The panel that decides such things has officially unveiled a new digital image of a little red lobster in response to a Maine-based petition drive.

The image of the lobster will be added to available emojis this year.

Maine’s signature sea creature will soon be one of the “emoji” pictograms available for electronic messaging.

The Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit governing body responsible for determining which emojis get added annually, announced in a blog post Wednesday that the lobster will be released this summer. The Unicode Emoji 11.0 set will include a total of 157 new emojis, including a woman superhero, a softball, a pirate flag and new hairstyles for the male and female emojis.

The lobster and other new emojis will start showing up on mobile phones in August or September, according to the blog post.

Unicode named the lobster as a finalist last year.

Luke’s Lobster quickly launched an online peition drive on Change.org under the title “Let’s Make The Lobster Emoji Happen.” Founded by Maine native Luke Holden, the restaurant chain has 30 U.S. locations, including one Maine restaurant in Tenants Harbor, and six in Japan.

More than 5,400 people added their signatures.

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“The emoji sea is filled with crab, shrimp, octopus, squid, whale, spouting whale, blowfish … and even (a) non-fish human deep-sea diver,” the petition says. “And out of the water, shrimp gets extra love with tempura! There is a large void in the shape of our favorite Maine lobster.”

The business tweeted its thanks Wednesday to people who signed the petition, as well as Sen. Angus King. In September, King wrote to the Unicode Consortium in support of the lobster emoji, mentioning the Luke’s Lobster petition.

“The momentum for a lobster emoji has been on a roll ever since,” King’s office said in a statement.

King celebrated the news on Twitter Wednesday with emojis of his own.

“Thanks to @unicode for recognizing the impact of this critical crustacean, in Maine and across the country,” he wrote.

The senator signed the tweet with the emojis of a cow and a king’s crown, symbolizing his name.

There are more than 2,600 Unicode emojis depicting a wide range of objects, including facial expressions, food items, weather symbols, animals and national flags.

Unicode is a standardized system for letters and symbols that has made it easier to share software applications among many different languages and regions of the world. The consortium members include major computer corporations, software producers, database vendors, government ministries, research institutions, international agencies and various user groups.

Is a lobster roll emoji next? Proposals for the 2019 Unicode release are due at the end of March.


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