Twitter’s #PopeInPhilly Emoji Is a Complete Travesty

It's a Liberty Bell. But the crack is in the wrong place!

We Philadelphians are used to the Liberty Bell being a shorthand for our city. Though it’s a bell that no one alive has ever heard — it was silenced after a repair attempt failed in 1846 — it is an important symbol for everything from American independence to the abolition of slavery to the women’s suffrage movement. Plus, in 2001 a “wanderer” from Nebraska attacked it with a giant mallet. This bell’s got all sorts of history! Though we could perhaps do better — a stray cat eating a soft pretzel? — the Liberty Bell is a fine symbol for Philadelphia.

What we won’t tolerate, though, is this crass representation of the Liberty Bell that doesn’t even put the crack in the correct spot. In the most common view of the bell — the one you see looking straight on at the bell at the Liberty Bell Center at Sixth and Chestnut — the crack begins to the right of the clacker, then crosses over to the left. This Twitter emoji crack is just on the right side!

Liberty Bell vs. Liberty Bell emoji

The Liberty Bell (photo by Tony the Misfit, used under a Creative Commons license) versus Twitter’s Liberty Bell emoji for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia.

See? The Twitter emoji crack does not go across the bell nearly enough. It’s also a lot more lightning-bolt shaped; it looks more like the logo of the old Philadelphia Bell football team than the Liberty Bell.

While the World Meeting of Families logo makes a similar mistake, that’s more of a stylized image (after all, it has a cross in it). There’s no excuse to put that crack all the way to the right.

This doesn’t matter, of course, but it’s quite funny. And if there’s another thing we know about Philadelphians, it’s that we can complain about anything and everything.

[via Cole Altmann, who first noticed this]