Icons for categories

Category icons could improve the visual appearance and usability of this forum, especially once the migration introduces a much larger number of categories. Displaying flags for country-level categories was already mentioned as a possibility and would be a good example use case.

At the moment, we use Unicode characters/emojis to achieve a similar effect for some categories, such as “:lady_beetle: This forum issues and requests” and “:heavy_plus_sign: New category requests”. This is a decent approximation. However, this causes the symbol to be included even in contexts where a purely textural rendidion of the category title might be more appropriate.

Should we support this properly? There appears to be at least one relevant Discourse plugin:

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I would be rather against more icons/emoticons.

This would be particularly helpful for the local community categories, which currently resort to setting the colored square to a prominent color from the flag:

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A workaround could be to use country flag emojis in the category names, e.g. :de:, :netherlands:, etc., but those are not available for all communities, since some of them don’t correspond to counties: Català, LATAM, etc. So proper icons would be great.

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