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Maine senator lobbies for a new lobster emoji
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) is lobbying for a new emoji to represent lobsters.
King submitted a formal request Friday to the Unicode Consortium, the group in charge of smartphone emojis. In his letter, King stressed the economic and cultural importance of the lobster to Maine residents.
"A new lobster emoji would fill a necessary and unique void in the current Emoji List, and, should it be added, appears destined for significant usage by lobster fans around the world," King wrote.
The proposal was submitted just in time for National Lobster Day, which the Senate designated for Sept. 25.
King wrote that a new emoji would allow people who "fish, process, serve, eat, or otherwise admire the lobster can accurately express themselves in emoji form."
According to King's letter, three other formal proposals have gone to the consortium, providing evidence that the group requires to add new emojis, such as information about potential usage and whether it is distinct enough from existing emojis.
King supplied data from Google searches and Instagram hashtags, indicating that searches for "lobster" and "lobster emoji" were significantly higher than those for "crab," arguably the icon most similar in shape and color.
"Neither the existing crab nor shrimp emoji can be effectively used to represent a lobster, which has a distinctively different profile," the senator wrote.
New York-based lobster restaurant Luke's Lobster has also been petitioning for the emoji. Unicode will review requests and make decisions at a meeting in October about which new emojis will appear on smartphones in 2018.