Abbie Bolitho is a young journalist from Merthyr who has recently graduated from Cardiff University. She has an interest in a wide range of subjects, including the use of Welsh on the internet.
The Welsh flag "emoji" is finally being considered following a report calling for Unicode to include the flags of Wales, England and Scotland in their official emoji collection.
The American company is responsible for regulating the characters of the mobile keyboard including "emojis" which are small symbols such as smiley faces and flags that can be added to text.
There have previously been a number of complains about the flag collection as only the British flag has been included. Although the company Fanmoji launched an app for Welsh themed emojis (Welshmoji) back in March, there are still calls for an official Welsh flag emoji to be available without having to buy the app.
In the report to Unicode, Jeremy Burge from Emojipedia.org and Owen Williams Head of Social Media at BBC Wales explain the importance of representing each nation individually in the form of an emoji: "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is comprised of four nations, which each have their own distinct and internationally recognised flags which are not currently available as emoji."
"The flags of England, Scotland and Wales are in widespread use in many international contexts…Nations of the United Kingdom are frequently represented at international events with individual flags, rather than under the flag of the United Kingdom."
The report's authors expect there to be a high usage of the new flag emojis due to there being so much demand for them.
According to the report, there has been 715 searches for "Welsh emoji" on emojipedia.org up until June 2016 which supports the demand. As there is currently no flag available, people have had to turn to new ways of representing their nation as seen with Gareth Bale during the Euros: "Use of country flags is common in many forms of communication, and the flags of England, Scotland and Wales often require workarounds due to the lack of appropriate flag emoji. Individual flags…would resolve this issue"
If the Unicode committee approve the new flags, we can expect to see them on our devices by Summer 2017.