I just upgraded to macOS Monterey 12.4 and now the flags, primarily the one for the current input source, is gone from the menu bar and was replaced with a country code.

I find the colored flags much easier to work with, also when quickly switching between inputs via a shortcut. How do I get back the flags?


macOS input source switching menu since 12.4

was / want:

macOS input source switching menu prior to 12.3

  • 14
    Go to apple.com/feedback and complain. Encourage others to do similarly.
    – benwiggy
    May 19, 2022 at 9:44
  • 3
    So color coding is more important than their UX designer thought! May 19, 2022 at 17:59
  • 13
    Template apple.com/feedback text: Subject: Allow setting custom flag for input source Text: I regularly switch between multiple input sources and used to be able to quickly tell which one I was on by glancing at the flag. Since the update to Monterey, I have to spend more time to actually find and read the input source language: - It's gray like the rest of the bar so I never quite know where to look - Reading the language actually requires more concentration and time than seeing a colored flag. See for reference [link to this post]
    – Thomas BDX
    May 30, 2022 at 13:57
  • 1
    Thanks for the feedback template @ThomasBinBDX ! Jun 24, 2022 at 9:06
  • 1
    @benwiggy thanks for the link, just did my request to apple. I wish they'd put this as an option (flag vs label) rather than deciding for us. Jun 27, 2022 at 8:39

3 Answers 3


One way to do this is to make a custom keyboard layout with Ukelele. It lets you add any icon you want to a keyboard, but also includes in the Resources folder in its download some .bundle files which have a number of the former layouts with their flags.

To install those layouts, put the .bundle file in Home/Library/Keyboard Layouts. To get to Home/Library, do Finder > Go while holding down the Option key.

If you need the Ukrainian layout with flag, try this.

Other apps devoted to solving this problem include Keyboard Switcheroo and Colorful Input Menu Flags.

I have not seen any official Apple notice regarding this change, which occurred May 16, 2022. Of the more than 100 keyboards in MacOS, already more than half used the country/language code type format instead of a country flag. It's possible that recent requests to decouple Russian script input from that country's flag led Apple to decide to move totally to this format.

This change may be a direct result of a companywide effort not to denote languages using country flags on Apple’s part.

  • Thanks a LOT! I just checked and both /Library/Keyboard Layouts and ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts were empty folders on my macOS 12.4. I followed your suggestion and solved my problem : installed Ukulele, copied the Roman.bundle from the Resources dmg image folder to /Library Keyboard Layouts, opened keyboard preferences, clicked '+' on the left list to add a keyboard and the flagged keyboards appeared and I could add them to the list, then switch from Apple's letter label to the flagged one. Jun 27, 2022 at 9:27

I'm the developer of YouType. It shows the current indicator in the status bar as flags. I'm happy to suggest you try it.

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the answer. The rules here, however, require you to disclose your affiliation with any product or recommendation. A look at the GitHub page you cited in your answer suggests that you're the developer of YouType. Please amend your answer to include this information. Jul 2, 2022 at 20:02
  • Please show the line in the rules that requires this. I'm not hiding. My name is the same here and there. And I'm not selling anything. I know the answer to the question and I just wanto to help. Jul 3, 2022 at 10:50
  • I cite the relevant Help page above. The last line in the first paragraph on that page is: "However, if you mention your product, website, etc. in your question or answer, you must disclose your affiliation in your post." Jul 3, 2022 at 14:09
  • 1
    Thanks a lot for the clarification. I have corrected my answer. Jul 3, 2022 at 18:24
  • 2
    This is a fantastic utility! It puts the flag back. The main feature though of also attaching the flag to every input field so I know which language is set is game changing already. Thank you for suggesting YouType.
    – mr.cook
    Feb 15, 2023 at 18:41

I encourage you not to use bad practices. Flags are not languages. It might work in your specific case, but in general, it does not.


  • English is spoken in many countries. Which flag should one use: England, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, or else?
  • You may want to use a flag of Spain for the Spanish language, but most Spanish speakers live in Mexico.

Using flags as language indicators is discouraged by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is considered to be a bad practice. More details on the suggestion not to use flags as language indicators can be found at World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Working Group Note 03 June 2014.

There is even a web-site dedicated to this problem www.flagsarenotlanguages.com.

  • 1
    Some systems distinguish UK English from US English from Australian English from Canadian English. Wouldn't flags be a good fit in such cases?
    – gidds
    Nov 9, 2022 at 21:32
  • 1
    Still no. It is important to internalise the fact that there is no 1:1 correlation between flags and languages. Your example is cherrypicking, it does not fix the problem. - what flag do you suggest to use for languages in China (Mandarin, Mongolian, Uyghur, Tibetan, Zhuang, etc)? or in India (Hindi, Tamil, +10 others) - there is no Ukrainian version of russian language, how would you feel if you were a russian speaking Ukrainian not being able to remove russian flag from your OS?
    – Maksim
    Nov 11, 2022 at 6:01
  • Imagine the experience of a Canadian user switching between Canadian English and Canadian French. How should it look like -- it's both a Canadian flag with a small unreadable 'en' or 'fr' text in the corner? Simply accept the fact that flags are not languages and stop promoting this broken idea, you personally may suffer a little, but that's the right choice in the long run.
    – Maksim
    Nov 11, 2022 at 6:18
  • 1
    Yes, flags are not languages, but a flag is a colored visual cue that tells me which language I am using; without the flag, I have an "A" for English and "한" for Korean. 한 is distinctive because it's the only Korean on the menubar, the A is lost. I prefer the flag(s) perhaps because they are in color. Users should have a choice of putting a flag up or not and if so, which language to pair with that flag. Even the site you mention advocates using iconography instead of just text. Removing flags doesn't solve much without a better thing in place.
    – mr.cook
    Feb 15, 2023 at 18:49
  • "A" for English is a poor choice of language code. There are better options, eg. the two-letter code system ISO 639-1, where English is marked as "EN" (much better than "A", right?). You are choosing between a bad language code ("A" for English) and a colorful flag icon system, which is broken in general but only works in your specific and very niche case. Language must be indicated with a clear non ambiguous and non frustrating language codes. Period. Users may have coloring options for those language codes to improve readability.
    – Maksim
    Feb 17, 2023 at 8:27

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