What does an icon on the tag mean, for example the "rg" before the sql-server tag as pictured below?

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This is a sponsored tag - in other words, a company has decided to pay money to put an icon and to put links on the tag page. Moderators cannot edit these; they are only added as a result of a tag sponsorship.

The tag sponsorship program is currently active on Stack Overflow only.

As for the tag in the question, the tag was sponsored by Red Gate, whose logo is shown as part of the tag in your screenshot.

Note that as of Sept. 1, 2011, Stack Exchange no longer allows branding like this to be purchased for tags that represent generic concepts or are otherwise not strongly associated with the company purchasing them.

A tag that retains this branding is android - click through to see what this form of sponsorship entails.

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    How come Jetty, google-maps-api-3 still have icons next to tag. – Srujan Kumar Gulla Jan 3 '13 at 21:54
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    Jetty appears to be sponsored by Webtide. Webtide created and maintains jetty, so this would fit the "strongly associated with the company purchasing them". – Pascal Belloncle Feb 22 '13 at 23:34
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    And how to sponsor a tag? – Moslem Ben Dhaou Apr 9 '14 at 7:54
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    @MoslemBenDhaou email ads@stackexchange.com with details and they will get back to you. (See here) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jun 27 '14 at 22:44

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