Where does come from?
Austria’s flag has two red bands with a white stripe in the middle. It’s a really old flag—it traces back to the coat of arms of a medieval Austrian royal family, the Babenbergs, who ruled part of Austria in the 900s.
A popular legend, though, claims the flag was inspired by Duke Leopold V during the Crusades in the 12th century. During the Siege of Acre, his white surcoat became so drenched in blood that the only white part remaining appeared when he removed his belt. And so, the Austrian flag was born, or so some Austrians have been saying since the 1200s. Austria officially adopted the flag in 1918.
As old as the flag may be, the flag for Austria emoji is relatively new—it was added to Unicode’s Emoji 1.0 set in 2015. It may appear as the letters AT, Austria’s country code, on some older platforms that don’t support the flag image.
Who uses ?
Like most flag emoji, the flag for Austria emoji is used to illustrate any and all things Austrian, like Austrian politics, culture, and current events.
The emoji marks content dealing with famous Austrian people, vacation destinations, sports teams, and food, like Vienna’s famous pastries. In 2018, the Austrian flag popped up a lot after Austrian artist Cesár Sampson came in third in the Eurovision Song Contest with his song “Nobody But You.”
Go Austria! Loving a bit of César screen time! 😍🇦🇹 pic.twitter.com/b3LvVDJ9cQ
— Tommy Grimshaw (@tommygrimshaw) May 12, 2018
Travelers to Austria, from ski bums in the Austrian Alps to Mozart groupies in Vienna, use the flag to make sure everyone back home knows where they are.
Mozart 🎹 was born in #Salzburg #Austria 🇦🇹! Visit his #birthplace and house he grew up in 🏚. I preferred eating his chocolate #Mozartkugel 🍫#Yummy!! 😋✌🏼#howtravel #mozart #mozartplatz #travelblog #foodie #travellife #traveladdicts pic.twitter.com/lFn57xh6AI
— How Travel (@how_travel_) December 19, 2017
Speaking of skiing, it’s a pretty big deal in Austria (small wonder with all those mountains). In fact, Austrians love winter sports in general, and their champs drape themselves in plenty of flag for Austria emoji.
Total dominance of two-time #PyeongChang2018 Olympic gold medallist @MarcelHirscher 🇦🇹 in this year’s alpine ski world cup, winning the crystal globe in the overall, giant-slalom and slalom events. 🔮🔮🔮⛷ pic.twitter.com/aV1qigLrbf
— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) March 20, 2018
Besides delicious Viennese pastries and incredible Gothic cathedrals, Austria was also the home to two important figures in WWI and WWII: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination in 1914 is said to have sparked WWI, and Adolf Hitler, who started WWII by invading Poland, among, you know, other things. Haters like to bring up the Hitler connection when talking smack about Austria:
Austria playing some superb football. Not enough for me to forget Rapid or Hitler- but still superb. ⚽🇦🇹
— Jack Maguire (@JackDMagi) September 8, 2015
Even its defenders admit the Hitler connection is not a great look:
Stranger: Where are you from?
Stranger: You’ve got kangaroos right?
BITCH NO! WE’VE GOT MOZART AND SADLY HITLER… 🇦🇹
— C (@thepurposeflow) November 22, 2016