Where does come from?
The flag for Spain emoji shows the traditional Spanish flag—two red horizontal bands on the top and bottom with a yellow band in the middle. On the yellow band and hugging the left is the Spanish coat of arms, featuring two crowned pillars on either side representing the Pillars of Hercules, a name for the Strait of Gibraltar. The coat of arms bears the insignia Plus Ultra, or “further beyond” in Latin, the personal motto of King Charles V adopted as the national motto of Spain.
The red and yellow flag, without a coat of arms, dates back to the 1785 naval ensign chosen by King Charles III of Spain. It was used mostly by the Spanish navy until Queen Isabella II made it the official Spanish flag in 1843. The coat of arms shown on the flag today was designed and added later—1981 to be exact, although it uses medieval symbols like the castle symbolizing the historic Kingdom of Castille and a purple lion representing the Kingdom of Léon.
The flag for Spain was added to Unicode’s Emoji 1.0 set in 2015. On most platforms, the flag appears to be slightly waving. Many platforms, such as Twitter, simplify the very ornate coat of arms because emoji are so small and don’t support a lot of detail. Older operating systems may not support the flag for Spain emoji, so it will appear as its country code ES, for España, the native name for the country.
Who uses ?
Spanish people or their decedents are very proud, rightfully, of being Spanish, and they like to demonstrate it using the flag for Spain emoji in their Twitter and Instagram handles.
Given how popular soccer (or fútbol) is in Spain, it’s no surprise that the flag for Spain emoji comes up regularly in discussions of the Spanish team, especially around the World Cup and La Liga.
Most Players in #WorldCup Semi Finals By League:
🏴 Premier League – 40
🇪🇸 La Liga – 12
🇫🇷 Ligue 1- 11
🇩🇪 Bundesliga – 9
🇮🇹 Serie A – 8 pic.twitter.com/A6vlxfEAgP
— Transfer News (@TrustyTransfers) July 9, 2018
The flag for Spain emoji is also widely used as shorthand for the Spanish language, although it’s far from the only country that speaks Spanish.
“In #Rome (…) soldier’s pay was originally #salt, so word salary derives from it,” said Pliny the Elder, a famous Roman historian, in his book.
Today we use salario🇮🇹, salaire 🇫🇷, salario🇪🇸 salário🇵🇹, salariu 🇷🇴,
salari – catalan, soldata- basque, salè-Haitien creole https://t.co/kHEEECBVau
— Daria Pirvu (@daria_pirvu) July 6, 2018
Contemporary goings-on in Spain, like its politics and arts and culture, are often punctuated with the flag for Spain emoji.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 1, 2018
Spain is also an extremely popular tourist destination, welcoming 82 million tourists annually to its beautiful cities and siesta‘d countrysides known for its delicious food (paella, anyone?) and red wine (Tempranillo for us, please). No small number of these tourists use the flag for Spain emoji in their pictures and posts about their trips to Spain.
Montserrat, Spain. What a beautiful trip. 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/IZMXdwZOAF
— Elise Bauman (@baumanelise) June 30, 2018
You know you’re in Spain when you go to a fast food restaurant and have a 10 minute wait for just a Pepsi 😴🇪🇸
— Nathan Paul Viney (@npviney) July 6, 2018