Small thing but

Too much time on my hands during lockdown, but… I just noticed the that breweries, beers, places and users from the UK have the Union Jack next to their name as opposed to the individual home nation. Is this a recent change, or has this been a while (or forever) and I haven’t noticed? Searching places/breweries by country, the country has the correct flag.

Personally I prefer breweries and beers to have the English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish flag as opposed to the Union Jack, seeing as we (quite rightly) separate them. Users, well, I’m not fussed. Is this something we can direct to Admins? What does everyone else think?

Am I paranoid that this may be a small part of a nefarious plan to integrate us all into one country, in which case I’d lose three countries and well as two for places visited?


I asked about this back in October 2019. There was no reply whatsoever from the powers that be. So I assume they don’t give a toss about it.

Also I raised a similar issue in summer 2019 (specifically with regard to unrecognised states). Also no reply.

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I can’t explain it myself. Usually all changes made by the ratebeer team are entirely intuitive and helpful. I assume they had an off day?


Wow. Did not realise that Tibet had the Chinese flag, Abkhazia had Georgia and so forth. That’s just not on.

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I’m not a RB admin or developer but I can answer from a developer standpoint as to why, technically, this is happening.

Basically RB used to display a little image file of the country flag for breweries, places and users. At some point last year they removed the images and started using Emoji flags instead. This is probably mildly beneficial in terms of performance (page loading speed, and less requests for files to RB servers), but there are too many drawbacks for this to be a good idea at the current time.

  • As @YantarCoast points out, a lot of these smaller disputed countries, regions, territories etc. don’t have their own emoji yet, and possibly never will. This means that RB has resorted to using the flags of the country they are/were considered to be part of. This is, in probably all cases, both wrong AND politically insensitive.
  • Emoji flags have widespread but not total support. The biggest downside here is Windows. Even the very latest version of Windows 10 still to this day does not have ANY of the flag emojis built in. Meaning the two letter country code is displayed instead. I’d imagine a substantial portion of raters are still frequently using their Windows desktops to use the website.
  • England, Scotland and Wales are a rare case of constituent territories actually having their own emoji flag, I have no idea why RB isn’t using them.
    • Northern Ireland does have an emoji code for it’s flag, but no major vendors have implemented it yet, possibly as they don’t have an “official” flag and the Ulster one is possibly contentious. So the Union Jack is technically the only option for this at the current time.

So to answer your final concern, no I don’t think there’s any danger of RB merging ENG/SCT/WAL/NIR into one big UK country. I think this is simply a misguided attempt to optimise the website that, like many other “improvements”, had consequences that weren’t thought through.

Until we see full support for flag emojis across all systems, and flags for partially recognised states, I’d like to see RB revert back to using images. That way they have complete control over any potential issues.


They’re technically the correct flags as none of them are seperate countries.

That really depends on who you are asking. You wouldn’t get very far trying to put up a Georgian flag in Abkhazia. In fact you’d need to have balls of steel to try something like that.

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I was going to add that only Ratebeer, Russia and North Korea recognise those puppet states. If the CIA find out about Ratebeer can we all expect sanctions?

(Excluding Tibet - that one means we piss of the Beastie Boys and get reincarnated as cockroaches).

I wonder if Tibet is only to keep AB InBev’ s interests in China sweet, and the rest is subterfuge to make it look like ‘policy’

5 years ago in a bunker outside Moscow:

“We will bring down the Yankees via Operation Trident: manipulation of their elections, media and Ratebeer.”

Today anyone who mentions Untappd in Putin’s earshot wakes up in a gulag


Actually North Korea doesn’t recognise Abkhazia. But Syria, Nauru, Nicaragua and Venezuela do. Lol.

But you do realise that the people there don’t actually consider themselves to be Georgian? It’s a different people. To give a crude comparison, it would be like calling a Scottish person English.

Anyway, we can expect sanctions from Russia too, given that RateBeer refuses to recognise Crimea as part of Russia. :joy:

Interestingly, Untappd calls Crimea Russian yet refuses to “recognise” Abkhazia, North Cyprus, etc. The cheeky bastards!

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When we implemented the feature, we realized that it was imperfect but fun. Because applying a flag in every case, and for it to accurately reflect the territory, might not be possible because of our country-handling methods, available flag assets, and occasionally because of the political perspective of the viewer, we ask your forgiveness if what we present isn’t to your liking. If we are actually offending people, it’s not our intention, and we are truly sorry. In this case, please let us know. In that case, we regretfully would rather remove them.


Those flags sure are fun on mobile but they have many political problems in them. Anyway, they should be removed those nonetheless as they appear as two stupid letters in windows 10 instead of flags, making the following word (user, city) look like shit and the website broken.
@joet @services

Microsofts emoji font Segoe UI Emoji doesn’t support any flags which is why it’s broken on Windows 10.

Yes I’m totally aware of it. But almost all users on Desktop are on Windows 10 by now so I would suggest to remove them on desktop (keep them if you want on the App) instead of having most people unable to see them on Desktop and seeing instead things like CAMontreal, CAViper666.Qc

Thanks for the information Joe. I’d much prefer individual nations, yes, but if it’s a choice between keeping as is or removing them, then I’d rather the former. My two cents.

Keep that Scotland flag emoji handy though. You’ll likely be needing it before long :slight_smile:

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On any system, there must be flags to depict Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. These are not exactly recently disputed territories.

Political issues in northern Ireland excepted

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Scottish referendum and nationalist agenda excepted :stuck_out_tongue:

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