Currently the following icons are used for PT.SO and RU.SO:


In case they are changed, here is what they are as of posting this:

Pt.SO as posted Ru.SO as posted

And what they became later:

Pt.SO later Ru.SO later

Portuguese is green, Russian is blue. What these colors are supposed to mean? Random colors from the flags of the corresponding countries?

I suggest using language codes instead: PT and RU. These symbols are easy to add even to the tiniest 16x16 px icons:

Small text suggestion

If the characters are easy to recognize even on 16x16 px icons, there won't be any issues with bigger icons either.

  • 8
    Good point. It shouldn't be based on flag - for example, there are more Chinese speakers of BrE than British ones. That's no reason to make an english site have the chinese flag - but neither should it have the Union flag.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 20:06
  • 4
    What about Red for Russia, Purple for Portugal
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 20:22
  • 1
    The point is, why are they in different sizes?
    – 54D
    Commented Apr 4, 2015 at 12:26
  • 1
    @ArceusMaster0493 Portuguese SO is getting a new design when it graduates, so it’s stuck on the old SO theme and logo for now. Russian and Japanese SO both went straight to the new design.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Apr 5, 2015 at 6:24
  • There was a similar suggestion on Meta PT.SO. Personally, I prefer the colors. Although still not great, it's visually better than the language codes.
    – bfavaretto
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 21:13
  • 1
    @Tim I believe green was chosen for PT.SO because it's both on the Brazil flag and the Portugal flag.
    – bfavaretto
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 21:14
  • 1
    @bfavaretto quite possibly, but still. Most english speakers are in England / America, and yes Stack Overflow isn't red/blue/white (and shouldn't be, even if it was second) because of the number of non english / american english speakers.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 21:16
  • 5
    @bfavaretto Some people (~8% of men) are colorblind. And even if you don't care about them, there will be more and more localized SO sites. How easy will it be to distinguish and remember icons with 10 colors?
    – Athari
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 21:17
  • As a source of inspiration, here are some localized icons from German translation site dict.leo.org: i.sstatic.net/OSjTU.png
    – Vlad
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 10:26
  • @Vlad I'm afraid not all Russians would appreciate ushanka stereotype. :)
    – Athari
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 10:29
  • @Athari: well, we could go ahead and gather all the stereotypes. (Multiple icons, randomly changed?) Perhaps this way people would learn what other countries think about them?
    – Vlad
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 10:47
  • If you upgrade these two icons you should change all Localised StackOverflow sites to include the new style :). I like the new icons!
    – Jethro
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 21:49
  • 1
    I agree that colors probably aren't the best way to distinguish them, but tiny little letters that no one can read in a little 16x16 icon is an even worse way to distinguish them. The difference needs to be more blatantly obvious than that.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 4:14
  • @animuson I don't insist letters are the only difference between the logos. "Box" or "stack" can be colored differently, for example. This way, icons will be easy to distinguish and easy to understand.
    – Athari
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 5:25

1 Answer 1


Clearly flag colors aren't going to make it. There are multiple countries that have very similar colors so a little text right next to the box should be very acceptable. Just add the appropriate text according to language and you should be done! Anyways, languages don't have colors, only countries, and languages are spoken all over the world, making colors much less appropriate.

  • Spanish - SP/ES
  • Portuguese - PT
  • Russian - RU

etc. The change must be made before any last minute protests (literally) are made against this colorful discrimination (or maybe not that serious though).

  • 7
    ES (for "español") is more standard for Spanish. In general we should follow some standard like the ISO639 language codes. Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 1:18

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