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''Welcome to the Explain XKCD wiki''
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__NOTOC__{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
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<center>
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
  
__TOC__
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We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
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<!-- Note: the -9 in the calculation above is to discount subcategories (there are 8 of them as of 2013-02-27),
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    as well as [[List of all comics]], which is obviously not a comic page. -->
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and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
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({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / ({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9) * 100 round 0}}%)
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remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
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</center>
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== Latest comic ==
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<div style="border:1px solid grey; background:#eee; padding:1em;">
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<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
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<br clear="right">
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{{:{{LATESTCOMIC}}}}
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{{#ifexist:Talk:{{LATESTCOMIC}}|<h2>Discussion</h2>
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{{Talk:{{LATESTCOMIC}}}}
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}}</div>
  
==Comics==
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<small>''Is this out of date? {{Purge|Clicking here will fix that}}.''</small>
The latest comic is number [[1090]]
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All the comics (so far) are [[:Category:Comics|here]].
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== New here? ==
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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.
  
== Welcome ==
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* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
Please sign up for an account and contribute to the Explain XKCD wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [http://www.xkcd.com XKCD] web comic, it should be in here.
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If you need help with the wiki syntax, Mediawiki has a great wealth of information to help you the syntax right.  In particular, their instructions on [http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Navigation Navigation] and [http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Editing_pages Editing] are strongly recommended (but do be aware that these links take you to ''their'' site; you'll have to come back here to participate. ;-)
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* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
== Getting started ==
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* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! [[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]].
For new comic pages:
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1. Every registered user can upload images.
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== Rules ==
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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.
  
2. Put the comic number, the date it was posted and a link to the comic above the photo.
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If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
 
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3. Put the image text below the photo.
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4. Explain away below that.
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If you are setting up a new page for a new (or old) comic, please make sure you also redirect the comic number to that page as well.
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The syntax for redirects is:
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<nowiki>#REDIRECT [[pagename]]</nowiki>
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For example, on the page for 1045 is:
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<nowiki>#REDIRECT [[Constraints]]</nowiki>
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That allows the users of the site to search via the comic number or the name of the comic.
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=== Choose a comic! ===
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Wondering which comics haven't been started yet?  There's a list over at [[Explain XKCD:Checklist]].  Pick one and get started! --''[[User:Philosopher|Philosopher]]''&nbsp;<sup>[[User talk:Philosopher|Let us reason together.]]</sup> 20:11, 3 August 2012 (EDT)
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== Rules ==
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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.
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If you want to talk about a specific comic, the Discussion page is perfect for that.
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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.
  
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If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
  
The Admins are [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
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[[Category:Root category]]

Revision as of 05:35, 4 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 5 xkcd comics, and only 1810 (36200%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Flag
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.

Explanation

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.

This comic is a joke on vexillology, the scientific study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags.

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 smartphone and involved taking a screenshot of the product (possibly a shortcut to avoid actually exporting it) which produced an iOS status bar (incorrectly referred to as a notification bar in the caption) at the top of the flag. He thus included both the weak strength of the outdated 3G connection his phone was on at the time, the time of the screen shot, and the low battery charge. 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.

Randall either did not catch this error or he did it on purpose. In either case he sent the displayed version to the committee with the status bar included. The design committee also missed the status bar and approved the design. From the caption below it seems that this new country is now stuck with the flag as it is displayed, including the status bar. It thus seems likely that no one realized the phone status bar was included in the actual design until after the committee had ordered actual flags with the bar from the manufacturer. 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 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 one 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.

The elements of the flag's intended design—the colors red, white, and blue; the pattern of stripes; and the star emblems—are the same that are used in the American flag the Stars and Stripes. Since Randall was asked to crate 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.

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 Australia and Liberia have white stars.

The title text mentions a compromise bill that will change the flag, but not by removing the status bar at the top to create the originally intended flag! Instead they propose keeping the status bar and only changing 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 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.

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 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.

Transcript

[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:]
3G
5:48 PM
39%
[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.


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

New 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 red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

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, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.

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