What is the Union Jack ?

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What is the Union Jack ?

The Union Jack Flag is the national flag of the United Kingdom. The Union Jack Flag represents emblems of three countries under a single Sovereign. The three countries are England and Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. However, since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been part of United Kingdom.

 

Description of the Flag

The Union Jack Flag presents a combination of three different national symbols. St. Andrew�s cross represents the Scotland flag, St. Patrick's cross represents the Ireland flag, and St. George's cross represents the England flag. St. Patrick, St. George, and St. Andrew are the patron saints of their respective countries.

The cross of St George is a red cross on a white ground. The cross of St Andrew is a diagonal white cross on a blue ground. The cross of St Patrick is a diagonal red cross on a white ground. After the Act of Union of Ireland with England, Wales, and Scotland on 1 January 1801, the cross of St Patrick combined with that of the previous Union Flag.

 

Location of the Flag

The Union Jack Flag flies over the Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and Sandringham when The Queen is not at the palace. The decision to fly the Flag atop public buildings is by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport although only at The Queen's command.

 

On special days like Commonwealth Day, The Queen's official birthday, birthdays of members of the Royal family, State Opening and prorogation of Parliament, Remembrance Day, Coronation Day, St George's Day, St David's Day, St Patrick's Day, St Andrew's Day, the Flag is atop government buildings too. In the event of a Royal death, the Union Jack Flag is at half-mast.

Unity in Diversity

 

The Union Jack Flag represents a union of unity in diversity. This transnational flag has huge historical significance and extensive influence too. Presently, the national flag of Australia also contains the flag of England within it.

 

The Union Jack Flag is a clear depiction of the union of the countries represented on it. In other words, this union represents importance of individuality within a closely formed group.

 

2. British Flag

 

 

The Union Flag, first introduced in 1606, was popular as the British Flag. At that time, the British Flag was also popular as the flag of Britain. This name remained for around a century. Around 1707, The Royal Navy changed the name of this flag to �The Union�. At this time, another country also came within the fold of Britain.

 

The British Flag is atop government buildings only on special days like Commonwealth Day, The Queen's official birthday, Coronation Day, Remembrance Day, birthdays of members of the Royal family, and days of State Opening and prorogation of Parliament.

 

Dimensions of the British Flag

 

The British Flag has a width equal to twice its height. It has the crosses of St. Patrick, St. George, and St. Andrew. This flag is unsymmetrical as St. Patrick�s flag is not at the center. While hoisting the flag, the broad diagonal white strip of the flag should be at the left-hand side top, nearest to the flagpole. The thick white band should be next to the flagpole on the hoist side.

 

This thick white band is a part of the cross of St Andrew. This is above the red band on both diagonals. This red band is part of the cross of St Patrick. As the cross of St. Andrew was already present on the British Flag at the time of including the cross of St. Patrick, it receives a higher position on the flag. On the fly side or the fluttering and free side, the Irish Flag is above the Scottish Flag. At half-mast, the height of the flag is halfway from the top of the pole.

Representation of Wales

 

The Welsh dragon is not present on the British Flag. This is because Wales was already with England at the time of creation of the Union Jack or the Flag of Britain. Wales has been with England since the thirteenth century. Hence, it was a part of the kingdom and not a separate kingdom. Henry VIII officially unified England and Wales in 1536.

 

 

 

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