Australian South Sea Islander Flag Emoji Campaign

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The Australian South Sea Islander (ASSI) community is a historically, culturally, socially, economically significant Nationally recognised distinct cultural group in Australia and we would like our community to be able to show that we identify as ASSI and are recognised and represented on Social Media with the use of an Australian South Sea Islander flag designed in 1994 by Tony Burton of Flags Australia, in consultation with the executive of Australian South Sea Islanders United Council (ASSIUC).

In this contemporary technological age we live in and with the rise of social media with its focus on personal profiles and identity, it has created a space for cultural expression. Digital culture intertwines words and symbols thus making emojis a mainstream form of communication. While we may associate these with youth and a trend in pop culture the use of emojis symbolises can mean more than superficial images. The suite of animated icons represents an individual’s feelings, location or a sense of pride in their ethnicity, nationality or community.

In the grand scheme of things the emoji amounts to a small action but for the cultural community that it stands for with a long history of being treated as invisible, referred to as ‘The Forgotten People’ and ‘Hidden in plain sight’ - the digital recognition carries deep meaning and significance.

Hence to date the gap in emojis representing the Australian South Sea Islander community is perceived as a barrier in preventing us from demonstrating our heritage on social media and bringing recognition and creating awareness both locally, nationally and to a world stage. Therefore Unicode Consortium please create an Australian South Sea Islander Flag Emoji symbol to be included in your next update. Thank you.


Louise Pfeffer

On behalf of the Australian South Sea Islander Community