Oddly Enough

Texas lawmaker wants to end emoji mix-ups with Chilean flag

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A state lawmaker filed a resolution this week urging people to think before they text and stop using an emoji of the Chilean flag, which resembles the Lone Star State flag, as a symbol of Texas pride.

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State Representative Tom Oliverson described the resolution as a light-hearted but serious civics lesson for the social media age. More than a few people have garnished their tweets and text messages about Texas with a Chilean flag, he said.

“I designed it be educational, kind of like a public service announcement,” Oliverson, a Republican, told Reuters on Saturday.

His resolution does not carry the force of law.

It calls on lawmakers: “to 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 Chilean flag is available on the standard set of emojis while the Texas flag is not.

Both flags have a single white star on a blue field on the left with a horizontal white stripe on top of a red stripe. On the Texas flag, the blue goes from top to bottom while on the Chilean flag, the red horizontal stripe stretches across the bottom.

The resolution generated statewide news on Friday with many offering their views on Twitter.

“For Pete’s sake, let the #txlege freshman pass his adorable little flag emoji bill,” political analyst Harold Cook tweeted.

Oliverson said the message to prevent flag confusion had been received.

“Even if the legislature decides not to hear it, we have achieved our objective,” he said.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Tom Brown