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  1. ITV Report

Transgender flag, man in a veil and gender-neutral Santa among newly approved emojis

A man in a veil, the transgender flag and a gender-neutral Santa Claus all feature. Credit: Unicode

The transgender flag, a man in a veil and a gender-neutral Santa Claus (Mx Claus) are all set to appear on devices, as a series of new emojis have been released.

Some 117 characters and images have been approved by Unicode Consortium.

It comes as the organisation moves to make its selection of images more inclusive.

Further additions to the 2020 list include a woman in a tuxedo, as well as emoji for bubble tea, and a person bottle-feeding a baby.

The inclusion of the transgender flag, which is pink, blue and white, comes after criticism surrounding it not being added in previous releases.

Previous additions have included more options for people with disabilities and same-sex couples.

The new emojis will likely be on devices later this year. Credit: Emojipedia

The website Emojipedia, which is part of the Unicode Consortium and details icons found in updates, said: "Announced today by the Unicode Consortium, the 117 new emojis form part of Emoji 13.0 and will come to most platforms in the second half of 2020.

"Variations of existing emojis now approved for 2020 include a woman or gender-inclusive person in a tuxedo, as well as a gender-neutral person or a man in a veil.

"These, along with other approved emojis, will be coming to phones later this year.

"Also included in this update is a gender-inclusive alternative to Santa Claus and Mrs Claus, named Mx Claus.

"This addition is part of an ongoing effort to make more consistent set of gender options across the board, and expands upon the 138 new gender-neutral emojis added in late 2019 as part of Emoji 12.1.”

The move has been praised by leading LGBTQ organisations, with Stonewall it is a "welcome step".

No official release dates have been announced for the emojis, but it is likely they will be installed on devices later this year.