Thoughts on OGS flag names -- Hong Kong, Macau

I noticed that the Hong Kong flag is named Hong Kong SAR China.

And the flag of Macau is named Macau SAR China.

But almost none of the other flags representing political subdivisions mention the state that has sovereignty over them – only in cases where that is part of their common name, eg. American Samoa.

By making an exception to this rule, it ends up looking like OGS is trying to promote Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macau.

I don’t see why we would want to give players that impression. OGS should be politically neutral.

Here are examples of flag names which don’t mention the sovereign state:

Name of OGS flag Sovereign state
Åland Islands Finland
Aruba Netherlands
Ascension Island UK
Bouvet Island Norway
Canary Islands Spain
Cayman Islands UK
Ceuta & Mellila Spain
Christmas Island Australia
Clipperton Island France
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Australia
Curaçao Netherlands
Diego Garcia UK

– and so on for another 22 letters.


Consider, for instance, how political it would seem to have the flag names

Catalonia (Spain)
Kashmir (India)
The Falklands (UK)
Tibet (China)

similarly set out from the crowd. Yes, these descriptions aren’t false, but they convey a political message when they break away from the common rule.


A hard problem to solve.
I bet we could find someone who has exactly opposite thoughs as yours.

As an example, some Spanish or Chinese people could complain because a region has it’s own flag instead of using the national one.

I don’t really care much about these problems but other people are very sensitive about it.

If we had a flag for “Padania” that could be a problem with some Italian users. But some others would be happy to have it.

What is the rule and what is the exception? Is the issue that the formal name of places is generally used and that these names don’t usually also include the name of the sovereign state but do in some cases?

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The pattern is that the OGS flag names of political subdivisions don’t mention the sovereign states that encompass them, as I’ve shown by my examples.

The issue is that the Hong Kong SAR China and Macau SAR China names are the only ones that break this pattern, making it seem as though OGS is making a political statement in support of Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macau.

I don’t know about Macau but the actual name of Hong Kong is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China whereas the official name of idk, say the Falklands doesn’t include “British overseas territory” or whatever.


That is a good point.

Back when the distinction “Hong Kong/ Mainland” mattered.

While there are independence movements for Hong Kong and (to a much smaller extent) Macau, nearly everyone accepts that the current situation is that both of those places are under the sovereignty of China as special administration regions.

On the other hand, note that “Tibet” and “Taiwan” are also options, without noting any sovereignty to China, and those show independence flags that are considered unacceptable to the PRC govt as separatist symbols. There is a potential risk that OGS might get blocked in China, should the censors become aware of these flag options.

Whether or not OGS wants to make or not make a political statement, stay neutral, or something else, depends on the decision making of the site owners and operators. Frankly, I think the current situation is just something that they might not have given a lot of thought too. I think various people have contributed new flags over time in a largely ad hoc manner.