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World Cup 'hashflags': Wrong for UAE

The UAE team pictured with the World Cup trophy in Napier, New Zealand. (Supplied)

By Bindu Rai

Cricket fans around the globe found their happiness shortlived when Twitter hashflags that were introduced just in time to coincide with the ICC World Cup 2015, were removed.

While no official word has yet be given, several residents on Twitter pointed out the country flag represented with the #UAE hashflag on the micro blogging site was incorrect.

The UAE flag is denoted with ‘three equal horizontal bands of green, white and black, respectively, from the top downwards, while the vertical strip of red is next to the mast’ states the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Community Development in the country on its official site.

Creator Abdulla Mohammed Al Ma’enah intended the four colours to reflect Arabian unity.

While the UAE colours are correct on the Twitter hashflag icon, it places the black horizontal band on top, followed by green and white below it, respectively.

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Meanwhile, the vertical rectangular strip of red has been changed on the Twitter hashflag to represent a triangle instead; according to the Ministry, the flag, the length of which is twice the width, was designed in 1971.

Emirates 24|7 is yet to receive a reply to emailed queries sent to Twitter.

The use of hashflags is not new on the popular social media site, which also introduced icons last year to commemorate Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr.

Those using hashtags #Ramadan, #Ramazan, #Eid and its Arabic translations during the month saw a crescent moon and an Eid icon in Arabic calligraphy that stated ‘Mubarak Eid’ automatically appear in their tweets.

In his Twitter post, Ahmad AbouAmmo, Head of Media Partnerships, Mena, Twitter said at the time: “There are many religious and cultural practices to mark the month, and we are pleased to help people celebrate with new #Ramadan and #Eid icons.”

Those hashtags came a month after Twitter launched ‘hashflags’ to commemorate the Fifa World Cup for fans to show support for their nation with a corresponding flag icon when they abbreviated country name.

One of the first to tweet about the feature at the time was Colombian pop star Shakira.

Cricket fans tweeted their excitement earlier on Tuesday over the use of these hashflags for the tournament that runs from February 14 - March 28.

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