You may have seen our new Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, tweeting her
congratulations to the next President of the USA, including a couple of
country flag emojis.
I was looking through the Unicode character list for the codes for
country flags, and discovered that there aren’t any, as such. Instead,
there is this range of special character codes (“Regional indicator
1F1E6 REGIONAL INDICATOR SYMBOL LETTER A
1F1FF REGIONAL INDICATOR SYMBOL LETTER Z
with a note saying
These characters can be used in pairs to represent regional codes.
In some emoji implementations, certain pairs may be recognized and
displayed by alternate means; for instance, an implementation might
recognize F + R and display this combination with a symbol
representing the flag of France.
So for example if I enter U+1F1F3 (the code for N in the above block)
followed by U+1F1FF (the code for Z), being the ISO-3166 regional code
for NZ, the text-rendering system could replace them with the NZ flag:
Anyway, I found out this works in YouTube comments as well. (Not that
I’m saying the YouTube commenting system is particularly fine -- but
that’s another story...)