When your country and culture has been invaded symbols take on a greater importance. Flags represent defiance and identity. A reminder of what is threatened, of the past, and future hopes. They serve as a center too, enabling also the expression of cultural and national unity.
For Tibetans all of the above and more apply to their national emblem, possession of, or displaying it in occupied Tibet gets you arrested, tortured and dispatched to a forced-labor camp.
This March 10 across many cities in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australasia Tibet’s flag will be raised at rallies and marches. It’s design is beautiful and contains a rich symbolism, which is explained in the image above.
February 13 is the day on which Tibet’s independence is commemorated, for Tibetans under the terrorism of Chinese occupation however they will not be displaying their national flag. To do so would mean certain arrest, torture and the chilling prospect of being dispatched to years of forced-labor.
Image: courtesy of @s_sferickson
China’s regime is deeply fearful of Tibetan national and cultural identity, the flag symbolizes a powerful challenge to China’s illegal and brutal rule. Its place within the heart of Tibet’s people also rejects the falsehood, peddled by the Chinese department of disinformation, that Tibet is an inalienable and historic part of China.
Image: courtesy of @HeyJude408
While the torturers and psycho-cops of the Chinese authorities can suppress the flying of Tibet’s flag beyond their totalitarian tyranny, Tibetans in exile and their global friends raise the Tibetan national emblem in solidarity with the just cause of independence for Tibet.
Image courtesy of: @hr4tvausnz
Last year @HeyJude408 (a longstanding supporter of our activism on Tibet) took the Tibetan flag along with her on a global trip and posted across social media photographs of it displayed at some of the world’s most beautiful locations. It was a wonderful action, simple, yet reaching many folks in a positive and thoughtful way.
Image: courtesy of @HeyJude408
More recently another of our friends @hr4tvausnz on Twitter posted a series of photographs from Australia in which he and friends raised Tibet’s flag.
Image: courtesy of @monfort_xavi
These are more than gesture, as they reach out and inform the many who’ve no knowledge of Tibet and its struggle, more still do not know of the Tibetan flag or it’s historic independence. Such images are also seen by China’s regime, which through an army of online trolls and observers is contantly monitoring social-media.
Image: courtesy of @HeyJude408
As such posting the symbol of Tibet’s national freedom is an expression of opposition to their tyranny, while displaying solidarity with the right of Tibetans to independence.
We hope you will join us and our many supporters online to share and display the flag of Tibet, especially on February 13.
Subscribers and visitors to our site may recall that recently we launched an online campaign to lobby the International Standards Organization, since it is the authorizing body that classifies and approves emoji country flags. Presently it doesn’t endorse Tibet as a distinct territory, but classifies it as part of China. This means there exists no emoji of the Tibetan flag that can be used within social media platforms. As there are for Palestine and Western Sahara.
Partner organizations within the Unicode Consortium (such as Facebook, Apple, et al) follow the lead of the ISO and have subsequently not requested or initiated a Tibetan flag emoji. We regarded this a grossly unfair and a form of censorship and have lobbied those corporations with voting rights and pressed the case for Tibet. In addition on September 17, 2018 we sent an appeal to Mr Sergio Mujica ISO Secretary-General highlighting the inconsistencies of his organization with regard to classifying emoji country flags and requesting that a review be made with respect to Tibet and its flag.
No response has been received, and despite further communications to the ISO requesting the courtesy of a response to our appeal, Mr Mujica has chosen to ignore the concerns presented to him. Given the weeks which have passed since contacting his office and the lack of response from the ISO Twitter account we have decided to make public our appeal.
We do so to better inform our many supporters and friends worldwide and to highlight what is clearly double-standards operated by the ISO and Unicocde Consortium which happily approved emoji flags for Palestine and Western Sahara yet is appeasing the Chinese regime by effectively censoring an Tibetan flag emoji.
We shall continue to press the ISO for a response and meanwhile report upon and expose those within the Unicode Consortium who are blocking users of social media the freedom to post an emoji of the Tinetan national flag.
As we’ve reported. people using cell-phones, tablets and laptops are being denied the choice to include in their tweets, facbook posts, instagram comments, and elsewhere across the digi-verse, an emoji of the Tibetan flag. The reason is due to a decision reached by the Unicode Consortium (UC), an umbrella organization comprised of major vendors such as Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Mozilla and others, who vote an approval for the emojis we use. No endorsement, no emoji. Now it’s probably no accident that many of the organizations who get to authorize on these have commercial relations with China, and we all know what the regime of that country thinks of the Tibetan flag. Right?
We are curently sending a direct appeal to all the major voters within the UC detailing why they should approve an emoji of Tibet’s flag. Not least of all because to deny Tibetans around the world, and those who support the Tibetan cause for freedom, the option to display that emblem in their communincations on social media is a flagrant denial of freedom-of-expression. Of course such lobbying may or may not realize a change of position from such organizations, and for sure it will prove a long haul. With that in mind until such time as Tibet’s national emblem is accorded an emoji we are hereby issuing notice that we’ve hijacked the Sunrise Over Mountains emoji 🌄 which we shall be using as substitute symbol for the Tibetan flag. Sharing as it does with the Tibetan emblem the central feature of the sun rising above the mountain we think it’s an apposite symbol.
In keeping with principles of compassion and non-violence we shall make every effort to ensure that the kidnapped emoji is comfortable and in good health. However it’s release is entirely contigent upon the Unicode Consortium and its multi-national corporations meeting in full our demand that they approve an emoji for the flag of Tibet.
Meanwhile we shall be inviting our friends across social-media and those supporting human-rights, Tibet and free-speech to join us in using this emoji to represent the Tibetan flag.
If you would like to see the Tibetan flag as an emoji which can then be easily included on posts acoss social media then contact Unicode Consortium via Twitter @unicode or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org