FontAwesome Humanitarian Icons (and license minutia)

FontAwesome Icons are built into many web content tools, site templates, and a good sized portion of them are available as open source. I was intrigued at the new version six set includes a collection of “Humanitarian” icons

like this one for a UN Building icon. This platform for OEG Connect does not let you use the HTML code for them in a post, but you can download any Font-Awesome Icon and upload as an image:


These are described as “free” so I went down a rabbit hole exploring the license terms. The license link on their site leads to the Pro ($) license, but after a few misses, I noted the link to the free license which suggests the free icons are licensed CC BY… well actually it says:

In the Font Awesome Free download, the CC BY 4.0 license applies to all icons packaged as .svg and .js files types.

A .svg file can be viewed by any text editor so the one I downloaded from the FontAwesome site listing of free icons has license data embedded-- hmm and this one indicates it is Pro licensed:

but… the same icon downloaded from GitHub (where the free icon collection is offered) actually has different metadata that indicates the open license:

I am fairly confident the icon from either is open licensed, and I am way down in the weeds of license noodling, but it seems interesting to me that that same icon has different embedded license meta data depending where you download it from.

I was more interested in the idea of having Humanitarian icons available for projects, and if your platform has been updated to support Font Awesome 6, you should have access to them.

Any thoughts or am I too deep in the metadata weeds?

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I mean, super interesting, and so cool that they’ve gone to the trouble to have different file versions with different licenses embedded in the metadata – and cool that you dug that up… But what’s to say more? They have two versions with different licenses, as is their right, and they went to the trouble to mark them internally as well as externally as having different licenses, which is pretty neat, and … OK!

Thanks! I just have this to say:


and I leave it as an exercise to figure out which one I used :wink:

Surprise, surprise, you used the openly licensed one!

I’m a bit confused… Aren’t the two types of licenses opposite? And why, in any case, have two different types of licenses?

I was confused too Rosiu but more just curious. It’s clear from the wording on the FontAwesome site that the Free icons are openly licensed as they are shared in different software and web themes that use them. I think it’s more a matter of how they put different meta data into the same items.

I would not be too concerned about their use, this was just Alan being curious and looking for details.