Why That Texas Flag Emoji Resolution May Be Completely Irrelevant by the Time It's Signed

Feb 17, 2017

Resolutions are the participation trophy of Texas legislation.

They’re a way for lawmakers to honor everything from a state championship high school football team, to the indiscriminate eradication of groundhogs, to the merits of the Boston Strangler killings. Pretty much everything under the sun has been recognized by a resolution, but the Texas flag is especially dependable resolution fodder for lawmakers.

This session, Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress, has drafted a flag-focused resolution, which seeks to shame those who use the Chilean flag emoji to refer to the Lone Star banner.

Oliverson’s unwaveringly worded House Concurrent Resolution 75 calls on Texans to

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.

Texas has arguably the most vexillologically sound flag of any state. Sure, it wasn't the first try, design-wise – not even the first Lone Star-centric design. But, since the state adopted the flag in 1839, it has become iconic, though, we still don't know who exactly designed it.

Unfortunately, the Chilean take on the Lone Star flag made it to emoji status before Texas’ did – Chile being a country and all. That and the fact that the Chilean flag predates Texas'. It's 22 years older than the Texas flag, a fact which folks were quick to point out when the Dallas Morning News posted its initial write-up on Oliverson’s bill. It is worth noting that David G. Burnet, the designer of the Republic of Texas’ first flag (the proto-Lone Star flag) did spend time in Chile: He left in 1812, before Bernardo O’Higgins ratified the Chilean flag in 1817.

Still, some have called for a resolution establishing an official emoji or asking programmers at the Unicode Consortium to create a Texas flag emoji.

Either of those alternatives may, in the long run, be completely unnecessary.

Turns out, the Texas flag is on the short list for an emoji, along with the flags of Wales, Scotland and England, as well as other U.S. states, including Maryland. That emoji update is expected to go live sometime within the first half of 2017, according to Emojipedia, which would make pretty much any emoji-related resolution irrelevant.