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Subject: New countries / flags ? rss

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Marc Figueras

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Hi!

Having followed the discussion on the new "linking flags" feature in this thread [http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/127924], I and two other Catalan friends were (gratefully) surprised to find that in the list of countries (and hence of flags) are some non-independent countries like Scotland, Wales or England , and in fact, in common usage, the word "country" is used casually in the sense if both nation (a cultural entity) and state (a political entity).

As catalans, we'd like to see our country, Catalonia, represented in the list, as well. After all, if Scotland is IN, why our country, which has a longer and stronger bias to independence, couldn't be IN as well? (and a study in The Times this year predicted an independent Catalonia some 20 years from now... let me doubt about that prediction, but that's another story).

Traditionally Catalonia has struggled to be represented on equal foot with other countries, and maybe the most striking success in this trend has been the recent approval by the ICANN of the top level domain .cat for webs in catalan language or related to catalan culture; it's the first time a top level domain has been awarded not to a political-defined area but to a language- and culture-defined area.

Obviosuly, our proposal does not mean that all BGG users from, say, Barcelona, have to show the catalan flag. Just like a BGG user from Edinburgh can choose the Scottish flag or the UK flag, a BGG user from Barcelona could choose the Catalan flag or the Spanish flag, or none, whatever he/she prefers. We don't want to impose anything at all, we just want to have the right to choose.

In summary, would it be possible to add our flag and country in the list of countries, just as Scotland or Wales are?

Just in case, here you have the flag, in the correct format:
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Marià Pitarque

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I strongly support the request of a Catalan flag at BGG.
I just claim the right to choose.

I'm Catalan. I feel Catalan.
So, Catalonia is my country!

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Vern Tallat

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I also support the request for a Catalan flag at BGG.
I'd like to show myself as a catalan, like scottish or welsh boardgamegeekers.

I'm Catalan.




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Geoff Bohrer
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Hmm..even notbeng Catalan, I gotta support this. Catalan national feeling has been an influence in any military campaign fought there in the last couple centuries, and certainly the degree to which the combatants have accomodated it has influenced history. SO I say:

Go Catalans!
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Vilma
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I'm not Catalan either, but I also support Catalonia!

Greetings from Lithuania to Catalonia!
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Jordi Cairol
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I'm Catalan and, of course, I do support the iniciative. Thanks Marc!
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It's much easier. Remove the Welsh/Scottish/English/NothernIreland flags.
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Theo Miltenburg
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I totally agree... be gone with any not real countries. Else we can add Vlaanderen, Friesland and a gazilion other countries.

Also has Catalonia been considered a real seperate union cause ireland england scotland are separate... sorta.
 
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Marià Pitarque

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I'm sorry I don't agree with you, Bas.
And I must say your point of view does not seem very fair to me.

It's not a matter of how difficult may be to solve and implement this banners' issue (why should we remove other flags? what about yours?), but the fact that we Catalans would like BGG to provide us with the opportunity to freely choose our flag and this way let every one know we deserve to be treated as the others are.

What defines a country are not the lines you currently see drawn on a map.
It's something more complex, like Scots, the Irish, the Welsh, Bretons, Corsicans, Basques, etc. know.

Catalonië is mijn land!
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Marià Pitarque

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Please Theo, would you be so kind to explain to me why The Netherlands have the label of "real" country and Catalonia does not?

BGG is not the UNO nor any other official, political body.
Why should the community ban any different point of view?
Why forbid? Why exclude?

Let's make this clear once more: this is NOT against any one!

I suggest we think about adding, enriching, instead...

Friesland, Zeeland, Drenthe, Gelderland and all others are welcome!

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What defines a country are the lines you currently see drawn on a map.
What defines a people is a different story.

Where to draw a line? Should we have a flag for all US states? And Canadian? German? And indeed: Basques, Corsicans, Kurdistan, etc. Or maybe Jewish, Muslim, Flemish, Wallonian, Parisian, Liberal, Communist, etc.

Point is: there is no way you can say: OK, these guys get a flag, these guys don't. That's why I said: remove the other flags, stick with countries.

All this has nothing to do with denying the Catalan people, just drawing a line.

Besides, most people don't know their topography as it is, do you think they can point out Catalonia / Wales / Corsica on a map?


*I know, there might be some spelling errors... sorry.
 
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Marià Pitarque

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BaSL wrote:
What defines a country are the lines you currently see drawn on a map.
What defines a people is a different story.


Hi again, Bas!

Please be aware that in common usage, the term "country" is used casually in the sense of both nation (a cultural entity) and state (a political entity).

Seeing Wales, Scotland and England with their own flags makes me think we are dealing with the more human, cultural and geographical definition of "country".

In this case drawn borders don't rule! A nation is a 'set of people with a common identity who have formed a nation-state or usually aspire to do so'. In this sense of country, the reference is more likely to be to a group that supposedly shares a common ethnic origin, language, religion, or history (real or imagined). The term has become synonymous with 'country' where nations without sovereignty (that is, nations that are not States) have aimed to identify themselves on the same terms as sovereign States.

BaSL wrote:
Where to draw a line? Should we have a flag for all US states? And Canadian? German? And indeed: Basques, Corsicans, Kurdistan, etc. Or maybe Jewish, Muslim, Flemish, Wallonian, Parisian, Liberal, Communist, etc.

Point is: there is no way you can say: OK, these guys get a flag, these guys don't. That's why I said: remove the other flags, stick with countries.


No need to draw any line... it's a matter o choosing! We just claim it's fair some people (which is previously in agreement and has requested it following the right procedures) are given the opportunity to freely choose nationality and flag. Just include all those requested names on the countries's menu and they are free to choose. What's wrong with that? Is that so difficult to do?

BaSL wrote:
All this has nothing to do with denying the Catalan people, just drawing a line.


I know, I know...

BaSL wrote:
Besides, most people don't know their topography as it is, do you think they can point out Catalonia / Wales / Corsica on a map?


I guess our point of view is the more we are, the funnier...
Let's share our diversity!
Moreover, heraldry and vexilogy are fun, aren't they?

And perhaps this way, by just clicking on a small image, many boardgamers from all over the world will know where some small countries are...
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Pitarque wrote:
I suggest we think about adding, enriching, instead...


OK, how about this:

- country will be UK / Spain / USA / ...
- state Wales / Catalonia / Texas / ...
- you can choose your own flag, but when hovering your mouse over it, it would show Spain - Catalonia - Barcelona. Most people know that Wales is part of the UK, but where's Overijssel? Or Henegouwen?

 
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Vern Tallat

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Bas, I don't understand where is the problem.

If anyone preferes not to show a flag, it is possible. If another one like you prefer to show the netherlands flag, is also possible.
Everybody would show itself as he feels and nobody must be angry for it or make it a problem because is so easy as to include the flags requested.
And I'm sure that the people is tolerant enough to respect the feelings of everyone.

We are here to enjoy ourselves with the games, so I' can't understand why are you angry with the people that only want to show their flag.
You also show a meeple or a ball and it doesn't annoy enyone.

Enjoy with games and leave everyone feel as he wants.
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...sure...
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I'm not angry. I just want to have a clear BGG.

- Give people all the flags they want OR
- Only give out nation flags.

More on this: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/78226
 
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Marià Pitarque

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BaSL wrote:


OK, how about this:

- country will be UK / Spain / USA / ...
- state Wales / Catalonia / Texas / ...
- you can choose your own flag, but when hovering your mouse over it, it would show Spain - Catalonia - Barcelona. Most people know that Wales is part of the UK, but where's Overijssel? Or Henegouwen?



Now you're talking... this might actually be the beginning of a deal!

I suppose for the rest of the globe may be a little confusing to accept that Catalonia, for a significant part of the Catalans, is not whithin nor belongs to Spain.

Thus, although I personally would not be 100% satisfied with this proposal, I also understand it would make things easier.

Finally, with the risk of looking a little pernickety, I would rather suggest this form:

- state will be UK / Spain / ...
- country Wales / Catalonia / ...
- you can choose your own flag, but when hovering your mouse over it, it would show Spain - Catalonia - Barcelona.

To me, the State is the set of political institutions that possess the authority to make the rules that govern the people in one or more societies, having internal and external sovereignty over a definite territory. In short, as Catalan I pay most of my taxes to the Spanish state and they take care of its management. That's all!

But I guess this is another story and, in addition, this will confuse things and may mislead, for instance, US people and Aussies...

By the way, will Aldie or any BGG responsible ever see this Forum thread?

Thanks all for sharing your different views and opinions!!

 
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Just bring this up once every 3 months; eventually it will be implemented.
 
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Rich P
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What is officially defined as a country can depend on which country you are in. The UK recognises different countries to the US, for example. What do we do for BGG users from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Kosovo, Taiwan, Tibet, Somaliland etc.?
 
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Marc Figueras

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BaSL wrote:
I'm not angry. I just want to have a clear BGG.

- Give people all the flags they want OR
- Only give out nation flags.

That's a good summary of the situation, Bas.

If the BGG policy would be to offer only sovereign countries' flags, then there is nothing more to say. Everybody could show his preferred flag and if none represents the user's feelings then he shows no flag at all and that's all.

But I started this thread because I initially thought the BGG policy was exactly that (only sovereign countries), but then I saw Scotland, Wales, etc. and I thought "well, it seems that in the BGG countries list there are no just sovereign countries, but also non-sovereign countries, so..." [see first post ;-)]. No more, no less (I hope this discussion will not turn itself into a political debate).

And on a sidenote, I remind you of the recent decision of the ICANN to approve the top level domain .cat for catalan language and culture (and a similar initiative is being promoted in Scotland to get the domain .sco approved). The ICANN is very unwilling to approve new domains (among other things for the same reason it would be difficult to implement here thousands and thousands of countries/flags) and nevertheless .cat was approved.
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Get up, get up, get up, get down, fall over.
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What a can of worms! I know we all like to set clear cut rules but there will be problems with whatever we do.

The definition of a country is fraught with confusion. Would you use recognition by the UN, or the US, or the EU? Would you use some definition about sovereignty and self-determination? Would you use the lines on a map? Whichever you choose you will come to a different set.

Personally I am all for making an allowance for Catalonia as an area with a distinct 'national identity' which seems to me to be the key. People in the UK often strongly associate themseles with a particular nation, either identifying themselves as British (as I do - perhaps because I come from the Borders) or as English, Welsh, Scots etc. I am not aware of a similar situation in Germany, Holland, the US or Canada.

Also, it would help that most Spanish people would probably not object to Catalonia appearing in the list, who could say the same for Indonesia and East Timor for example?

Having said that, I looked through the list for the territories of the UK and whilst I did not find Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, I did find Gibraltar. I bet more Spanish people would support Catalonia being in the list than Gib.

Where am I going with this? Round in circles I think and so to complete the circle I will just say
1. go easy on Aldie, even Kofi Annan struggles with this one.
2. give the guy a Catalan flag!
 
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The ICANN thing isn't helping either. Just saw the list included Mayotte, Isle of Man, Âland, Faroer, etc.

And what is "United States Minor Outlying Islands"?
 
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Marià Pitarque

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woodnoggin wrote:
What is officially defined as a country can depend on which country you are in. The UK recognises different countries to the US, for example. What do we do for BGG users from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Kosovo, Taiwan, Tibet, Somaliland etc.?


boltongeordie wrote:

The definition of a country is fraught with confusion. Would you use recognition by the UN, or the US, or the EU? Would you use some definition about sovereignty and self-determination? Would you use the lines on a map? Whichever you choose you will come to a different set.


Dear all,

I think no one at BGG should care either about how states from all over the world deal with their internal and foreign policies regarding sovereignity or which countries are recognized by whom and which ones not...

This is not the point of this dscussion. Not at all.

boltongeordie wrote:

Also, it would help that most Spanish people would probably not object to Catalonia appearing in the list, who could say the same for Indonesia and East Timor for example?


The point is that here, at BGG, we all should be tolerant enough to allow a group of geeks to identify themselves with the icon they want.
I guess for many people (e.g. Americans, British, Spaniards, etc.) this is not really an important issue (it may even sound stupid and a waste of time), but it is definitely important for some others that usually are not allowed to show how their feelings are.

In my opinion, BGG might deal with this not-so-terrible issue and allow other national realities to be present and come along with those "official" states in this ludic world. After all, we are not constrained by any international law and we've got nothing to lose.

So, should any group of BGG users wish a community-identifying flag, they would have to submit a formal proposal to BGG administrators, provide a banner (let's save some extra work to Aldie) and this application should be considered properly.
I mean, as long as at least a certain amount (4-5-6?) of users support this application and they all have an avatar (checking faithfulness to BGG, this way we get rid of some potential false registering), they should be very welcome. Is that ok?

It would be perfectly fine to me seeing people living in Catalonia, ones with a Spanish flag, others with the Catalan one. Hope the same for the Spaniards, French and Bretons, Canadians and Quebec people...
Even better, why not people that don't care about nationality and somehow feel as a citizen of the whole world can have an Earth icon?

Funny? Just the right to choose!


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CHAPEL
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Well I think it's time to score the Castillo.

Basl has 3 caballeros, and the Catalans have 5 caballeros. Looks like the Catalans win!


Mike C. -- BGG Rules Lawyering since 2000.
 
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MWChapel wrote:
Well I think it's time to score the Castillo.

Basl has 3 caballeros, and the Catalans have 5 caballeros. Looks like the Catalans win!


Mike C. -- BGG Rules Lawyering since 2000.


Ak! Didn't see that coming, I thought there was another round!
 
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Lluís Vilalta Serra

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Er... is it allowed here a latest hour 6th caballero reinforcement? If not, I'll be flanking you off-table (hurhurhur devil ).

Greetings to you all

 
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