resolution states:
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.
Of course some people clapped back, saying the real problem is poor education.
There is a need for a better education in the US if there are people who believe that the emoji from Chile's flag is actually the Texas flag
— Pablo Listingart (@plistingart) February 19, 2017
So after reading all this, one question remains: whose flag is this?