Jump to content

විකිපීඩියා:රචනාකරණ ශෛලිය පිළිබඳ මාර්ගෝපදේශ/Icons

විකිපීඩියා වෙතින්
මෙම ලිපියේ අඩංගු කරුණු සැකෙවින්: While icons can be useful in Wikipedia articles in some circumstances, there are also problems associated with their misapplication and overuse. Words can be clearer.

The use of icons in Wikipedia encyclopedic project content – mainly lists, tables, infoboxes, and navboxes – can provide useful visual cues, but can also present a number of problems. Guidance on principal issues is summarized below, followed by more in-depth discussion of each.

For the purposes of this guideline, icons encompasses any small images – including logos, crests, coats of arms, seals, flags – or other decoration, whether produced by small image files, typographic dingbats, emojis, or CSS display manipulation.

Appropriate use[සංස්කරණය]

Icons may be helpful in certain situations:

  • Repeated use of an icon in a table. This should only be done if the icon has been used previously with an explanation of its purpose. Example: Timeline of the far future.
  • They are useful in articles about international sporting events, to show the representative nationality of players (which may differ from their legal nationality). Example: List of WPA World Nine-ball Champions.

Inappropriate use[සංස්කරණය]

Do not use icons in general article prose[සංස්කරණය]

Icons should not be used in prose in the article body, as in "Jackson moved to Bristol, England එංගලන්තය, in April 2004." This breaks up the continuity of the text, distracting the reader (example).

Encyclopedic purpose[සංස්කරණය]

Icons should serve an encyclopedic purpose and not merely be decorative. They should provide additional useful information on the article subject, serve as visual cues that aid the reader's comprehension, or improve navigation. Icons should not be added only because they look good: one reader's harmless decoration may be another reader's distraction. An icon is purely decorative if it does not improve comprehension of the article subject and serves no navigational function. Where icons are used for layout purposes only, consider using bullet points as an alternative.

Do not put icons in section headings; this is an accessibility problem.

Do not use too many icons[සංස්කරණය]

When icons are added excessively, they clutter the page and become redundant, as in this sportsperson's infobox. Pages with excessive icons can also cause loading problems for some people.

Do not re-purpose icons beyond their legitimate scope[සංස්කරණය]

Icons can represent a specific entity and should not be re-purposed to represent something else, e.g. because an actually appropriate flag is not available. For example, do not abuse the flag of the United Nations to represent the entire world, as this is not an accurate application of the official flag of that international organization.

Do not distort icons[සංස්කරණය]

Do not modify or use non-generic icons in a way that is not notably used outside of Wikipedia. See Wikipedia:OR#Original images for further clarification. One example of such a distortion is a user-modified fusing of North American flags to represent a narrow definition of "North America" as a whole.

Do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas[සංස්කරණය]

Remember accessibility for people with visual impairment[සංස්කරණය]

Every functional icon should have alt text, which is text describing the visual appearance of the image. Failure to provide this alt text will often make the icon meaningless or confusing to those using screen readers or text-only browsers. To provide alt text, simply add the description to the end of the image markup: for example, "[[File:Commons-logo.svg|30x30px|link=Commons:Special:Search|Search Wikimedia Commons]]" generates an icon Search Wikimedia Commons that links to Commons:Special:Search and has alt text "Search Wikimedia Commons". Image maps should specify alt text for the main image and for each clickable area; see Image maps and {{English official language clickable map}} for examples.

Appropriate flag use[සංස්කරණය]

Flag icons may be relevant in some subject areas, where the subject actually represents that country or nationality – such as military units or national sports teams. In lists or tables, flag icons may be relevant when such representation of different subjects is pertinent to the purpose of the list or table itself.

Words as the primary means of communication should be given greater precedence over flags, and flags should not change the expected style or layout of infoboxes or lists to the detriment of words.

The use of ship registry flags and International Code of Signals flags in infoboxes of ship articles is appropriate.

See § Inappropriate use for when to not use flags even if the information seems pertinent (in which case, add it in word form).

User choice: Registered users can add a .flagicon {display:none;} CSS rule to their user-specific stylesheet to hide content with the flagicon class (which is used by most flag templates).

Consistency is not paramount[සංස්කරණය]

If the use of flags in a list, table or infobox makes it unclear, ambiguous or controversial, it is better to remove the flags even if that makes the list, table or infobox inconsistent with others of the same type where no problems have arisen.

Avoid flag icons in infoboxes[සංස්කරණය]

Generally, flag icons should not be used in infoboxes, even when there is a "country", "nationality" or equivalent field: they could be unnecessarily distracting and might give undue prominence to one field among many.

Flag icons should only be inserted in infoboxes in those cases where they convey information in addition to the text. Flag icons lead to unnecessary disputes when over-used. A number of common infoboxes (e.g., Template:Infobox company, Template:Infobox film, Template:Infobox person, Template:Infobox football biography, Template:Infobox weapon) have explicitly deprecated the use of flag icons.

Situations where flag icons may be used in infoboxes include:

Human geographic articles – for example, settlements and administrative subdivisions – may have flags of the country and first-level administrative subdivision in infoboxes. However, physical geographic articles – for example, continents, islands, mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, swamps, etc. – should not. Where one article covers both human and physical geographic subjects (e.g., Manhattan, which covers both the borough of New York City and the island of the same name), or where the status of the territory is subject to a political dispute, the consensus of editors at that article will determine whether flag use in the infobox is preferred or not.

Accompany flags with country names[සංස්කරණය]

The name of a flag's political entity should appear adjacent to the first use of the flag, as no reader is familiar with every flag, and many flags differ only in minor details. Nearby uses of the flag need not repeat the name, especially in a list or table. (For example, in this infobox, flags of countries involved in a battle are first given with their names. Following this, the flag alone is used to identify the nationality of military commanders.) To achieve this, the flag-and-name template {{flag|Japan}} (or {{flag|JPN}}) would be used first, and {{flagicon|JPN}} in subsequent uses. However, some editors feel that some tables such as those containing sports statistics (example)[dubious ] are easier to read if {{flag}} is used throughout.

However, first appearances in different sections, tables or lists in a long article may warrant a repetition of the name, especially if the occurrences are likely to be independently reached via links from other articles targeting an {{anchor}}. Use of flag templates without country names is also an accessibility issue, since the images rendered can be difficult for color blind readers to understand. In addition, flags can be hard to distinguish when reduced to icon size.

Historical considerations[සංස්කරණය]

Flags change, and sometimes the geographical or political area(s) to which a flag applies may also change.

Use historical flags in contexts where the difference matters[සංස්කරණය]

Use a historical flag and associated country name when they have at least a semi-officially applicable rationale to use them. For example, in lists of Olympic medalists, the USSR flag and country name should be used for reporting before 1992, not those of the Russian Federation or the CIS.

In some military history contexts[සංස්කරණය]

It may in some narrow military history circumstances be appropriate to use flags as they were used at the time being written about, including naval ensigns, provided that the flags are (as usual) accompanied at first occurrence by their country (or more narrow) names—our readers are not expected to be military historians. An example might be an in-depth exploration of a famous battle involving numerous forces with known flags; such flags might be used in summary tables to make it clearer which force was being referred to for a particular detail.

Entities without flags until after a certain point in time[සංස්කරණය]

Some subnational entities have not had flags until recently (e.g. the Welsh flag has only been official since 1959). While this flag can still represent Wales generally, it should not be used to represent the country when the context is specifically about a time period predating the flag. Some countries are also new, formed from parts of, or entirely subsuming, one or more other countries. It may need to be decided by consensus on a case-by-case basis what flag to use, when a topic crosses two periods and a conflict arises as to what country the topic pertains to in what contexts.

Political issues[සංස්කරණය]

Beware of political pitfalls, and listen to concerns raised by other editors. Some flags are (sometimes or always) political statements and can associate a person with their political significance, sometimes misleadingly. In other cases, a flag may have limited and highly specific official uses, and an application outside that context can have political (e.g. nationalist or anti-nationalist) implications.

Use of flags for non-sovereign states and nations[සංස්කරණය]

The exact definition of a "state", "nation" or "country" is often politically divisive and can result in debates over the choice of flag. For example, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are referred to by the British government as "countries" within the United Kingdom [1]; the Canadian House of Commons recognised the Québécois as "a nation within a united Canada";[2] and the United States recognizes many Native American tribal groupings as semi-independent "nations".

In general, if a flag is felt to be necessary, it should be that of the sovereign state (e.g. the United States of America or Canada) and not that of a subnational entity, even if that entity is sometimes considered a "nation" or "country" in its own right. This is partly for the sake of consistency across Wikipedia, but also because a person's legal citizenship is verifiable, whereas "nationality" within a country can be porous, indeterminate and shifting. An English person's passport describes them as a "British citizen", for example, not "English"; being English is a matter of self-identification, not a verifiable legality in most cases. Many editors, however, feel that the UK's subnations in particular are an exception in sporting contexts, and disputes are likely to arise if this sovereign state maxim is enforced in articles on subnational British topics.

Overbroad use of flags with politicized connotations[සංස්කරණය]

Some flags are politically contentious – take care to avoid using them in inappropriate contexts. Some examples are:

  1. Use of the flags of the Confederate States of America to represent all or part of the Southern United States prior to 1861 or after 1865.
  2. Use of the Ulster Banner to represent Northern Ireland in inappropriate contexts; see Northern Ireland flags issue and Wikipedia:Irish flags for details.
  3. Use of the apartheid-era Flag of South Africa (1928–1994) instead of the present-day one.

Inappropriate use[සංස්කරණය]

Do not emphasize nationality without good reason[සංස්කරණය]

Wikipedia is not a place for nationalistic pride. Flags are visually striking, and placing a national flag next to something can make its nationality or location seem to be of greater significance than other things. For example, with an English flag next to him, Paul McCartney looks like an "English singer-songwriter from Liverpool who was in the Beatles"; without the flag next to him, he looks like an "English singer-songwriter from Liverpool who was in the Beatles". Emphasizing the importance of a person's citizenship or nationality above their other qualities risks violating Wikipedia's "Neutral point of view" policy.

Do not use a flag when a picture of the subject is not available[සංස්කරණය]

A flag (or other symbolic image) should not be used as an image placeholder, such as in biographical articles. While it may be appropriate to use a flag or seal as the principal image in an infobox for the organizational entity it represents (for example, the FBI), in most cases these articles have an infobox with the flag or seal image (example).

Do not use subnational flags without direct relevance[සංස්කරණය]

Subnational flags (regions, cities, etc.) should generally be used only when directly relevant to the article. Such flags are rarely recognizable by the general public, detracting from any shorthand utility they might have, and are rarely closely related to the subject of the article. For instance, the flag of Tampa, Florida, is appropriately used on the Tampa article. However, the Tampa flag should generally not be used on articles about residents of Tampa: it would not be informative, and it would be unnecessarily visually distracting.

A common example of use of subnational flags would be that of a list concerned with subdivisions of a specific country.

Do not use supranational flags without direct relevance[සංස්කරණය]

Supranational flags (those of international organizations) should generally be used only when directly relevant to the article. For instance, the Flag of Europe is appropriately used on articles related to the European Union, the Council of Europe and other situations where this flag can be used to represent Europe. In sport, supranational flags should only be used to represent a supranational team or a supranational competition, where the team or competition use the supranational flag. The European flag should generally not be used alongside a national flag in articles about residents of EU member states; it would not be informative, and it would be unnecessarily visually distracting.

Do not rewrite history[සංස්කරණය]

Do not use the coat of arms of a person as a stand-in for a national, military, or other flag.

Flags should not be used to misrepresent the nationality of a historical figure, event, object, etc. Political boundaries change, often over the span of a biographical article subject's lifetime. Where ambiguity or confusion could result, it is better not to use a flag at all, and where one is genuinely needed, use the historically accurate flag.

For example, writer Oscar Wilde, a native of Ireland while that island was entirely part of the United Kingdom, should have neither an Irish flag nor a British flag, as either would confuse readers.

Do not use flags in genocide-related lists and articles[සංස්කරණය]

Flags are typically poor or simplistic representations of the sides in such conflicts, and do little to aid understanding. Any value they might have is outweighed by the excessively inflammatory nature of flags in such contexts.

Do not use flags on disambiguation pages[සංස්කරණය]

In general, flags should not be used on disambiguation pages; see MOS:DABICON.

Biographical use[සංස්කරණය]

Flags make simple, blunt statements about nationality, while words can express the facts with more complexity. For example, the actress Naomi Watts could be said, depending upon context and point of view, to be any or all of: British, English, Welsh, or Australian. She was born a British citizen in England, lived in Wales for a long time, then moved to Australia and became an Australian citizen. There is no single flag for that, and using all four flags will not be helpful.

Flags are discouraged in the individual infoboxes of biographical articles. Special care should be taken with the biographical use of flag templates in the following situations:

  • Never use a flag for birth or death place, since doing so may imply an incorrect citizenship or nationality; a great many people have been born or have died abroad. (For example, American actor Johnny Galecki was born in Belgium, so putting a Belgian flag in his infobox, for any reason, might lead the casual reader to assume he is or was Belgian.)
  • In cases of emigration or periods of foreign residence, do not use the flag of the country of residence unless legal citizenship was achieved.
  • In a case of reliably sourced renunciation of citizenship of a country, do not use the flag and name of that former country to indicate an article subject's nationality; if a flag is used at all, use that of the later nationality.
  • If someone's citizenship has legally changed because of shifting political borders, use the historically correct country designation, not a later one, and perhaps mention in the article prose the new country name, e.g. "Belgrade, Yugoslavia (today in Serbia)"; it may also be best to avoid using any flag at all.
  • Use the flag and name of the country (be it a state or a nation) that the person (or team of people) officially represented, regardless of citizenship, when the flag templates are used for sports statistics and the like. If a French player is awarded a medal for playing in a German team, the German flag would be used in a table of awards. The Scottish flag would be used with regard to the FIFA World Cup, but that of the UK for the Olympics. Caution should be used in extending this convention to non-sporting contexts, as it may produce confusing results. And a countervailing example would be an article about a sports team that officially represents a particular country but is composed of members who are citizens of several countries; a table of players at such an article might list them by their country of actual citizenship or professed nationality.
  • Avoid flag usage, especially to present a point of view, that is likely to raise editorial controversy over political or other factual matters about a biography subject.
See also "Historical considerations" for other relevant recommendations.


Flags should never indicate the player's nationality in a non-sporting sense; flags should only indicate the sportsperson's national squad/team or representative nationality.

Where flags are used in a table, it should clearly indicate that they correspond to representative nationality, not legal nationality, if any confusion might arise.

Flags should generally illustrate the highest level the sportsperson is associated with. For example, if a sportsperson has represented a nation or has declared for a nation, then the national flag as determined by the sport governing body should be used (these can differ from countries' political national flags). If a sportsperson has not competed at the international level, then the eligibility rules of the international sport governing body (such as World Rugby, FIFA, IAAF, etc.) should be used. If these rules allow a player to represent two or more nations, then a reliable source should be used to show who the sportsperson has chosen to represent.

If a sportsperson most usually represents a specific country (e.g., Germany) but has represented a larger, supernational entity on some occasions (e.g., Europe) it may be more appropriate to use the national flag; this will often need to be determined on an article-by-article basis.

Subnational flags (e.g., England rather than UK) are traditionally used in some sports, and should not be changed to the national flag without consensus.

The insertion of logos as icons into articles is strongly discouraged: While illustration of a logo may be appropriate at the main article on the topic to which the logo pertains, use of logos as icons is not useful to our readers, and often presents legal problems.

Non-free images[සංස්කරණය]

Use of company logos, sports team crests, and other images protected as intellectual property (including as copyrights, trademarks, and service marks) in articles can only be done on a non-free content use basis. Use of such images is nearly always prohibited (for more information, see Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline and Wikipedia:Logos).

Free images[සංස්කරණය]

While legal problems may not be present (no intellectual property right being claimable), all of this guideline's rationales against use of icons as decoration still apply. Generally, addition of logos to article prose or tabular data does not improve the encyclopedia and leads to confusing visual clutter.