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In certain circumstances, it seems that you can add your country’s flag to your public STRAVA name by using emojis. Of course, you can add the flag of your favourite supra-national organisation too if you like (Eu), the flag of your favourite cause or even an emoji of a snail or racing car for those of you with a sense of humour. Brrrm Brrrm.
You’ve probably seen a few of your followers use the emojis like the snail but the flag emojis are a little more temperamental and that’s why people either haven’t figured out how to use them or thought they weren’t working.
Let’s start with a search for me on STRAVA.
On the Android mobile app (Android 8.X) you can come up looking something like how I’ve shown ‘the5krunner’ in the following image. STRAVA requires a first and a last name and what I have done here is to add the flag as my last name and that seems to work fine.
The flag seems to also follow through to various other places including in the feeds of other people. Like this showing me over the current ‘C’ route at Bushy parkrun…
I can sense that you are one step ahead of me for now.
You just change the name on your STRAVA profile using your smartphone’s keyboard which should let you insert emojis. Yep. That should work and you would search for ‘GB FLAG’ or ‘USA FLAG’ or similar when using the smartphone’s keyboard.
After you have made the changes and just to make sure things are working, you will then go and check things on your PC. Like this….wait a minute. Grrrr. No flag.
So. The addition of the flag doesn’t always work for me and, as far as I know, you can’t make it work universally. Indeed some flags, like Northern Ireland, are supported in even more restricted ways. Hey, don’t blame me, blame the Unicode Consortium.
It gets more complicated here as I try to give examples to illustrate what happens. This blog runs on WordPress and it looks like I CAN display emojis properly, so the following paragraph is meant to indicate how the emoji doesn’t work on STRAVA but is complicated as the emoji display is further affected by WordPress. #Sigh.
If you mainly use a desktop computer to make changes then you just have to plough ahead and hope what you are doing will be correctly visible by other people because you may well see some weird things when you are editing on a PC. At least on Windows 10, you might.
Here is an example of what I write and then what I see and, further below, it is whatever you see.
You write “STRAVANAME 🇬🇧” but the “GB” is a special character sometimes showing as “: GB :” and sometimes showing as the correct flag or letters in italics “🇬🇧”. You may also see something like this “STRAVANAME 🏴” where the black flag represents a series of characters but which should correctly appear as the ENGLISH flag.
You could probably cheat with the Saltire by using this symbol 🔀which always works and hope that no-one looks too closely;-). Otherwise, you might cut and paste the following images if they show correctly to you now
🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🏴🇦🇺 🏴🇪🇺 🏴
But they might not work either as WordPress displays them from a different repository in SVG format for displaying on WordPress. #Sigh. You might even find that there are 4 or 5 subtly different versions of the flags. For example the images I show in STRAVA of the GB flag are where it appears to be waving in the wind yet I used one that was a straight rectangle.
Full emoji source: https://emojipedia.org/.
I made a few attempts at adding emojis to my address in STRAVA but it didn’t seem to like that after initially accepting the flag.
As you probably already know most of the rest of STRAVA does better support emojis and, for example, you can use a THUMBSUP emoji for a comment against the weather or a COFFEECUP emoji to indicate a good cake+coffee stop.
You’ll probably also find a degree of sexism in the emojis with more male-related ones than female-related but, again, blame the Unicode Consortium. Apparently, Apple was the first to introduce an emoji of a female cyclist in iOS10…now you know.
STRAVA Emoji Etiquette
For those of you who are contemplating putting a medal after your name then I think that you should have at least a) actually got a medal and b) got it in something a bit more recognised than your kids’ parents’ day race. Just my 2c.
- Gold Medal – 🥇(aka first place)
- Silver Medal – 🥈(aka second place)
- Bronze Medal – 🥉(aka third place)
I shall follow that etiquette if I actually get a proper medal this year. #Trying
Now is where you tell me there is an even easier way of doing adding Emojis with a STRAVA add-on.
I might experiment with creating new segments with descriptions containing flags and then seeing if the flag transfers to other devices eg Garmin Edge…I doubt it. Though having said that, Polar did recently introduce Emoji support for the Vantage’s notifications…so, you never know.
Let me know below if you have any better emoji tips below
Taking it one step too far
Many of you will now have seen the named bike stickers with national flags. I bought some from Pegatin a couple of years ago for me. One lasted about a year or so and the other is still sticking strong. It doesn’t help protect your bike against theft but does suggest to other people who you may have at least thought about entering an age group triathlon qualifier in an attempt to represent your country.
You can even invent your own preferred alternative to Brexit with a joint GB-USA flag. At least I think that’s what it’s for.
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