Of Flags and Gateways

When designing a global gateway – you generally want to avoid flags. After all, what flag would you use to represent Spanish? And what language would the flag for Switzerland indicate – a country with four official languages?

Well, for every rule there is an exception to it. The Smart Car site (www.smart.com) uses flags, but also includes language-specific sub-links, such as “d” for German and “e” for English.


While I prefer the way Ikea handles countries and languages better, I do like to look at this gateway. For as much as I criticize the use of flags, I do enjoy looking at them.

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John Yunker
John is co-founder of Byte Level Research and author of Think Outside the Country as well as 14 annual editions of The Web Globalization Report Card. He is also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.
John Yunker
John Yunker

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