Has a two-letter country code been proposed for use by independent Scotland?

  • If it doesn't already have one, what would Scotland's two-letter country code likely be, in the event of its gaining independence?

    I've tried searching a little but it seems that Scotland simply doesn't have any such code. As one blogger notes (but in the context of internet domain codes),

    If a domain code has any more than two letters, then it is not a Country Code Top-Level Domain, but a Special Interest Domain. ... Even the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey have their own internet country codes (.im,.gg and .je respectively) and there is no reason for Scotland to settle for anything less.

    SC would seem a likely candidate, except it's already taken by the Seychelles. (SO, ST, SL, SA, SN, and SD are also already all taken.)

    No code has ever been assigned, so there can be no correct answer to this (old) question, answers are speculation.

    @JamesK: If you know exactly how these two-letter code assignments work and know for sure *why* there can't possibly be any answer to this question, then please add an answer explaining. Otherwise your comment itself is just mere speculation.

    If the question was "How are country top level codes assigned" then it is not a matter of governments or policies, and so off topic.

    The problem with this question is that you're asking about a specific hypothetical future decision, which is primarily opinion-based. I wouldn't mind a question in the form of "How are country codes assigned?", which is *not* opinion-based (and I disagree with James that such a question would be off-topic).

    For **years** sometimes I've been suddenly remembering this question, and planning to give a better answer. Even if I'm no longer part of this site altogether. Finally I decided to do it, but it's closed. Pity.

  • There's a lot of possibilities, and it's impossible to say which will be followed right now.

    Some possibilities include:

    • .ab, taken from Alba, the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland.
    • .ce, taken from Caledonia, the Latin name for Scotland.
    • .sc, .sk, or .sl, ISO3166-1 supports transitional reservations, which provide a 5-year period for transitioning a reassigned code. It's possible for Scotland to acquire an already-used code from a smaller country, although I don't know what the mechanics of that would be.

    Also, `.sq` (phonetically equivalent to `.sc` or `.sk`) is still unassigned.

  • If Scotland gains its independence as a result of the upcoming referendum, I assume that the ISO 3166-2 code "SCT" will be taken over into ISO 3166-1 for the three letter code. For the two-letter code, however, neither SC nor ST is available. CT is, however. AB might be used for "Alba".

  • '.ab' is the most likely choice. If Abkhazia became independent, '.ah' could be used, or indeed '.ak'.

    I don't see '.ce' becoming the code, because a Scottish Gaelic name is going to be preferred and seem more relevant to a Latin name.

    But what will the number plate code be?

    Also, the existing GB code might have to be changed as a significant part of Great Britain will have become a new country. The country code of the UK may become UK for number plates to include NI more, but, obviously, the ccTLD will remain the same.

  • I was thinking .aa (from the Scottish Gaelic name) because .ab would be good to keep around in case Abkhazia ever becomes independent of Georgia.

    It's certainly possible, but I doubt they'd skip a given code on the chance that it might be needed later, or else `.sc` or one of the other more obvious ones would have been reserved for Scotland in the first place. That said, `.aa` sortof makes more sense than `.ab`, since `.al` is already taken.

    In that case, we should reserve for all regions (and maybe individual cities) in all countries. Theoretically every region or city can be occupied by other country, can be made genocide of one or several nationalities that are living there and after can be made referendum for independence by remaining people and to make new "country".

    Actually, reserving more codes for certain sub-national regions might be good; I know it's already done for Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Bouvet Island, Svalbard and Jan-Mayen, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and the Cocos Islands, none of which are independent, and some of which are barely inhabited. More ideas: `wa` for Wales | `en` for England | `qb` for Quebec | `ek` for the Basque Country (from "Euskal") | `ct` for Catalonia | `gc` for Galicia | `an` for Andalusia (currently Netherlands Antilles, but being phased out) | `os` for Ossetia | `ku` for Kurdistan

    I also realize that the Catalan linguistic and cultural community has long had the `.cat` TLD, and that the provisional government of Kurdistan already has `.krd` but this is about more than TLDs.

    in any case, `.aa` is in the private use area, so it can't be used for a country.

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