Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 21:06, 8 June 2013 by SlashMe (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 4 xkcd comics, and only 1811 (100%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance or extend incomplete descriptions!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

There's a compromise bill to keep the notification bar but at least charge the battery.
Title text: There's a compromise bill to keep the notification bar but at least charge the battery.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Needs more detail on how flags and images, in general, are designed/edited using computers, and why what Randall did was wrong.

Randall was hired to propose a new flag for an unspecified new country. The process of him editing the flag into its final draft was done on a phone and involved taking a screenshot of the product (possibly a shortcut to avoid actually exporting it) which produced the notification bar at the top of the flag. He did not catch his error and sent it to the committee with the notification bar intact. The design committee also missed the phone bar and approved the design. Although not said, it is implied that the committee then ordered actual flags from the manufacturer. Once the problem was pointed out, the design committee placed the blame on Randall.

The elements of the flag's intended design, the colors red white and blue, the stripes, and the stars, are present in several existing flags for real countries (America, the UK, North Korea, etc.) Flags are often minimalist and involve geometric shapes and solid colors. A notification bar at the top of the flag would clash with these design elements as well as looking unprofessional.

The title text mentions a compromise bill that will change the flag, not removing the notification bar at the top to create the originally intended flag, but instead keeping the notification bar and changing the amount of battery displayed (39%) to 100%. The low battery status might imply that the country is low on resources. Randall has mentioned before that he cannot take screenshots seriously if the battery of the device is low in 1373: Screenshot.

This comic is a joke on "vexillology". The comic incorrectly refers to a status bar as "notification bar".


[A picture is shown of a flag for a currently nonexistent country. The left and rightmost parts of the flag are dark blue, and the center is red. These parts of the flag are separated by white vertical stripes. In the center of each colored section of the flag is a large, white star. At the top of the flag, there is a conspicuous off-white notification bar like one you would find at the top of a laptop or phone. On the left it is displaying the strength of a 3G connection (3/5 dots), in the center it is displaying the time (5:43 PM) and on the right, it is displaying battery charge (39%)]
The design committee fired me once they realized that my editing process involved a screenshot, but it was too late.
Until they change it, our new country has the only national flag to include a phone notification bar.

Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The missing explanations are listed here. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.


Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, post a message to the Admin requests board.

Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?