Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Presumably Randall was hired by a committee to propose a new flag for an unspecified country. The process of him editing the flag involved taking a screenshot of his design to export it. The committee being overly literal interpreted the notification bar captured by the screenshot as being part of the flag.
Once the problem was pointed out, the design committee placed the blame on Randall, but could not immediately undo their decision until new suggestions had been submitted and a new committee could agree on another design. Thus the country is now stuck with this design, making it the only country with such a bar in the flag.
The title text mentions a compromise bill that will change the flag. This implies that the flag was approved with the status bar included. Apparently there is some controversy about removing the status bar from the flag as the compromise bill proposes to keeping the status bar and change the displayed percentage of the battery from 39% to 100%. This is wordplay on the term "charge" as used in vexillology, where it refers to a figure appearing on the background of the flag.
The bar in notification bar, is a vexillological descriptor, as in the "Stars and Bars," a term used for the first flag of the Confederate States of America.
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 elements of the flag's intended design—the colors red, white, and blue; the use of stripes; and the star emblems—are the same that are used in the American flag the Stars and Stripes.
The elements of this flag is, however, also present in several other existing flags like those derived from Union Jack, the flag of the United Kingdoms, like the flags of Australia and New Zealand. They are also in the flags of North Korea, Liberia and Malaysia. However, only the USA, Australia and Liberia have white stars.
But if they indeed continue with this, thinking that their country would look better with a full battery charge, they might also consider changing the 3G connection to the newer 4G version and giving the phone a full signal (5/5 instead of only 3/5 dots), and maybe also choose a time that would mean something rather than 5:48 PM. For instance noon/midnight, or 8:00.
The low battery status might also imply that the country is low on resources. It thus seems like people have taken the reference to modern times smartphones to their hearts and actually wish to have this very modern design.
The reason such a status bar could be missed could be that most people today look at pictures on their smartphones all the time, and thus their own phones status bar is indirectly included at the top of all the pictures they see. People thus do not notice these status bars any longer as they are always there and clearly not important for the picture. Randall has mentioned before, in 1373: Screenshot, that he cannot take smartphone screenshots seriously if the battery of the device is low, as he cannot focus on the content becoming afraid his own device runs out of power. A problem that only occurs if he sees it on his smartphone, as he then becomes concerned that it is his phone that is about to run out of charge. But in this status bar there are still 39%, high enough not to cause immediate concern.
Since Randall was asked to create this flag, it seems most likely that he would have to be a citizen of this new country. It could thus indicate that a group of states have broken free from the USA to form their own smaller union of three states, one for each star. With the current political situation in the states after Donald Trump’s inauguration there have been some talk about states leaving USA, and Randall has clearly been against the election of Trump, see 1756: I'm With Her, and he has been affected by the election result. Since Randall lives in Massachusetts, it could be this and two other nearby states that have formed their own new union of states.
- [A two colored flag is shown. The left and rightmost parts of the flag are dark blue, and the center is red and each section has a large white star in its center. The colored parts are separated by thinner white vertical stripes. At the top of the flag, there is an off-white status bar like one found at the top of an iOS smart device. On the left it is displaying the strength of the connection (3/5 dots), in the center it is displaying the time and on the right there are three small icons the last is the battery charge:]
- 5:48 PM
- [Below the panel there are two captions]
- 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.
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