Monday, March 16, 2009

Across the Pond - About the Union Jack

The flag is normally called the "Union Jack" because it represents a union of count - England, Ireland, and Scotland and Wales. The flag does not include a flag from Wales because Wales was never ruled in the same way that the other countries were ruled. It is called as a Principality.

Actually it shouldn't be called the "Union Jack", because a jack is a flag that is flown on a jack staff which is a small flag pole on the back of a naval ship. So it should be called the "Union Flag".

The Union Jack/Flag includes the Cross of St. George (England), the Cross of St. Andrew (Scotland) and the Cross of St. Patrick (Ireland).

In 1606, the first flag of Great Britain was developed, which included the crosses of England and Scotland (at this point, Ireland had not been united with England or Scotland).

The red cross (England) had to be put onto the white on blue cross (Scotland), and a white border was added for reasons of HERALDRY. This flag was used during the reign of James 1 and Charles 1 (1603-1649), and up until 1801.

In that year, Ireland became united officially with England, so the Nation's flag had to be changed to include the Irish Cross (red diagonal cross on white). The designers had to make sure that all the crosses could be recognized as individual flags as well as being in the same flag together.

That is why if you look at the Union Jack in films like Braveheart or Last of the Mohicans, you’ll notice the flag is a little different as it is pre St Patrick’s flag being added.

They did this by making the background white (Scottish Cross) broader on one side of the Irish red than on the other (see picture). This meant that all the separate crosses could be seen and the Irish Cross had it's origianal white background.

If your nation's flag has a little Union Jack in the corner of it, then your country is probably a member of the Commonwealth Nations which include: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, as well as many other countries around the world.

The Union Jack is the most important of all British symbols, and it is flown by representatives of the United Kingdom all over the world; in the military and the navy, and in royalty.

No knew news except for a couple of follow up items re yesterdays radio show.

Saturday March 21st at 11am on my radio show A BOOK AND A CHAT
I am interviewing Beth Fehlbaum – about her latest book “Courage in Patience”

Across the Pond


  1. Thanks, Barry,

    It's good to know the history behind other flags besides the Stars and Stripes.

    Morgan Mandel

  2. I am looking forward to "meeting" you on Saturday!
    Beth Fehlbaum, author
    Courage in Patience, a story of HOPE..
    Ch. 1 is online!

  3. Thnaks for this info! That's interesting!