Last night, an attempt to post a quick patriotic message has launched a new campaign to raise our American flag online.
Let me explain. I was drafting a message to publish on my Twitter and Facebook accounts, in recognition of Patriot Day and the 10th anniversary of September 11th, 2001, when I found I was missing what I wanted to share most with my family and friends: an image of the American flag.
You see, special text characters and symbols can be inserted into the text fields of popular social media sites. They’re often used to recognize holidays and events. You can find most of them here http://thenextweb.com/TwitterKeys/keys.php and here http://facebook-symbols.com/all/.
I’ve used both Facebook and Twitter for years, and I have never seen a simple American flag symbol that can proudly be inserted into text. I’ve done my research and searched hours online for one, but it simply doesn’t exist.
It’s mind-baffling. We can use special text characters on Facebook and Twitter to express our political beliefs, religion and even the weather, but not our patriotism. That’s wrong, and it has to change.
It’s time that our 21st century style of communication incorporate our oldest symbol of national identity and pride.
I’m taking a stand today, on the 10th anniversary of 9-11, and demanding that Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites include the American flag as a new special text character that everyone can proudly wave from around the world, 365 days a year.
Making this change in user policy would be a small but significant gesture in support of free speech and the democratic ideals that our nation was founded upon. As American companies, Facebook and Twitter would also be sharing a unique part of their own heritage with their customers.
As we know, nothing moves in the political or corporate world unless it is pushed. To be successful, we will need to build greater public support, capture the attention of decision-makers and make this dream a reality.
I welcome all readers to join me in this effort, and share in waiving a glorious 8-bit black and white flag on their Twitter and Facebook profile images. We will proudly use this flag until everyone has the freedom to wave an American flag in their posts.
You can help by “Liking” the new website I created on Facebook, found here http://www.facebook.com/posttheamericanflag.
All future updates and public statements about the Post the American Flag! Campaign will be posted on this website.
Making a character special to Twitter or Facebook will be poorly supported across different platforms with different fonts and in different locales. That is why Twitter and Facebook simply support Unicode and have resisted efforts to add anything else. If you want the US flag character in Twitter and Facebook, you should ask the Unicode Consortium. Getting the character into the Unicode set may not be that difficult and will ensure better international support, methods of input and standardization as well as automatically making it a valid character for Facebook and Twitter (and whatever comes after them).
Thank you David for the suggestion! I will follow up with the Unicode Consortium.
Hey, what happened to your last proposal?