(For more about the “Falsehoods” meme – read the big list of falsehoods programmers believe.)
Do You Want To Phone A Friend?
A popular website asked me to confirm my phone number. It “helpfully” pre-filled the country-code with
+1. And proudly displayed the Stars and Stripes.
Except, of course, the USA isn’t the only country to use
+1 – our friends in the Great White North also use
Thanks to the North American Numbering Plan, a full 25 countries or territories use
+1. From Anguilla 🇦🇮 to Turks and Caicos Islands 🇹🇨. OK… their flags look pretty similar! But they’re obviously different from 🇺🇸!
Canada 🇨🇦 and Jamaica 🇯🇲 have very different flags – and climates – but they both use
I suspect that the website designers were expecting people to look at the flag and realise that it didn’t represent their home country, and then change it. However, for the majority of
+1 countries which aren’t part of the United States, it looks a little crass.
My home country, the United Kingdom 🇬🇧, uses the
+44 code. As do Guernsey 🇬🇬, Jersey 🇯🇪, and the Isle of Man 🇮🇲.
The UK is comprised of Scotland 🏴, England 🏴, Wales 🏴, and N.I. (with a more complicated flag status!)
People can have a complicated relationship with flags. Your glorious banner of home might be my symbol of a conquering despot.
Flags change. Afghanistan’s flag has changed 4 times since the year 2000.
Some flags are not recognised by other countries.
Flags represent countries, states, territories, and pirate ships 🏴☠️ – but they do not represent international dialling codes!
Lots of countries speak English. But the majority of them don’t have 🇬🇧 as their flag.
Indeed, lots of people in the UK don’t speak English. So using a 🇬🇧 to indicate language choice may be confusing.
If you are in South Africa, there are 11 official languages. Does 🇿🇦 represent Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans, English…?
Flags are for golf courses ⛳, motor-sports 🏁, and for Pride 🏳️🌈 – not for representing languages.
Do You Have A Flag
I’m pretty sure the law requires me to share this video…