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What about geographical coordinates? Any doubts? Let's start from the British Flag!!

 

 

Royal Standard (Stendardo reale) è la bandiera ufficiale della Regina Elisabetta II nella sua funzione di sovrana del Regno Unito e dei vari altri regni del Commonwealth. Alcune nazioni hanno propri Royal Standard. Lo Standard generalmente consiste nello stemma della nazione. Fuori del Regno Unito sopra lo stemma è presente un disco blu contenente la lettera 'E' (di 'Elisabetta') incoronata e cerchiata da una corona di rose dorate.

Nel protocollo delle bandiere, il Royal Standard è la suprema. Essa deve sventolare sugli edifici dove è presente la Regina. Viene messa sopra la Union Flag, gli stendardi degli altri membri della Famiglia Reale, e le altre bandiere britanniche. Non sventola mai a mezz'asta

Union Flag o Union Jack?

La bandiera è colloquialmente e diffusamente chiamata Union Jack, ma ciò non è scevro di dibattiti. In lingua inglese jack infatti significa bompresso ( e per alcuni deve essere usata questa espressione quando la bandiera è usata come tale). Per altri potrebbe essere derivato dal nome latino di Giacomo VI, re al momento dell'unione delle corone di Scozia ed Inghilterra, ovvero Jacobus. L'espressione union jack infatti pare risalire ai primi anni del 1700. Jack ha però numerosi altri significati, tra cui "marinaio", "mozzo", "villano" o semplicemente "amico", cosa che porterebbe ad altre tesi circa l'origine.

Dovunque derivi, attualmente ha assunto rilievo nei costumi della società britannica, avendo ottenuto anche riconoscimenti ufficiali: la BBC per esempio, non accetta l'espressione union flag. Ma, d'altro canto, proprio questa forma è preferita nei documenti vessillogisti. Il  Merchant Shipping Act 1995  si riferisce alla bandiera del Regno Unito come the Union flag (commonly known as the Union Jack).

 

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La Union Jack o Union Flag, è la bandiera

Nazionale del Regno Unito di Gran Bretagna,

costituita dagli emblemi di tre stati, sotto una unica

monarchia: Inghilterra,Scozia e Irlanda del Nord

La bandiera è composta da:

 

la croce di San Giorgio, bandiera dell'Inghilterra,   img4.gif

 

 

la croce di Sant'Andrea, bandiera della Scozia,       img2.gif

 

e la croce di San Patrizio, bandiera dell'Irlanda.      img3.gif

 

Le croci portano il nome del santo patrono di ogni singola nazione: San Giorgio, patrono dell'Inghilterra,

Sant'Andrea,patrono della Scozia e San Patrizio, patrono dell'Irlanda.

 

La bandiera fu creata nel 1606 quando Re Giacomo VI di Scozia divenne re d'Inghilterra con il nome di

Giacomo I.Allora il Galles faceva già parte del Regno d'Inghilterra e per questo motivo il dragone Gallese

non appare nella Union Jack.

 

La prima bandiera dell'unione consisteva nella

sovrapposizione della croce rossa d'Inghilterra alla croce

bianca di Scozia sullo sfondo blu della bandiera scozzese.

   La prima bandiera dell'unione      

Con l'unione dell'Irlanda e della Gran Bretagna fu

necessario includere la croce di San Patrizio nella bandiera

già esistente, arrivando alla bandiera attuale.Quando

l'Irlanda ottenne l'indipendenza nel 1921, la Union Jack non

fu modificata.

Thumbnail for version as of 14:16, 25 September 2008  An example of the Welsh Red Dragon incorporated into the Union Flag.

 

More in details the history of the Union Flag' s birth.

 
 

A flag containing three other flags.

Union Flag
The Union Flag - the flag of the United Kingdom (UK)

The Union Flag, popularly known as the Union Jack, is the national flag of the United Kingdom. It is the British flag.

It is called the Union Flag because it symbolises the administrative union of the countries of the United Kingdom. It is

made up up of the individual Flags of three of the Kingdom's countries all united under one Sovereign - the countries of

'England,of 'Scotland' and of 'Northern Ireland' (since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been part of the United

Kingdom). AsWales was not a Kingdom but a Principality it could not be included on the flag.

            
                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The National Flag of England
English flag

England is represented by the flag of St. George

In 1194 A.D., Richard I of England introduced the Cross of St. George, a red cross on a white ground, as the National

Flag of England.

At this point in the story on the United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were separate countries. However, this was soon to change....

In 1536, under Henry VIII , an Act of Union was passed making Wales, in effect a province of England.

                                                                                                                                                                                                         
 
The National Flag of Scotland
Scottish flag

Scotland is represented by the flag of St. Andrew
(a diagonal white cross form (called a saltire) on a blue field)

After Queen Elizabeth I of England died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne and became

King James I of England.

It was a Union of the Crowns, but not yet of the nations. Each country still kept their own parliaments.

Early in his reign James attempted to combine England and Scotland in a united kingdom of 'Great Britain'. This was

the policy he presentedto his first Parliament, called on 22 March 1604. The union was resisted.

James defied them. On 20 October 1604 he proclaimed a new title for himself as 'King of Great Britain'.

But what flag should be used?

A problem arose, which flag should be hoisted on the king's ships. English sailors resented the Scottish colours scot

and the Scots scorned the cross of St. George England.

In 1606 the problem was solved ........

 


The gradual making of the Union Flag
 
 

....... A compromise was the answer and it led to the creation of the first Union Flag.

On 12 April 1606, the National Flags of Scotland and England were united for use at sea, thus making the first Union

'Jack'.Ashore however, the old flags of England and Scotland continued to be used by their respective countries.

A royal decree declared that the ships of the Kingdom of Great Britain "shall bear on their maintops the red cross,

commonly called St. George's cross, and the white cross, commonly called St. Andrew's cross."

English flag

+

Scottish flag

The Union Flag of 1606
The first Union Flag (1606)

When the red cross of England was put onto the flag of Scotland, a white border was added around the red cross for

reasons of heraldry.(The rules of heraldry demanded that two colours must never touch each other.)

On 28th July, 1707, during the reign of Queen Anne, this flag was by royal proclamation made the National

flag of Great Britain,for use ashore and afloat.

The Act of Union of 1707, joined England and Scotland together, creating a single kingdom with a single Parliament called 'United Kingdom of Great Britain'.

England Wales and Scotland were now united together under one monarch and one parliament.

The Royal Navy christened the British flag " The Union".

Interesting Fact: When the 'Union Flag' was first introduced, in 1606, it was known simply as 'the British flag' or 'the flag of Britain'.

Nearly one hundred years later, another country was added to the Union flag ...

                                                                                                                                                                       
 

St Patrick 

Ireland is represented by the cross of St. Patrick
(a diagonal red cross on a white background.)

On 1 January 1801, Ireland was united with Great Britain and it became necessary to have a new National Flag in

which Irelandwas represented. The cross St Patrick was combined with the Union Flag of St George and St Andrew,

to create the Union Flag that has been flown ever since.

+

Union Flag

The cross of St. Patrick was inserted so the position given to St. Andrew's Cross in one quarter was the same

as that given to the Irish one in the diagonally opposite quarter; in heraldry this is known as "counterchanging"


The Union Flag with the St. George's Cross removed showing how the saltires (diagonal crosses)

are counterchanged.

The 'new' British flag is not symmetrical because of the counterchange.

As Scotland joined the Union nearly two hundred years before Ireland, St Andrew's Cross was placed uppermost in

the top quarter nearest the flagstaff, this being the most honourable position according to heraldry, while the Irish

Cross was given the second most honourable position, the top quarter of the fly.

In order to avoid having the red of the Irish Cross directly upon the blue field of the Scottish one an edging of the white

field of the Irish Cross is used.

The symbols of Scotland and Ireland are placed side by side on the Union Flag.

England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were now all joined together and called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The name was later changed to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland when the greater part of Ireland left the United Kingdom in 1921.

NB. The St. Patrick's Cross remains in the flag even though today only Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom.

 


The  final steps in  the achievement of the Union Flag ....

To summarize...

 
 

The formation of the Union Flag (Union Jack) came about as the result of the progressive merging of the

inhabitants of the British Isles under one throne.

1603 - King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne and became king James I of England.

1606 - the National Flags of Scotland and England were united for use at sea, thus making the first Union Flag

The Union Flag of 1606
The first Union Flag (1606)

1707 - during the reign of Queen Anne, the first Union Flag was by royal proclamation made the National flag of

Great Britain,for use ashore and afloat.

1801 - Ireland was united with Great Britain and the present Union Flag was formed.

The Union Flag consists of the three heraldic crosses of St George, St Andrew and St Patrick.

The flags of the Patron Saints of England, Scotland and Ireland are represented on the Union Flag. But, why is

Walesnot represented on the Union Flag? Why doesn't the Welsh dragon appear on the Union Flag?

                                                                                                                                                                                               
 
                                                          Welsh Flag 

The Welsh dragon does not appear on the flag because when the first Union Flag was created in 1606, Wales

was already united with England from the 13th century. This meant that Wales a Principality instead

of a Kingdom and as such could not be included.

In 1536, under Henry VIII, the Act of Union joined England and Wales officially.

Please note:
Wales has never been conquered (forcibly take control and possession of a foreign land) not by the Romans and certainly not the English or anyone. Partial invasion took place but possession was never fulfilled because of the geography and terrain allowed the native population an ideal base to operate a very effective resistance. There was always a ’Free Wales’ in some part of the Principality. A good reference for this is ’Land of my Fathers’ by Gwynfor Evans.

What would the Union Flag look like if Wales was represented?

In November 2007, a Welsh MP, Ian Lucas, asked parliament why Wales is not represented in the Union Jack.

What would the flag look like? Below you can see Ian Lucas' version of the Union flag with Wales represented:

Union Flag with Wales represented

  


The Future of the UK's Flag      

 
 

At the moment, the countries representing the UK, are still united under one flag.

How long this will be so, no one knows. Even now, each of the countries which form the

United Kingdom, is fighting for its own independence.

For the first time since 1707, the Scots now have their own Parliament in Edinburgh,

and the Welsh their own national assembly in Cardiff. As a result, the Scottish saltire

and the red dragon of Wales are much more in evidence.

Is the Union Flag (Union Jack) on its way out?

In 1997, British Airways decided to scrub the Union Flag off the tails of its airliners and replace it with pictures

of jackals from Africa and other ethnic designs. Its chief executive, Bob Ayling, said that the airline was no

longer a British company with global operations, but a global company that happened to be headquartered in

Britain: “We are proud to have been born and raised in Britain,” he explained. “But we want to show Britain as

modern, not imperial...We still have our Beefeaters, but we now lead the world in restaurants and in fashion.”

In 2003, a campaign was launched to try and modernise the red, white and blue flag by adding a touch of

black to reflect multicultural Britain in the 21st Century. The proposed new flag (see right) was the work of

Nigel Turner, an enthusiastic fan of the UK's transformation into a multiracial society over the past 50 years.

The campaign was NOT successful.

In 2007 more teenagers see themselves as English, Scottish or Welsh rather than British. A YouGov poll

carried out by the Daily Telegraph in 2007 found that fewer than one third of today's teenagers instinctively

think of themselves as British rather than English, Scottish or Welsh. But, pressed to say whether they also

think of themselves as British, the great majority say yes. Only 10 per cent of the teenage sample, many of

them Scots, reject a British identity altogether.

Most people want the United Kingdom broken up


An ICM poll published by the Daily Mail in 2007 suggested that majorities of voters in both Scotland and

England now want the countries to split.

 


                                    The Future?

Will the Union flag be replaced by four separate flags or will all the flags and the Union Jack, be

replaced by something else? Only time will tell

 


                                                                                                                                                                                           
How to fly the Union Flag correctly
How can you tell if it is upside down?
 

Please don't fly the Union flag upside down!

The broader (wider) diagonal white stripe should be at the top left hand side of the flag nearest the flagpole.

Union flag the correct way up

Union flag the wrong way up

 Correct Way

 

 Upside Down!

The UK flag is NOT symmetrical! Look at the white diagonals.

On the side next to the flagpole, (the hoist side), the thick white band is above the red band on both

diagonals, the white band being part of the cross of St Andrew, the Scottish flag and the red band being part

of the cross of St Patrick, the Irish flag.


The Union Flag with the St. George's Cross removed
showing how the saltires (diagonal crosses) are counterchanged.

The cross of St Andrew is above that of St Patrick at the hoist because the cross was added to the flag

before St Patrick's cross, therefore the cross of St Andrew is entitled to the higher position

On the side that flutters free, the fly side, this is reversed, with the Irish flag being above the Scottish flag.

upside down
This flag is upside down because the narrow white bands are on top.

To deliberately fly the flag upside down is a signal indicating a situation of 'DISTRESS'. It is also

"lese Majeste" (which means: insulting the Crown), and is theoretically still a crime in the UK and its

commonwealth!

Examples of the Union flag flying upside down.

Geoff Charnley sent us a photograph of the Union Flag flying upside down at the monument to Louis Bleriot in

Sangatte.

monument to Louis Bleriot  in Sangatte

Upside down Union Flag

Corret way to fly the union flag

January 2009
David Webb spotted the Union flag upside down on Channel 4 television.

flag upside down

February 2009
Steve Lorraine spotted the following upside down Union flag


Lord Mandelson and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao signing an agreement.

 


FINALLY:   Questions sent in by visitors

How high is a flag at "half mast"?

It is not half way up the flag pole, as you might have expected, but the height of the flag from the top of the

pole.The practice of half-masting a flag arose to serve cases of the death of a sailor on the ship. The flag was

half-masted to inform other vessels that the crew were mourning their shipmate, and hence a polite request

that they not be disturbed.

After the committal, the flag was raised to full staff, to indicate that the mourning period was ended.

When is the Union Flag Flown?

The Union Flag is flown on government buildings on days marking:

  • the birthdays of members of the Royal family,
  • Commonwealth Day,
  • Coronation Day,
  • The Queen's official birthday,
  • Remembrance Day
  • on the days of the State Opening and prorogation of Parliament.

It is also flown on St David's Day (Wales), St George's Day (England), St Andrew's Day (Scotland), and St

Patrick's Day (Northern Ireland).

All of that from: www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/geography/unionjack.html

 


                          UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND

Physical and political Great Britain- Administrative England.

 

 

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