News & Politics

There Are Now DC-Themed Emojis

Courtesy of the city's tourism bureau.

Apparently not content with its Forbes-issued ranking as the coolest city in the United States, the District is making another gambit to assert its trendy, youthful image. Courtesy of Destination DC, the city’s tourism office, iPhone and Android users can now download a set of DC-themed emojis, those colorful graphics that millennials enjoy using in text messages to replace words.

Among the symbols are familiar landmarks like the White House and Jefferson Memorial, an outline of the District’s boundaries, and, in keeping with the latest food trends, a cupcake topped with a miniature DC flag. There is also one that reads “DC Cool,” taken from Destination DC’s marketing campaign.

However much locals might want to chuckle at the slogan, Destination DC has numbers to back it up. The bureau reported that a record 18.34 million domestic tourists visited the city in 2014 and spent an estimated $6.8 billion while in town.

The emoji set is a free download that integrates with the rest of the phone, but these aren’t standard-issue emojis like panda faces and eggplants. To access them, a user must first add them as a keyboard the phone’s settings. And instead of being entered directly into the text field, the DC symbols work as “stickers,” meaning a user has to tap their selected emoji to copy it to their phone’s clipboard and then manually paste into a message.

While bulky and cumbersome, it is kind of neat that you can now send your text buddies the DC flag or an outline of the city’s geography in a text. Then again, there’s no guarantee the oversized novelty emojis will actually make you seem that cool.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.